Pathways to Ancient Britain

Happisburgh reconstruction

Artist’s reconstruction of Site 3 at Happisburgh, Norfolk © John Sibbick/AHOB

Pathways to Ancient Britain (PAB) focuses on three chronological periods of human presence in the British Isles, from the earliest occupation through to extinction of the Neanderthals and the emergence of modern humans.

For each time span, the project focuses on specific sites that address key research questions relevant to the period. 

  • Pioneering populations: 1 million-500,000 years ago
  • Successful colonisers: 500,000-300,000 years ago
  • Emerging Neanderthals: 240,000-40,000 years ago

Pathways to Ancient Britain (PAB) is funded by the Calleva Foundation and involves a number of institutions.

Pathways to Ancient Britain is a successor to the earlier Ancient Human Occupations of Britain project funded by the Leverhulme Trust.

Browse data about sites of Ancient Human Occupation in Britain 

Find out more on the British Museum website

Project team

Pioneering populations

Studying sites that were occupied from one million to 500,000 years ago, including Happisburgh in Norfolk.

Successful colonisers

Human occupation of the British Isles between 500,000 and 300,000 years ago, including Barnham, Suffolk.

Emerging Neanderthals

Excavations around the island of Jersey reveal human relatives that lived 240,000 to 40,000 years ago. 

Related information

Origins, evolution and futures

We study the Earth's origins and environment, and the evolution of life.

Fossil vertebrate research

Investigating the role of vertebrate evolution in shaping the history of life on Earth.

Palaeoanthropology collection

The UK's largest assemblage of fossil hominin remains.