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Tuesday, 4 June, 2002, 18:02 GMT 19:02 UK
Bone find may rewrite history
Homo Heidelbergenesis, whose remains were found in Boxgrove, Sussex
British pre-Neanderthal research is evolving
The discovery of stone tools and animal bones in Eastern England has made scientists think humans may have been present in Britain 200,000 years earlier than previously thought.

Research at two coastal sites, one of them at Happisburgh, Norfolk, showed humans could have settled in the country 700,000 years ago.

Experts previously thought the earliest humans arrived 500,000 years ago.

The animal bones show markings which could only have been made by human chopping activity.

Human evidence

Professor Chris Stringer, head of human origins at the Natural History Museum, said: "The evidence is being examined by a lot of people... but it's building into an exciting picture."

Further analysis at Westbury-sub-Mendip in Somerset, where animal bones and teeth were discovered in the 1980s, now shows evidence of human activity 600,000 years ago.

The finds form part of the Ancient Human Occupation of Britain (AHOB) project which began last November.

It combines specialists from universities and museums but also relies on the work of amateurs in local areas.


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26 Sep 01 | Science/Nature
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