Truly ancient history



The photo above is of a district of the town where I live. Originally Pakefield was a village a short distance out of Lowestoft but for many years it’s been a sort of suburb and a part of the town itself.

It’s also the location of the oldest human made artefacts ever found in Europe. The cliffs you can see at the end had a minor collapse a few years ago and what turned up caused a major but very secret archaeological investigation. I have no real idea exactly where the cliff fall happened.

They found stone tools and worked animals bones dating not from 7,000 years ago, not 17,000 years ago, and not even 70,000 years ago, but from 700,000 years ago. This blows my mind. The humans who made the hand axes and so on were not our current species of human at all but either Homo Habilis(handy man!) or Homo Heidelbergensis, who co-existed at this time. It’s more likely to be Homo Heidelbergensis due to the fact that their remains have been found much further north, but as no human bones were found that could precisely pin down which species had been here, we’ll never know for sure.

When I walk along here, I can’t help dreaming about those early peoples, scavenging along the shore here(except it wasn’t shore then at all) and I can’t also stop myself hoping to find some sort of relic myself.

As I have said before, I do rather live in hope.

9 thoughts on “Truly ancient history

    • I certainly think so!
      More and more is being discovered each year about early species of humans, and the text books will need updating before long. Four or so years ago cave art dating from the paleolithic era was found in caves in Derbyshire in England, at Creswell Crags; until this point, it was thought no cave art existed in Britain at all. This is contemporary with the cave art in the famous sites in France and is engravings rather than paintings.
      Thanks for stopping by!


  1. Hello Nikolay,
    this ended in my spam folder and I’m still not sure whether it should stay there. However, I had a brief look at your blog and it seems genuine so you can stay for the moment!
    Nikolay has left the building; I don’t like people who use other blogs to promote their own without at least making the effort to engage in dialogue.


  2. It is incredible what our early ancestors were able to achieve. We’re a very clever kind of creature. I do hope that you make that exciting find for yourself when you walk along this stretch of beach again. With cliff falls happening so frequently these days, especially in winter months, you could have a fertile hunting ground for ancient artefacts.


    • We walk this bit of beach while my daughter is at a gym nearby so as the evenings draw in, it’ll be weekends only.
      The artefacts are at the Natural History Museum in London being studied and conserved before(I hope) going on display in a few years time.
      I thought you might like this one!


  3. The finds you describe from this beach in Pakefield made me think about an exhibition I saw recently in the British Museum. Although the objects I saw were not as ancient as those from your beach, I was totally blown away by the thought they had been made so long ago. I am talking about the Dogu pottery figurines belonging to the Japanese Jomon Period which dates back as far as 10,000 BC. Most of the pottery was from about 2,500 – 300BC but even so it was remarkable – it all looked so avant garde, so modern. I was incredibly impressed. I think the display lasts till 20th November. If you want to see some pictures is one of many sites featuring the work on the internet.


    • Fascinating stuff; thanks for sharing. I have a modern copy of one of the so-called Venus figurines, in this case the Venus of Willendorf, dating as far as I remember from the Paleolithic. I’ve also stared long at some of the very ancient Greek and Etruscan figurines in The British Museum, and thought deep about the craftsmanship from tens of thousands of years ago. So, why can’t they make anything that lasts these days?????


    • There was a design about forty years ago for an everlasting car that never wore out; one of the big car manufacturers bought it and then have hidden it in a vault for exactly the reason you speak.
      And thus we have a world that is going to hell in a hand cart very fast indeed!


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