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Rediscovery of fossils from the middle gravels and lower loam at Barnfield Pit, Swanscombe, Kent (UK)

Key, Alastair, Deter, Chris, Muthana, Angela, Dolding-Smith, Jessica, McFarlane, Gina, Mahoney, Patrick (2020) Rediscovery of fossils from the middle gravels and lower loam at Barnfield Pit, Swanscombe, Kent (UK). Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports, 34 (Part B). Article Number 102668. E-ISSN 2352-409X. (doi:10.1016/j.jasrep.2020.102668) (Access to this publication is currently restricted. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided) (KAR id:84303)

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Swanscombe is the most important early human fossil site in the UK, and one of the richest locations for Middle Pleistocene fauna. Famed for three 400,000-year-old hominin skull fragments recovered from Barnfield Pit between 1935 and 1955, the site is now legally protected and has not seen substantial excavation for decades. New fossil material from Swanscombe is fleetingly rare. Here we report the rediscovery of a collection of fossils recovered from Barnfield Pit between 1951 and 1955 by John Carreck. The ‘Carreck Collection’ includes multiple mammalian fossils from the hominin fossil and artefact-bearing Middle Gravels and Lower Loam. Detailed notes contained in the collection reveal that most were recovered prior to John Wymer’s discovery of the third hominin skull fragment on the 30th of July 1955. Several, however, were collected in the months immediately after this, including at least two fossils recovered from the ‘New Skull Site’ on the 3rd of August 1955. Given their provenance and the nature of their discovery, these fossils are of significance to the history of British human origins research. Only a portion of the Carreck Collection, however, is currently accounted for. There is potential, therefore, for other fossils from Barnfield Pit to be rediscovered, including those with significance to our understanding of human prehistory in the UK.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1016/j.jasrep.2020.102668
Uncontrolled keywords: Barnfield Pit; Middle Pleistocene; Faunal fossils; Museum collection; Lower Palaeolithic; Swanscombe skull
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation
Depositing User: Alastair Key
Date Deposited: 20 Nov 2020 11:52 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2021 14:16 UTC
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Key, Alastair:
McFarlane, Gina:
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