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The University of Southampton
Archaeology Part of Humanities

Neanderthals in Dartford 100,000 BC

Published: 2 June 2010
Neanderthal flints

As recently covered in the national media, Dr Francis Wenban-Smith, Principal Research Fellow here in Archaeology, has revealed the spectacular discovery of a new era of Neanderthal occupation in Britain.

At the time of discovery, the date of this landsurface was entirely unknown; however samples were taken for subsequent study by optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) - a scientific technique that is based on measuring the length of time since grains of sand were last exposed to daylight. The results of the dating analysis, only just received, indicate that the buried landsurface dates to c 100,000 BC, pushing back the earliest Neanderthal occupation of Britain more than 40,000 years to the very beginning of the last ice age.

Coverage in the media:

Reconstruction by Peter Lorimer
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