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Extra-curricular activities

Although the main focus of our excavation is the Magdalenian site at Les Varines, some of the team remain immersed in a Neanderthal world. As we work through the 94,000 artefacts excavated from La Cotte de St.Brelade, the different stone materials used by Neanderthals occupying the site are strikingly different, and often treated in different […]

First few days!

Welcome to our new dig home! This year you will still find our excavation base at Les Varines but in the field above previous years, and noticeably bigger!     We have put in a large stepped trench that is going to contain four test pits, with the aim of continuing our investigation of the […]

Ice Age Island 2014 Go!

This week will see a team of 25 UK academics, scientists and students begin to assemble on Jersey for the 2014 season of Ice Age Island.  This year we have a programme of five weeks of fieldwork aimed at understanding more about Jersey’s deep prehistory and telling the story of it’s ice age past through […]

Gearing Up: Ice Age Island 2014 Is About to Go Live.

Past horizons, hidden depths.

Over the past week, we’ve had out first chance to really get to grips with what we can learn from the stone tools already excavated from La Cotte. Between 1961 and 1978, Professor Charles McBurney of Cambridge University conducted extensive excavations at the site, which produced over 94,000 artefacts. These are curated by Jersey Heritage, […]

Ice Age Island Winter Update

A few of the team have returned to Jersey this winter to do further re-organisation and analysis of the artefact collections in the Jersey Heritage Stores. The Ice Age Island project is not restricted to the sunny climes of our summer excavation season and an incredible amount of work goes on behind the scenes, often […]

Exploring the La Cotte landscape using 3D imaging

Sometimes Google Earth isn’t good enough. When we knew we were going to be on Jersey for a very low spring tide we knew it was a chance to capture some imagery of the site and it’s exposed offshore ice age topography. We sent the intrepid Dr Sarah Duffy up in a light air craft […]

Low Tide: The hidden Ice Age landscape revealed

La Cotte de St Brelade is a Neanderthal ravine system on the Jersey coastline. However for much of the last 250 years it sat overlooking an open dry landscape of granite and grasslands. Yesterday’s low spring tide allowed us to see much of that open landscape revealed to a dramatic extent. To take advantage we […]

Shooting the Past

It’s hard to communicate just what it is about the material remains of the Ice Age that excites the Palaeolithic archaeologist. Much of what we glean about human activity in the deep past is based upon extremely close reading of excavated material. Looking closely at the pattern of flaking on a worked flint allows us […]

Jersey Stores: the final day

Since we last updated you we have had a busy couple of weeks. Today we finally bagged the last artefact for the summer meaning we have re-bagged and organised over 10000 artefacts since the start of this summer season. In total we have over 20000 done of the massive 94000 collection from La Cotte de […]