Jersey Museum & Art Gallery - Merchant's House
This amazing Island holds clues to what the world was like hundreds of thousands of years ago. The Jersey landscape was shaped by immense forces - extreme cold and the power of the waves.
For the last three years, archaeologists have taken a fresh look at this remarkable place through the Ice Age Island project. Using the traces people and animals left behind, they are using new techniques and undertaking new fieldwork to explore the now-submerged landscapes of the Channel River. Find out more about this project.
This exhibition leads you on a journey through the ancient, submerged landscapes of the Channel Islands, Southern England and Brittany. Explore how these landscapes changed with massive swings in climate: during cold periods, Jersey overlooked a massive river system, along which animals and people moved between east and west, but when it was warm, was an Island, like today. Learn how this landscape was created through catastrophic flooding almost half a million years ago.
The internationally-important site of La Cotte de St.Brelade in Jersey is brought into particular focus. Around 200,000 years ago, La Cotte de St.Brelade was an important place to early Neanderthals, providing shelter and a viewpoint from which to monitor animals moving around the landscape – reindeer, mammoth, woolly rhino and horse. Meet the Neanderthals who lived there, and explore what a Neanderthal home might have been. Learn how Neanderthals made a living – what animals did they hunt, how did they make their tools, and how did they survive in the changing climate of Ice Age Europe?
Moved forward in time to 14,500 years ago and explore the spectacular new Upper Palaeolithic site of Les Varines, in Jersey – the largest site of this date in the British Isles. Over 5,000 tools have been meticulously excavated from here by the Ice Age Island team, and exciting new finds made just this summer will be on display for the first time.
The exhibition brings together spectacular remains of Ice Age animals, on loan from the Natural History Museum, and iconic pieces of Ice Age Art borrowed from the British Museum, together with astonishing examples of the tools our ancestors made. Learn about the people who made them, through touching replicas of the skulls of our extinct relatives, and placing your foot within footprints made by early humans almost one million years ago. Come face to face with a full size model of a Neanderthal hunter, and ask yourself, could you have survived the Ice Age?
The exhibition draws on the latest technological research and brings us closer than ever before to our ancient cousins.
Sponsored by Capco Trust.
Read more about the Research Team here.
Read more about the Funding here.