Earliest human settlements found in Northern Europe
The discovery has a huge importance because it changes the conception about the primate people. Up until this point it has been believed that the primitive people lived mostly in warmer areas, but the discovery proved that they were capable of living in colder areas as well. The world during those times was very different than the one we have now, in the sense that there were much more climate changes back then, then there are now. That was the time of the Pleistocene, the last ice age, which ended about 10,000 years ago. The tools were found in the flood plain, an area which would have contained enough food sources for the humans to be able to survive. The Northern European forests did not contain enough food and edible plants which would have made the survival of the humans possible. The scientists believe that the humans knew this fact, and that is the reason why they decided to move in the flood plains.
The main predators of those times were the saber-toothed tigers, scimitar-toothed ca, and the dirk-toothed cat. They preyed on animals such as the elk, red deer, and mammoth. The main task of the humans was to clean up the sources of food, after the hyenas finished with them. It wasn’t too much too consume, but it seems that it was enough for the humans to survive in the area. The scientists made an important discovery just above the area where they found the flints. They discovered fossilized feces, or coprolites, which came from the hyenas. This indicates that the area was full of grass during those times. It is impossible for the scientist to directly date the flints. They must analyze the layers of the materials which surrounded the flints. Early examinations suggest that the flints were created 780,000 to 990,000 years ago.
They found fossils of a certain type of beetle which apparently lived in the area only when the temperatures were high. Based on this information, the scientists were able to narrow the date even more. There were only two periods which had higher temperatures, and those two periods happened between the glacial advances which took place 950,000 and 840,000 years ago. If the predictions are correct, it means that the Happisburgh site is the oldest site which was occupied by the humans in that part of Europe. Richard G. Klein, a paleoanthropologist at Stanford University, is skeptical about the discovery. He does not believe that the humans were capable of living in the area, mainly because of the reduced temperatures.
He mentioned that the site should contain animal bones which should have marks on them. The marks would indicate that they have been hit by the humans with the tools which they have crafted. He also mentioned that giving the high level of erosion which took place in the area it will be very difficult for the scientists to find such remains. However if the findings prove to be true, and if the scientists can prove that humans lived there, that would mean that they found traces of archaic humans, whose ancestors left Africa about 1 million years before the apparition of the modern humans. Traces of archaic humans have been discovered in the Mediterranean area, where the temperatures are high, but no one has discovered clues about their presence in colder areas. Even so, the tools are a proof that humans used to live there, but the most important thing is to find out the exact period.11