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Geographers help to preserve Palaeolithic objects in North Norfolk

The beach at Happisburgh
The beach at Happisburgh, Norfolk.

North Norfolk Council has undertaken extensive sandscaping work along the coastline between Bacton and Wallcott. In the process of this work, significant numbers of Palaeolithic artefacts have come to light. Professor Simon Lewis and the Queen Mary geographers were able to help the Council manage and preserve these valuable finds.

The challenge

Research has established the Norfolk coast line as one of the most important palaeolithic archaeological locales in Northern Europe. There was a need to train collectors to gather artefacts, to engage with the wider public and to find finance and support for the work to continue effectively.

How did we work with our partners to solve the problem?

Professor Lewis and his team helped the project by:

  • Working with collectors to provide training, advice and information to ensure good recording and reporting practices 
  • Enabling wider public engagement through events and information
  • Working with the Norfolk Historic Environment Service (NHES) to deal with the backlog of artefact identification and to support ongoing recording and ID work
  • Facilitating discussions between stakeholders regarding longer-term funding of the work at Happisburgh
  • Providing information to other stakeholders, through (for example) talks, workshops and data

The outcome

The project has helped to uncover, interpret and explain archaeological records to the people of Norfolk.


Consultancy and Contract Research Manager: Andrew Shaw  

Email Andrew Shaw

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