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Middle Palaeolithic occupation of the southern North Sea Basin: evidence from the Sandscaping sediments emplaced on the beach between Bacton and Walcott, Norfolk, UK

Davis, Rob; Ashton, Nick; Bynoe, Rachel; Craven, John; Ferguson, Rob; Gardner, Ian; Grimmer, Tim; ... Stevens, Matt; + view all (2023) Middle Palaeolithic occupation of the southern North Sea Basin: evidence from the Sandscaping sediments emplaced on the beach between Bacton and Walcott, Norfolk, UK. Journal of Quaternary , 38 (6) pp. 866-890. 10.1002/jqs.3524. Green open access

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Abstract

During the summer of 2019, the Bacton to Walcott Coastal Management Scheme involved the emplacement on to the foreshore of 1.8 million cubic metres of sand and gravel dredged from the submerged sediments of the Palaeo-Yare in the southern North Sea 11 km off Great Yarmouth. During the following 2-year period, an active group of collectors identified Palaeolithic artefacts eroding from these sediments, including Levallois cores and flakes, and cordiform handaxes. In this paper, we present an analysis of the lithic artefacts, and consider the relationships between the different elements of the assemblage. We discuss its significance in the context of the Middle Palaeolithic record of northwest Europe and the light it shines on the human occupation of the submerged landscape of the southern North Sea during the later Middle Pleistocene. Interrogation of beach survey data shows the reworking of these sediments to the southeast towards Happisburgh where archaeologically significant exposures of the Cromer Forest-bed Formation are located. The implications of the introduction of a Middle Palaeolithic assemblage to this stretch of the North Norfolk Coast are considered, highlighting the importance of continuing dialogue between researchers, local authorities and local communities for capturing information and monitoring this critical Palaeolithic resource.

Type: Article
Title: Middle Palaeolithic occupation of the southern North Sea Basin: evidence from the Sandscaping sediments emplaced on the beach between Bacton and Walcott, Norfolk, UK
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1002/jqs.3524
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jqs.3524
Language: English
Additional information: © 2023 The Authors Journal of Quaternary Science Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Institute of Archaeology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10187471
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