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Britains earliest humans

Homo heidelbergensis may have occupied southern Britain between 560,000 and 620,000 years ago

Archaeological discoveries made on the outskirts of Canterbury, Kent (England) confirm the presence of early humans in southern Britain between 560,000 and 620,000 years ago. The breakthrough, involving controlled excavations and radiometric dating, comes a century after stone tool artefacts were first uncovered at the site. The research, led by archaeologists at the University of Cambridge, confirms that Homo heidelbergensis, an ancestor ofNeanderthals, occupied southern Britain in this period – when it was still attached to Europe – and gives tantalizing evidence hinting at some of the earliest animal hide processing in European prehistory.

© Department of Archaeology, University of Cambridge / Illustration by Gabriel Ugueto