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The story of Homo britannicus

11 October 2006

Homo britannicus book by Chris Stringer tells the complete history of human occupation in Britain.

Homo britannicus book by Chris Stringer tells the complete history of human occupation in Britain.

Ever wondered when the first human arrived in Britain? Or what ancient animals lived alongside them?

A new book by Chris Stringer, Homo britannicus , brings to life for the first time the complete history of human life in Britain.

Homo britannicus reveals the detective work involved in piecing together the clues that explain who these ancient humans were, and how they lived.

Chris talks about Homo britannicus in a free Nature Live event on 12 October.

Breakthroughs

Britain has one of the richest but under-appreciated records of early human history in the world. Chris describes how fossil and archaeological evidence from the Pakefield site in Lowestoft, UK, helped him and his team of scientists rewrite the date for the earliest human occupation to 700,000 years ago. This is 200,000 years earlier than previously thought.

Britain's extreme climates
One of over 30 flint tools found at Pakefield near Lowestoft.

One of over 30 flint tools found at Pakefield near Lowestoft belonging to humans living in Britain 700,000 years ago.

Britain has some of the most extreme changes of environment, plants and animals in recent Earth history. The climate has ranged from ice age to warm. During harsher conditions human ancestors lived with mammoths and woolly rhinos and in warmer times with sabre-toothed tigers and hippos . As ice age conditions took hold, the humans and animals often died out or migrated to continental Europe.

More recent times

Chris Stringer explores our more recent Neanderthal past, up to the present day, and looks into a future where escalating climate change might mean humans also go the way of the woolly mammoth.

Homo britannicus is published by Penguin .