La Cotte de St Brelade
Neanderthals lived there from around 250,000 years ago until between 100,000 and 47,000 years ago - making it he earliest known the occupation of the Channel Islands by a hominim species, and also possibly one of the last Neanderthal sites in northwestern Europe.
At that time, with sea levels slightly below those at present, Jersey was part of Normandy, a peninsula jutting out from the coast. It was not until after the last Ice Age that the sea eroded the coastline, separating first Guernsey, then Jersey and finally the Ecréhous from the mainland.
Remains of fire was found in La Cotte.
Excavations have taken place from around 1910 onwards.
Robert R. Marett (1866–1943) worked on the palaeolithic site from 1910–1914, recovering some hominid teeth and other remains of habitation by Neanderthal man. He published "The Site, Fauna, and Industry of La Cotte de St. Brelade, Jersey" (Archaeologia LXVII, 1916). The teeth were dated using new techniques in 2013, this analysis put them at between 100,000 and 47,000 years old.
In 1911, Arthur Smith Woodward (director of the geology department at the British Museum of Natural History) was asked by R.R. Marrett to inspected the findings at La Cotte. At the time, Woodward was engaged in the archaeological discovery of "Piltdown man", which later became notorious as a hoax, and he used a comparison of findings at La Cotte to argue for an early dating of his Piltdown material.
The Cambridge University excavations of the 1960s and 1970s found important examples of remains of Pleistocene mammals carried into La Cotte, including a pile of bones and teeth of woolly mammoth and woolly rhinoceros. Prince Charles took part (as a student) in these excavations, directed by Professor C.M.B. McBurney, which were later published.
Katharine Scott, in 1980, published an article on the hunting methods used by Neanderthals at La Cotte in which she explains how they stampeded and drove the mammoths off the nearby cliffs.
In 2010 excavations were renewed at La Cotte by a multi-disciplinary team from British Institutions including UCL, The British Museum the University of Southampton and University of Wales Trinity Saint Davids. These on-going excavations revealed new archaeological levels at the site.
- Dictionnaire Jersiais-Français, Le Maistre 1966
- "New Research Conducted at Late Neanderthal Site - Archaeology Magazine". Archaeology.org. Retrieved 2013-10-20.
- "BBC News - Jersey's place in Neanderthal history revealed in study". Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-10-20.
- Balleine's History of Jersey
- The Mystery of the Cave, Sonia Hilsdon
- The Grisly Folk, H.G. Wells
- "La Cotte de St. Brelade 1961 - 1978: Excavations by C.B.M. McBurney." (Geo Books, Norwich).
- "Two hunting episodes of Middle Paleolithic Age at La Cotte Saint-Brelade, Jersey (Channel Islands)" (World Archeology 12:137-152. )
- "Prehistory and the Beginnings of Civilization. Volume: 1". by Jacquetta Hawkes - author, Leonard Woolley - author. (1963), p140.
- "Making fire in the Stone Age: flint and pyrite" published in "Geologie en Mijnbouw", 1999, vol. 78, no. 2, pp. 147–164(18) by Stapert D.; Johansen L. / Groningen Institute of Archaeology, Poststraat 6, 9712 ER Groningen, the Netherlands Institut for Arkæologi og Etnologi, Vandkunsten 5, 1167 København K, Denmark
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to La Cotte de St Brelade.|