Funding success for collaborative palaeolithic research on Jersey

12 March 2013

La Cotte de St Brelade, Jersey

Jersey Heritage has been awarded significant funding from the Tourism Development Fund for the continued exploration of Jersey's unique history by the Quaternary Archaeology and Environments of Jersey Project involving the Institute's Matthew Pope.

The grant funding (£199,000) will be entirely dedicated to support the continuing work of the Quaternary Archaeology and Environments of Jersey Project, an eminent team of UK archaeologists and academics who have been working in Jersey for the past three years.  The project is of notable importance in putting Jersey firmly on the historical map globally and it has the potential for the Island to become one of the most significant cultural heritage destinations in Europe.

The grant will be used to enable the continuation of fieldwork and research that has already uncovered hunting sites and submerged Ice Age landscapes, ranging from the earliest occupation by Neanderthals over 250,000 years ago, to the arrival of the first modern humans. To date, there have already been significant finds, but it is anticipated that there is more evidence and artefacts of ancient human occupations still waiting to be discovered across Jersey.

Peter Funk, Chairman of the Tourism Development Panel, commented:

  • “The Tourism Development Fund is delighted to be able to support this very special project. There is a huge level of interest in archaeological discovery and Jersey has a unique story to tell which we believe will be an integral part of Jersey’s tourism offering in the years to come.”
La Cotte de St Brelade, Jersey features on BBC's Digging for Britain

The team undertaking the study comprises of the Institute's Matthew Pope and colleagues from a number of UK institutions including the British Museum. Their work so far in Jersey has already received extensive national television and media coverage, including ‘Digging for Britain’.

According to Matt:

  • “We have only begun to scratch the surface of Jersey’s rich record of Ice Age hunters, climate change and extinct mammals such as the mammoth. Jersey has a story to tell about human evolution relavent across Europe and the wider world. This funding will help to take the story of Jersey’s stunning coastal and deeply buried past to a new audience.”

To date the project represents £170,000 of UK-funded research, including grants from the National Environmental Research Council and the Leverhulme-funded Ancient Human Occupation of Britain Project.

Jersey Heritage, working in partnership with Société Jersiaise and the National Trust for Jersey, will be facilitating the exploration and interpretation of this project, the results of which will have resonance globally. They will be working to transform the archaeological discoveries into a tourism and educational resource.

Jon Carter, Director of Jersey Heritage stated:

  • “Over the past three years we have identified a number of Ice Age locations in Jersey, adding to the knowledge we had already gained from La Cotte de St Brelade, which is one of the most important sites in the world. We are heartened that the Tourism Development Fund has seen both the current and potential future value of continuing this work and supporting the role of Jersey Heritage as a custodian and promoter of the Island’s culture and heritage.”

Read more