Setting the scene on the Norfolk coast almost a million years ago, Ashton follows the remarkable survival of bones, stone tools and footprints which allow us to paint a picture of the first human visitors to this remote peninsula of north-west Europe. He tells the story of the faunas, floras and developing geography of Britain against the backdrop of an ever-changing climate. Above all he explores how early people began as brief visitors to this wild remote land, but over time through better ways of acquiring food and developing new technologies to deal with the world, they began to tame, shape and dominate the countryside we see today
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Nick Ashton has been a curator at the British Museum for over 25 years, specialising in Lower and Middle Palaeolithic archaeology, and helps curate the extensive stone tool collections from these periods. He has directed and published major excavation projects at the Lower Palaeolithic sites of High Lodge, Barnham, Elveden and Hoxne (all in Suffolk). He is currently Deputy Director of the Ancient Human Occupation of Britain Project (AHOB) funded by the Leverhulme Trust. His particular interests in the project are: the earliest occupation of northern Europe, currently being investigated through fieldwork at Happisburgh (Norfolk); the early human adaptation to northern environments and the investigation of when Britain first became an island.