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Fossils reveal secrets of Britain's oldest inhabitants

By John von Radowitz

Thursday July 08 2010

MAMMOTHS trampled the undergrowth, giant elk stalked the land, and hyenas and sabre-toothed cats took no hostages.

This was Norfolk almost a million years ago and amongst it lived a mysterious race of ancient Britons who had much in common with people today but belonged to another human species.

Examples of their stone tools were found close to the seashore at Happisburgh, near the Norfolk Broads, where coastal erosion has exposed a treasure trove of fossils.

Evidence suggests they were hunting mammoth and deer and hiding from sabre-toothed cats in the area more than 800,000 years ago, making them the oldest known human settlers in northern Europe.

The find pushes back the date when humans were first known to have occupied Britain by at least 100,000 years.

Bones

No bones of the tool-makers have yet been discovered, but scientists believe they may have been related to a species called Homo antecessor (Pioneer Man) that lived in southern Europe at the same time.

They were not ancestors of people living today, but represented a "dead end" branch of the human evolutionary tree.

Yet scientists believe they looked similar to modern humans, and probably wore animal-skin clothes and built shelters. They might even have known how to master fire.

Professor Chris Stringer, one of the scientists who reported the discovery in the journal 'Nature', said: "This was a species that was fairly human in terms of walking upright; these were not ape-men".

Clues to their age came from the fossil bones of animals found nearby, including a type of mammoth that became extinct 800,000 years ago.

The rocks also recorded a period when the Earth's magnetic field was reversed. The last such episode is known to have occurred 780,000 years ago.

- John von Radowitz

Irish Independent

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There still here, we just call them The Fen Men from Norfolk :D

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There still here, we just call them The Fen Men from Norfolk :D

I have a suspicion that there could be a colony, still surviving, in Surrey :lol: & apparently, of below average I.Q. :sneaky2: :lol2:

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There still here, we just call them The Fen Men from Norfolk biggrin.gif

I have a suspicion that there could be a colony, still surviving, in Surrey laugh.gif & apparently, of below average I.Q. sneaky2.giflol.gif

We call it Croydon... but we don't talk about it as it's on the rim laugh.gif

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There still here, we just call them The Fen Men from Norfolk biggrin.gif

I have a suspicion that there could be a colony, still surviving, in Surrey laugh.gif & apparently, of below average I.Q. sneaky2.giflol.gif

We call it Croydon... but we don't talk about it as it's on the rim laugh.gif

If you're in Croydon. I'm only about 4 miles away. Close enough to have remembered this story from just a few days ago! :lol:

http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard/article-23851904-.do

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Jeremy Kyle ? I'm forced to watch it when visiting a friend :censor: In fact, I'm not allowed to speak :shutit:

Jeremy is ok & does a good job :thumbsup: but most of his interviewees shouldn't be allowed to breed :no::nono:

Unfortunately they do .......indiscriminately & with great frequency :yucky:

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There still here, we just call them The Fen Men from Norfolk biggrin.gif

I have a suspicion that there could be a colony, still surviving, in Surrey laugh.gif & apparently, of below average I.Q. sneaky2.giflol.gif

We call it Croydon... but we don't talk about it as it's on the rim laugh.gif

If you're in Croydon. I'm only about 4 miles away. Close enough to have remembered this story from just a few days ago! laugh.gif

http://www.thisislon...le-23851904-.do

OMG, Never... I am fortunate to live many many miles from Croydon but I did go to school in Dulwich and I have had the odd dalliance with the opposite sex there toast.gif

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There still here, we just call them The Fen Men from Norfolk biggrin.gif

I have a suspicion that there could be a colony, still surviving, in Surrey laugh.gif & apparently, of below average I.Q. sneaky2.giflol.gif

We call it Croydon... but we don't talk about it as it's on the rim laugh.gif

If you're in Croydon. I'm only about 4 miles away. Close enough to have remembered this story from just a few days ago! laugh.gif

http://www.thisislon...le-23851904-.do

OMG, Never... I am fortunate to live many many miles from Croydon but I did go to school in Dulwich and I have had the odd dalliance with the opposite s*x there toast.gif

I'm right in a corner of SE6, with Lower Sydenham and Beckenham just a matter of yards away. There's a big Sainsbury's Savacentre right next to me, but the queues are always awful so I usually jump in the car and go to Tesco at Elmers End (currently being expanded). I often meet a friend in the Croydon Park Hotel for a drink, if you're familiar with Croydon you'll know of it.

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There still here, we just call them The Fen Men from Norfolk biggrin.gif

I have a suspicion that there could be a colony, still surviving, in Surrey laugh.gif & apparently, of below average I.Q. sneaky2.giflol.gif

We call it Croydon... but we don't talk about it as it's on the rim laugh.gif

If you're in Croydon. I'm only about 4 miles away. Close enough to have remembered this story from just a few days ago! laugh.gif

http://www.thisislon...le-23851904-.do

OMG, Never... I am fortunate to live many many miles from Croydon but I did go to school in Dulwich and I have had the odd dalliance with the opposite sex there toast.gif

I'm right in a corner of SE6, with Lower Sydenham and Beckenham just a matter of yards away. There's a big Sainsbury's Savacentre right next to me, but the queues are always awful so I usually jump in the car and go to Tesco at Elmers End (currently being expanded). I often meet a friend in the Croydon Park Hotel for a drink, if you're familiar with Croydon you'll know of it.

I was thrown out of there on my brothers stag night, No sense of humour :D

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There still here, we just call them The Fen Men from Norfolk biggrin.gif

I have a suspicion that there could be a colony, still surviving, in Surrey laugh.gif & apparently, of below average I.Q. sneaky2.giflol.gif

We call it Croydon... but we don't talk about it as it's on the rim laugh.gif

If you're in Croydon. I'm only about 4 miles away. Close enough to have remembered this story from just a few days ago! laugh.gif

http://www.thisislon...le-23851904-.do

OMG, Never... I am fortunate to live many many miles from Croydon but I did go to school in Dulwich and I have had the odd dalliance with the opposite sex there toast.gif

I'm right in a corner of SE6, with Lower Sydenham and Beckenham just a matter of yards away. There's a big Sainsbury's Savacentre right next to me, but the queues are always awful so I usually jump in the car and go to Tesco at Elmers End (currently being expanded). I often meet a friend in the Croydon Park Hotel for a drink, if you're familiar with Croydon you'll know of it.

I was thrown out of there on my brothers stag night, No sense of humour :D

And you said, no doubt, "I'll have you know that I've been thrown out of better places than this " :drunk:

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Indeed I have, I was asked to leave Buckingham Palace after receiving my Queens Scout Award, I knocked over a vase of flowers (playing the fool as normal) and as I had got my award it was suggested that I waited outside in the garden ready for the tea.

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Indeed I have, I was asked to leave Buckingham Palace after receiving my Queens Scout Award, I knocked over a vase of flowers (playing the fool as normal) and as I had got my award it was suggested that I waited outside in the garden ready for the tea.

When writing your Biography [ best seller, for sure :thumbsup: ] that should get a chapter to itself :rolleyes: Bet it never happened to anyone else :eek:

It probably was a Ming & didn't go Ping when it landed :crybaby:

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It was just a glass one crybaby.gif

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It was just a glass one crybaby.gif

HRH would NOT have "Just a glass one " Probably lead crystal from the 17th Century :eek:

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Well then, it was time they got a newer one :D

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Well then, it was time they got a newer one :D

Hope you didn't say that to her Equerry <_< :lol: Never mind being asked to wait in the Garden with the other Gnomes :rolleyes: You'd still be bouncing after you 1st hit the pavement outside the front gate :yes:

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No, I simply apologised and walked meekly to the garden crybaby.gif

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No, I simply apologised and walked meekly to the garden crybaby.gif

First [and last] :D time for everything, I suppose :eek:

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I had to get it out of my system thumbsup.gif

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I had to get it out of my system thumbsup.gif

Try prunes :thumbsup:

Joking aside, if possible :unsure: It must have been a highly embarrassing moment for you. I imagine you got hell after it & teased about it for ages.

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It gave me my unique character... biggrin.gif

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It probably was a Ming & didn't go Ping when it landed :crybaby:

By the time it hit the deck it was ming-ing..........trust Raist to smash one of Her Maj's finest Argos vase's :rolleyes:

Kingo

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I was only young wacko.gif

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I was only young wacko.gif

Did you knock it off with your dibber or woggle?

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I was only young wacko.gif

Did you knock it off with your dibber or woggle?

I was using my Beret as a Frisbee...

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