The Top Five Human Evolution Discoveries From England
The London Olympics are a great excuse to talk about England’s hominid history. Current evidence suggests that hominids reached Great Britain by at least 800,000 years ago, when the island was connected to mainland Europe. Since then, as many as four different hominid species have lived there. Coming and going in response to climate change, hominids probably fled England during extreme cold times when glacial ice covered the area. Sometime between 450,000 and 200,000 years ago, catastrophic flooding of a glacial lake eroded the land bridge connecting Great Britain and Europe and changed the drainage patterns of the region’s rivers. As a consequence, during warm periods when polar ice sheets melted and sea levels rose, the land bridge was transformed into a channel. This barrier probably explains why hominids are absent from the fossil record 180,000 to 60,000 years ago. It wasn’t until 12,000 years ago that the ancestors of modern Brits finally arrived on the island and stayed for good.
With that mini-review in mind, here are five of England’s most important human evolution discoveries.