The Royal Archaeological Institute (RAI) is a leading national archaeology society, with a history dating back to 1844. Its interests span all aspects of the archaeological, architectural and landscape history of the British Isles.

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Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II was the Institute's Patron.

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14 DECEMBER LECTURE by Dr Matthew Pope
Thursday 15th December 2022

'Return to the Neanderthal site at La Cotte de St Brelade'

This year excavations recommenced at La Cotte de St Brelade, Jersey, the first full scale investigation of the site since the 1970s. The project, funded by Jersey Heritage, and coordinated by the UCL Institute of Archaeology will see a previously unexcavated part of the site brought under investigations. The project combines modern research of the Neanderthal locality with a programme of engineering designed to stabilise Ice Age deposits remaining at the site and protect them from the erosive power of the sea. Combining these imperatives with the challenges presented by the site in terms of access and safe working has resulted in the development of a hybrid project team of Palaeolithic archaeologists and engineers. The first season has seen us excavating cold stage deposits of unknown age containing artefacts consistent with the technology of the Late Middle Palaeolithic levels recorded at the site. In this lecture we’ll consider the significance of the finds and their place in the Palaeolithic of north west Europe. In particular we will consider how we will approach learning more about the population of humans identified from teeth previously found at La Cotte which combine physical features of both Neanderthal people and Homo sapiens.

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