Ice Age Island, a project which plans to uncover the archaeological significance of Jersey’s Ice Age past will launch this Sunday 30th June, with a team of Ice Age experts and archaeology students commencing research at a series of important archaeological sites on the Island. Visitors will be able to visit the team in action, handle real Ice Age objects, witness any discoveries and learn more about the Island’s Ice Age past as a dedicated pop-up museum follows the team to four locations throughout July.
Jersey Heritage, working in partnership with La Société Jersiase and the National Trust for Jersey, is co-ordinating the research, which forms part of a three-year archaeological project. Funded by the Tourism Development Fund (TDF), the project will further explore Jersey’s unique heritage stretching back over a quarter of a million years.
Initial project fieldwork and research has already uncovered hunting sites and submerged Ice Age landscapes, ranging from the earliest occupation by Neanderthals over 250,000 years ago to the arrival of the first modern humans. To date, there have already been significant finds which have received extensive national television and media coverage, including ‘Digging for Britain’ and ‘Ice Age Giants’. It is anticipated, however, that there are more artefacts and evidence of ancient human occupation still waiting to be discovered across Jersey. The team undertaking the study will include Dr Matt Pope, Senior Research Fellow of the Institute of Archaeology at University College London, and colleagues from a number of UK institutions including the British Museum.
The Ice Age Island pop-up museum which will follow the team to each location is being brought to life with the artwork of Year 10 Hautlieu art students. The pop-up museum will also feature Living History demonstrations designed to illustrate what life was like in prehistoric times, the skills needed to survive and the significance of the archaeological finds being discovered across the Island.
ICE AGE ISLAND DISCOVERIES |Pop Up Museum | 30 June to 26 July |10am to 4pm
WEEK 1: 30 JUNE – 5 JULY: Petit Portelet, St Martin – (Castle Green)
WEEK 2: 7 – 12 JULY: Les Varines, St Saviour
WEEK 3: 14 – 19 JULY: La Cotte Point / Portelet Common (headland), St Brelade
WEEK 4: 21 – 26 JULY: Col de la Rocque, St Mary
Map references to each location and a park-and-ride bus service will be available from La Hougue Bie Museum, where visitors will also find the Treasures of the Island Exhibition which looks into the recent Ice Age findings at La Cotte de St Brelade.
Dr Matt Pope, commented: “We have only begun to scratch the surface of Jersey’s rich record of Ice Age hunters, climate change and extinct mammals such as the mammoth. The Ice Age Island project is expected not only to uncover insight into the Island’s colourful Ice Age past, but into human evolution, with significant findings relevant across Europe and the wider world. It is thanks to the kind support of the TDF and our partners Jersey Heritage, the National Trust for Jersey and the Société Jersiaise, that this ground-breaking knowledge can be discovered.’
Jersey Heritage will be facilitating the exploration and interpretation of this project, the results of which will have global resonance. They are working with Jersey Tourism to transform the archaeological discoveries into a tourism and educational resource, including dedicated Ice Age Walking Trails around the Island, an Ice Age Walking Guide, virtual tours and an Ice Age Island website which are all set to launch next month.