Repeopling La Manche: New Perspectives on Neanderthal Archaeology and Landscapes from La Cotte de St Brelade [Hardback]

Beccy Scott (Editor); Andrew Shaw (Editor); Katharine Scott (Editor); Matt Pope (Editor)

ISBN: 9781789251524 | Published by: Oxbow Books | Series: Prehistoric Society Research Papers | Volume: 10 | Year of Publication: 2023 | Language: English 216p, H280 x W216 (mm) b/w and colour

Repeopling La Manche


The current geography of north-west Europe, from the perspective of long-term Pleistocene climate change, is temporary. The seaways that separate southern Britain from northern France comprise a flooded landscape open to occupation by hunter-gatherers for large parts of the 0.5 million years since the English Channel’s formation. While much of this record is now inaccessible to systematic archaeological investigation it is critical that we consider past human societies in the region in terms of access to, inhabitation in, and exploitation of this landscape.

This latest volume of the acclaimed Prehistoric Society Research Papers provides a starting point for approaching the Middle Palaeolithic record of the English Channel region and considering the ecological opportunities and behavioural constraints this landscape offered to Neanderthal groups in north-west Europe. The volume reviews the Middle Palaeolithic archaeological record along the fringes of La Manche in northern France and southern Britain. It examines this record in light of recent advances in quaternary stratigraphy, science-based dating, and palaeoecology and explores how Palaeolithic archaeology in the region has developed in an interdisciplinary way to transform our understanding of Neanderthal behaviour. Focusing in detail on a particular sub-region of this landscape, the Normano-Breton Gulf, the volume presents the results of recent research focused on exceptionally productive coastal capture points for Neanderthal archaeology. In turn the long-term behavioural record of La Cotte de St Brelade is presented and explored, offering a key to changing Neanderthal behaviour. Aspects of movement into and through these landscapes, changing technological and raw material procurement strategies, hunting patterns and site structures, are presented as accessible behaviours that change at site and landscape scales in response to changing climate, sea level and ecology over the last 250,000 years.

Table of Contents

List of Figures and Tables
French Language Abstract
German Language Abstract
1. Repeopling La Manche: survey and encounters
By Matt Pope
2. La Cotte de St Brelade: a key early Middle Palaeolithic geoarchaeological sequence in La Manche
By Andrew Shaw
3. In pursuit of the mammoths
By Katharine Scott
4. The early Middle Palaeolithic ‘bone heaps’ from La Cotte de St Brelade reconsidered
By Andrew Shaw, Beccy Scott and Matt Pope
5. Coming home: reconstructing place and landscape during the early Middle Palaeolithic at La Cotte de St Brelade
By Andrew Shaw and Beccy Scott
6. Jersey’s north facing property: the Neanderthal sequence at La Cotte à la Chèvre Cave
By Josie Mills
7. Understanding the context of Palaeolithic archaeology in the Normanno-Breton Gulf: the importance of the Pleistocene coastal sequences
By Martin R. Bates, John Renouf and Marine Laforge
8. La Cotte, Neanderthals and Goldilocks: investigating hominin adaptations in the submerged landscapes of the Normanno-Breton Gulf
By C. Richard Bates, Andrew Shaw, Martin R. Bates, Matt Pope and Beccy Scott
9. Archaeological sequences, framework, and lithic overview of the late Middle Pleistocene of northern France
By David Hérisson, Jean-Luc Locht, Émilie Goval, Pierre Antoine and Sylvie Coutard
10. La Cotte in its regional context: reconsidering La Manche
By Beccy Scott and Anne-Lyse Ravon
11. Mind and society: re-imagining the archaeology of Neanderthals
By Clive Gamble and Matt Pope

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