Product has been added to the basket

Ice Age Mammals and the Ancient Human Occupation of Britain

Over the last half a million years, Britain has experienced some of the most extreme variations in climate and environment ever witnessed in Earth's history. Approximately every 100 000 years, the climate has swung dramatically from periods of intense cold, when large parts of the northern hemisphere were covered with glaciers and tundra vegetation, to times when temperatures were warmer than today and hippos wallowed in England's rivers. As well as acting as the driving force behind evolutionary change, migration and extinction events in the contemporary fauna, these climatic changes had a profound effect on ancient human populations in terms of their ability to hunt, obtain raw materials for tool making and to compete with other animals (particularly large carnivores) for food and shelter. The lecture will present the current evidence for the ebb and flow of early humans in Britain during the Ice Age, focussing particularly on what fossil mammals can tell us about the number and nature of past climatic events and early human subsistence behaviour.


Danielle Schreve (Royal Holloway, University of London)


Danielle Schreve is a Reader in the Department of Geography at Royal Holloway, University of London. After a BSc in archaeology at UCL, she completed a PhD in Quaternary vertebrate palaeontology (also at UCL), before undertaking postdoctoral research at Durham University and then at Royal Holloway, the latter as a Royal Society research fellow. Her research focusses on the use of fossil mammals from the last two million years to reconstruct past environments, to date Pleistocene sites by examining patterns of evolution, dispersal and extinction, and to understand patterns of early human subsistence behaviour. Danielle is the current President of the Geologists' Association and is a core member of the Ancient Human Occupation of Britain project, a major 8 year collaborative programme between archaeologists, geologists and palaeontologists, funded by the Leverhulme Trust. She is a member of INQUA's Commission on Palaeoecology and Human Evolution and served on the executive committee of the Quaternary Research Association from 2000-6. She is also an active fieldworker, directing excavations in the Mendip caves and the Thames valley and participating in other projects ranging from Turkey to Botswana.