Institute of Archaeology


Ice Age Island: Palaeolithic Research on the Channel Island of Jersey

Since 2010 a multi-disciplinary team drawn from five British Institutions are undertaking a reassessment of the Paleolithic record of the island of Jersey.  This work forms part of wider research aimed at undertaking the landscape development and early human use of the English Channel/La Manche region throughout deep prehistory.

The first three years of the project saw an island-wide survey on Jersey, identifying new locales and bringing archaeological understanding to previously known sites, attempting to use the exceptional record of this small island to frame wider research themes.  The period also saw NERC-funded assessment of the Neanderthal mega-site of La Cotte de St Brelade, identified as being partially under threat from marine erosion.

Now in the middle of three years of further funding the project has widened in scope and ambition in order that the record of Jersey's key locations can be better understood, related to wider landscape use in the English Channel Region and interpreted to the public.

These include the following projects:

Ice Age Island: with Jersey Heritage, investigating Late Magdalenian archaeology and other locales.

Threshold:Led by Southampton University, accessing and analysis of La Cotte's record of Neanderthal occupation and relating to wider changes in early human landscape use  behavior.

West Ravine Stabilization: Building on initial NERC-funded work in partnership with the Societe Jersiaise and Jersey Heritage to stabilise, manage and investigate late Neanderthal archaeology at La Cotte de St Brelade.

  • Watch Videos of the project here.

Related outputs

  • Scott, B., M. Bates, R. Bates, C. Conneller C, M. Pope. A. Shaw, A and G. Smith. 2014. A new view from La Cotte de St. Brelade, Jersey. Antiquity: A quarterly review of archaeology, 88 (339) pp. 13-29.
  • Bates, M., Pope, M., Shaw, A., Scott, B. and Schwenninger, J-L. (2013) Late Neanderthal occupation in North-West Europe: rediscovery, investigation and dating of a last glacial sediment sequence at the site of La Cotte de Saint Brelade, Jersey. Journal of Quaternary Science.
  • Pope, M.I., M. Bates, J.Cole, C. Conneller, K.  Ruebens, R.Scott, A. Shaw, G.Smith, D. Underhill  and R. Wragg Sykes. 2012. Quaternary Environments and Archaeology of Jersey: A new multidisciplinary project looking at the early prehistoric occupation of the English Channel Region. BAR International Series 2400.
  • Ice Age Island website