Ultima Thule

In ancient times the northernmost region of the habitable world - hence, any distant, unknown or mysterious land.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Ice Foiled Ancient Settlement of Britain Seven Times

By Aussiegirl

Here's a fascinating study from National Geographic. This underscores the undeniable fact that it is cold that is to be feared in terms of human survival and not global warming. In fact, global warm periods were always benign to humans and led to greater settlement and the development of civilization. Those ancient Brits were obviously a determined bunch, coming back time and again from near extinction by the advancing ice sheets. In another article I'll post later today, scientists are detecting the possibilities of another ice age beginning within a decaded or two. Stay tuned. Mucklucks are in our future and not string bikinis. For more great reading on this kind of subject don't miss the wonderful new book called "Before the Dawn", by Nicholas Wade. I just finished it recently and want to write a short review of it in the near future.

Ice Foiled Ancient Settlement of Britain Seven Times

If at first you don't succeed, then try, try again.

This appears to have been the motto of ancient humans trying to inhabit the British Isles. These settlers were beaten back by ice sheets at least seven times before managing to permanently establish themselves, researchers say.

Scientists have managed to piece together much of the human history of the British Isles as part of the Ancient Human Occupation of Britain Project, a collaboration among archaeologists, paleontologists, and geologists that has been running for the past five years.

Those researchers have unearthed a wealth of new findings. Humans, it appears, came to the British Isles at least 700,000 years ago, 200,000 years earlier than previously thought, but began to establish permanent residence only around 12,000 years ago.

The director of the project, Chris Stringer of the Natural History Museum in London, England, outlined the project's key findings at the British Association Science Festival in early September.

"In human terms Britain was the edge of the universe," he told attendees.

There were eight waves of migration from continental Europe to the British Isles, the scientists say. Each migration attempt occurred when ice sheets retreated northward and the climate became warmer.

The ancient humans ventured to Britain during periods of low sea level (when much of the water was locked up in ice sheets), strolling across land bridges that now lie underneath the English Channel and parts of the North Sea.

But during harsh glacial periods, ice sheets traveled as far south as London, defeating the first seven invasions .

"Either [the ancient humans] went extinct, or they traveled south and hunkered down in warmer areas such as Spain," said Mark White of England's Durham University, one of the project archaeologists.


At 9:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You wouldn't want to see me in a string bikini, anyway.


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