School of Geography

School Research seminar: The Ebbsfleet Elephant

3 March 2015

Time: 12:15 - 1:15pm
Venue: FB 2.07 City Centre seminar room

Speaker: Dr Francis Wenban-Smith (Southampton).

The Ebbsfleet elephant butchery site: excavations at Southfleet Road, Swanscombe in advance of HS1
In late 2003, a series of Middle Pleistocene deposits was exposed in the Ebbsfleet Valley, northwest Kent, by groundworks for the Channel Tunnel Rail Link - now re-branded as “High Speed 1”.  A major excavation was carried out through 2004, and these proved to be rich in Palaeolithic remains, not only flint artefacts and larger mammal fossils, but also a range of floral and micro-faunal palaeoenvironmental indicators. Following post-excavation analysis, it is now possible to present a complete view of the nature of the site: its age, Palaeolithic cultural affinities and the evidence of human activity — including a skeleton of the extinct straight-tusked elephant Palaeoloxodon antiquus surrounded by undisturbed, refitting Clactonian lithic remains associated with its butchery more than 400,000 years ago.

Chair: David Horne