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Upper Palaeolithic
40000 - 10000/8500 BC

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Gazetteer of Upper Palaeolithic sites on Thanet

The sites :

Chalk Hill

Gazetteer of Upper Palaeolithic sites on Thanet

A Lascaux cave painting of a cow jumping over Shetland ponies - a popular spectator sport

A wonderful cave painting from Lascaux, France
Copyright unknown

In addition to the current lack of any known Middle Palaeolithic (Neanderthal-period) finds from the Isle, evidence for activity in the Upper Palaeolithic period is also elusive.

At the moment there are only two sites which have been put forward as producing  evidence for Upper Palaeolithic occupation (map forthcoming).

Both are based on the recovery of a small number of flint tools; two to be precise! It is not known whether they have been positively identified yet.

The sites
Chilton and Pegwell Bay, Ramsgate

(I) Chalk Hill, Chilton 1997/98.
Excavation by Canterbury Archaeological Trust (1997/98).

Work on the Ramsgate Harbour access road revealed the buried deposits of an old stream gully. One flint flake was recovered from this context and was thought to be potentially of Upper Palaeolithic date.
The final report on this important Thanet site is eagerly anticipated.

NGR 636282 164447 (approximate).

Shand 2002.
The fields around Columbus Avenue, Manston.

(II) Columbus Avenue, Manston 2003.
Evaluation by Canterbury Archaeological Trust (2003).

This site lies immediately north-west of the Loop and 100m east of the Cummings Ltd factory. Evaluation work in this area revealed Iron Age post-holes, 18 struck flints and 3 flint artefacts.

One of these flint artefacts was a core which was thought to be of Upper Palaeolithic date.

It is also thought that a subsoil deposit which exists in this area may represent a preserved landsurface dating to this period.

NGR TR 3154 6673.

TSMR 689.

Allen and Green 2003.

New archaeological work in the vicinity conducted by the Museum of London Archaeological Services (MOLAS) and Swale and Thames Archaeology (SWAT) has recently been noted.  We look forward to finding out about their results and discovering if they have uncovered any more evidence of Upper Palaeolithic activity.


TSMR - Thanet Sites and Monuments Record.


Allen T.L.  and Green C. 2003. An Assessment of Archaeological works on land north-west of 'The Loop', Manston, Isle of Thanet, Kent. Canterbury Archaeological Trust report.

Shand G. 2002. Excavation at Chalk Hill, near Ramsgate 1997-98' CAT, Integrated assessment and updated research design report. Canterbury Archaeological Trust report.
Lascaux deer

A dear painting from Lascaux, France

Copyright unknown

The text is the responsibility of the author; the photographs are by the author except for those of the two cave paintings. The copyright details of the two photographs of the cave paintings are unknown at present.

Paul Hart

Version 1 - Posted 07.04.06
Version 2 - Posted 21.10.06
Version 3 - Posted 16.12.06

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