Lynford Quarry A Neanderthal butchery site
'A brilliant site. The only one of its kind in Britain. The preservation is fantastic. I These were the words of veteran field archaeologist Bill Boismier describing the recent Lynford Quarry excavation near Thetford in Norfolk. Many of his small, highly specialised team agreed. I This is like Boxgrove, I claimed Richard Jennings, an expert on Neanderthal stone tools who had volunteered to work on the site. I Palaeolithic finds are almost always secondary deposits churned up by rivers and glaciers. It is very, very rare to find things in context - to have an actual Palaeolithic site. The tools are so fresh - like they were dropped yesterday.' In fact, the ancient river channel buried under thousands of tons of gravel at Lynford Quarry - with its haul of mammoth tusks, rhinoceros teeth, and mint-condition handaxes - is probably at least 60,000 years old. It is one of the most important Neanderthal sites ever excavated in Britain. Current Archaeology visited the dig last summer to get the news firsthand.
EXCQvation in progress on the prehistoric channel buried beneath river gravel and sand at Lynford Quarry. Inset. One of the 44 mint-condition handaxes found on the site.