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Sea-level changes and Palaeolithic archaeology: Lost landscapes of La Manche

Calendar Tuesday, 12 March 2019
Calendar 18:30-19:30

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Speaker: Anne-Lyse Ravon (British Museum)

The 2018-2019 monthly Tuesday evening lectures in the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences will be held in the Wallace Lecture Theatre (0.13), Main Building, Cardiff University, Park Place, CF10 3AT. Lectures begin at 18.30. Booking is not needed. Should you require the QandA sessions to be in Welsh, please email at least two weeks before the event.

Current concerns on the effects of temperature increases on sea levels today have drawn attention to the recognition of past changes, the consideration of the processes involved and the consequences of such changes, all of which have resulted in predictions of impacts in the future. The lecture series will cover some of these issues.


During the Lower and Middle Palaeolithic, hominins came to settle in the Normano-Breton Gulf, notably on the shoreline of the Armorican peninsula (Brittany, France), and the Channel Island of Jersey. Intertidal capture points for Pleistocene sediments are therefore widespread around this area, and provide an important opportunity to harmonise the record of changing sea level throughout the region, as well as relating changing human behaviour to profound shifts in climate. Such contexts provide an exciting, new and accessible route into how Preneanderthals and Neanderthals were using the lost landscapes of La Manche. This work explores how these populations adapted to climatic constraints, questioning whether their lithic industries contain technological adaptations to environmental change and what this can tell us in combination with the palaeogeographical data.

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Wallace Lecture Theatre (0.13)
Main Building
Park Place
CF10 3AT

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When Sea Levels Change