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Durham University

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Crayford Brickearths Project

A research project of the Department of Archaeology.


This project is re-examining key Quaternary deposits from the Crayford-Erith area of North Kent, where expansive spreads of brickearth were excavated at the turn of last century. The deposits are internationally renowned for the wealth of faunal and other environmental remains they produced, together with exceptional collections of refitting Levallois artefacts - the only such assemblages known from this period in Britain. Whilst the brickearths themselves form part of the Taplow-Mucking terrace of the Thames (MIS 8-7-6), comparatively little is known of the specific chronological and environmental context of the archaeological material.
This project seeks reconstruct the ancient landscape, and to obtain a date for human activity at the site, by extracting sediment cores from the Brickearths for environmental analyses and dating. The project team comprises Beccy Scott, Mark White, Andy Shaw and Tom White from the Department, together with Nick Ashton (BM), Simon Lewis (QM), Simon Parfitt (BMNH) and Roger Jacobi (BM) from AHOB II (Ancient Human Occupation of Britain in its European Context). The Crayford Brickearths Project is supported by a grant awarded by the Quaternary Research Fund of the Quaternary Research Association and AHOB II.


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