Humans arrived in Britain over 500,000 years ago but occupation has not been constant since that time. Populations have come and gone in response to environmental factors, the most important of which is climate.
Learn about exciting discoveries from the Ancient Human Occupation of Britain (AHOB), a large collaborative project investigating the early human records of Britain and Europe.
The Ancient Human Occupation of Britain project aims to investigate and document the history of the human community in the British Isles and to reveal how those people lived. Since it began in October 2001, the project has led to a number of ground-breaking discoveries and pushed back the date of the earliest known occupation of Britain to over 800,000 years ago.
Now in phase 3 of the project, the international team of scientists have expanded their studies to include early human and hominid migrations and lifestyles in mainland Europe.
A number of researchers from the Natural History Museum are involved, including Chris Stringer, human origins expert and AHOB director.
A jawbone from Kent's Cavern in Devon, UK, has revealed that modern humans were living in northwestern Europe between 41,000 and 44,000 years ago. The research suggests early modern humans dispersed across Europe quicker than previously thought.
Three cups made out of 14,700-year-old human skulls and discovered in Gough's Cave, Somerset, provide the first evidence of human skull-cup manufacture in the UK. They would have been used by ice age Britons.
Ancient humans lived in Britain more than 800,000 years ago Museum scientists report.
Gough's cave was one of the first places humans returned to in Britain after last ice age.
Human ancestors have tried to live in Britain many times and failed because of rising sea levels and ice-age conditions. Only the eighth attempt, around 12,000 years ago was successful, resulting in the population we see today.
Professor Chris Stringer's book explores the evidence and science that revealed the first Britons, through the work of the Ancient Human Occupation of Britain Project (AHOB).
Homo britannicus won best archaeological book 2008 at the British Archaeological Awards.