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
NASA examines Peru's deadly rainfall
24.03.2017 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
Steep rise of the Bernese Alps
24.03.2017 | Universität Bern
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
24.03.2017 | Materials Sciences
24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy