Hominins in the Tundra: Human Occupation and Landform Evolution at Doniford on the North Somerset Coast, UK

  • Laura Basell (Speaker)
  • A. G. Brown (Contributor)
  • Philip Toms (Contributor)
  • Robert T. Hosfield (Contributor)
  • Christopher Norman (Contributor)
  • Tanner Patrick (Contributor)

Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation


Authors: L.S. Basell, A.G. Brown, P.S. Toms, C. Norman, R. Hosfield, P. Tanner,
Abstract: The tundra and steppe conditions of southern England during MIS 3-2 drove landform evolution in a world inhabited by megafuana including hominins. The coastal cliffs at Doniford, Somerset, UK have been well-known as a source of both cold stage mammalian fauna and lithic artefacts since the late 19th century. Collecting has produced an assemblage of lithics with both Palaeolithic and Mesolithic affinities which was not archaeologically coherent. This paper presents data, including a new diagnostic lithic, which resolves this archaeological contradiction, and presents a new geoarchaeological and chronometric data for S.W. England. This research demonstrates how a major period of cold climate erosion can generate a complex archaeological record where artefacts and faunal remains of different ages have become incorporated into fluvial deposits and how such a sequence can be explained using a combination of geomorphology, sedimentology and OSL dating. The paper also considers the implications of the Doniford sequence for the glaciation of southern Britain.
Period03 Jan 2018
Event titleQuaternary Research Association Annual Meeting
Event typeConference
LocationPlymouth, United KingdomShow on map
Degree of RecognitionNational