Happisburgh on Thames
Artwork showing a scene of early humans at Happisburgh in Norfolk, UK, 800,000 years ago.
A group of early humans butcher a red deer on the floodplain of the River Thames that we now know passed through this part of the British Isles at this time. Hyaenas and wild horses are attracted to the rich grassland vegetation, as are herbivores such as elk, red deer, bison and ancestral mammoths such as voles, lemmings, mice and a beaver-like rodent. The plants and animals in this scene can be reconstructed more accurately than for almost any other Early Pleistocene archaeological site. The exceptional preservation in the Happisburgh deposits of bones, shells, beetle remains, wood, seeds and pollen all contribute to our understanding of the environment during the period of human occupation.