planet earth

How old are the Britons?

RECOMMENDATION: a Natural History Museum – the website of which is an incredible time traveller:

Excerpt: First Britons
By Lisa Hendry
First published 15 December 2017

Britain, with its rich history of monarchies, industry and culture, holds a lesser-known story in its past.

It’s the story of how people came to be here at all and their struggle for survival in a dramatically changing environment. It begins nearly one million years ago.

Britain’s unique location – between the Atlantic and continental Europe – means that it has experienced the fullest extremes of climate.

Over the past million years, its climate has fluctuated from balmy Mediterranean-like conditions to long stages of cold with large ice sheets covering much of the land.

Landscapes changed accordingly, with coastlines and rivers shaped by water and ice. Britain’s inhabitants had to adapt too, although sometimes they vanished altogether.
Humans in ancient Britain

Investigations such as the Ancient Human Occupation of Britain (AHOB) project have provided new insights.

This 13-year multidisciplinary collaboration between the Museum and other research institutions has transformed what we know about the earliest Britons and the world they lived in.

Prof Chris Stringer, Museum human origins expert and Director of AHOB, says:

‘Traces left behind by Britain’s earliest inhabitants are scattered across the landscape.

‘By combining evidence from animal and plant fossils, tools and other artefacts, we have been able to build quite a detailed picture of the lives of these early Britons and the conditions they faced.

‘Our research has revealed that there were at least 10 separate waves of occupation, as people were repeatedly driven out by extreme changes in the environment.’

This is so worth exploring!

And might I also recommend a book I’m reading at the moment for a fascinating look at the evolution of church out of clan life in later Britain:

Ecclesiastical History of the English People (Penguin Classics)
Learn more:


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