This collection of artefacts was discovered in Pakefield, Suffolk, last year by an excavation team led by Palaeontologist Simon Parfitt from the Institute of Archaeology, University College London. Since then, they have been exhibited in the Museum of Zoology, Cambridge, and are currently on loan to Bradford for two weeks of specialist analysis.
This examination, being conducted by Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) PhD Researcher Adrian Evans and Dr Randolph Donahue from the University’s Division of Archaeological Sciences, aims to prove whether or not these pieces of flint were used as tools by ancient humans.
The stone tools from Pakefield represent the earliest existing evidence of human activity in the UK and Northern Europe (north of the Alps), and predate previously discovered artefacts by 200,000 years.
Adrian explains: “These tools represent a significant discovery in the understanding of the human occupation of Britain and Northern Europe. It’s an exciting opportunity to have a chance to study them and to contribute to such an important aspect of prehistoric research.
“We will be examining the stones with our microscopes at 200 times magnification to see if we can find evidence to suggest they were used as tools for activities such as stripping meat and skins from the carcasses of animals, or sharpening spears for hunting.
“What we’re actually looking for is how the stones might have been modified by humans and by nature in the burial environment after they were discarded. One of the samples has a rounded bulbous end to it, and this was probably used as a hammer. Other pieces have very sharp edges which suggest they too have been modified for use.”
Adrian and Dr Donahue have the stones on loan for two weeks until they must be returned to the Natural History Museum. Until then, the examination work will be carried out in the University’s lithic microwear research laboratory. The findings of their research will be published in 2007.
Emma Banks | alfa
AWI researchers measure a record concentration of microplastic in arctic sea ice
24.04.2018 | Alfred-Wegener-Institut, Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung
Climate change in a warmer-than-modern world: New findings of Kiel Researchers
24.04.2018 | Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel
Magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI, is a widely used medical tool for taking pictures of the insides of our body. One way to make MRI scans easier to read is...
At the Hannover Messe 2018, the Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und-prüfung (BAM) will show how, in the future, astronauts could produce their own tools or spare parts in zero gravity using 3D printing. This will reduce, weight and transport costs for space missions. Visitors can experience the innovative additive manufacturing process live at the fair.
Powder-based additive manufacturing in zero gravity is the name of the project in which a component is produced by applying metallic powder layers and then...
Physicists at the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics, which is jointly run by Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, have developed a high-power laser system that generates ultrashort pulses of light covering a large share of the mid-infrared spectrum. The researchers envisage a wide range of applications for the technology – in the early diagnosis of cancer, for instance.
Molecules are the building blocks of life. Like all other organisms, we are made of them. They control our biorhythm, and they can also reflect our state of...
University of Connecticut researchers have created a biodegradable composite made of silk fibers that can be used to repair broken load-bearing bones without the complications sometimes presented by other materials.
Repairing major load-bearing bones such as those in the leg can be a long and uncomfortable process.
Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.
Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...
13.04.2018 | Event News
12.04.2018 | Event News
09.04.2018 | Event News
26.04.2018 | Medical Engineering
26.04.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering
26.04.2018 | Information Technology