Institute of Archaeology


The Violet Bank Survey: Capturing Fragile Intertidal Prehistory at Scale

Seymour Tower, an 18th Century fortification near the Violet Bank, Channel Islands

The Violet Bank is a granite reef on the south west corner of the Channel Island of Jersey. At high tide the reef is all but entirely submerged by the waters of the English Channel, but at low tide it can be exposed across 11 square kilometres and up to 4km from the current shoreline. The reef provides unparalleled access on foot to former terrestrial landscape of the Pleistocene and the early Holocene.

This project represents the first attempt to systematically survey this environment, targeting known Neanderthal find-spots, Ice Age megafauna and possible of megalithic structures.

Working with local expertise, Jersey Heritage, the Government of Jersey and Historic England, the project team will use the extraordinary landscape and potential of the Violet bank to test and further develop methodological approaches and guidance to address loss of the Ice Age record in the intertidal zone through technological applications and public engagement.


  • British Academy/Leverhulme Small Grant