Discovered by Disaster: 6 Astounding Archaeological Finds from Environmental Change

The Historic England Blog

Those of us working with the past can occasionally be viewed as stuck in it, not wanting things to change, but actually for archaeologists change is our bread and butter. We are obsessed with how, and why, people and their places have changed through time. Sometimes dramatic changes in the environment can lead to particularly exciting discoveries.

Here are 6 of the best archaeological discoveries as a result of environmental change:

Written by Hannah Fluck, Historic Environment Intelligence Officer, Historic England.

1. The Oldest Archaeology in Britain, East Anglia

Happisburgh Beach © Martin Bates. Ancient footprints exposed on Happisburgh beach.

For many years the East Anglian coastline has been subject to erosion. Since 2000, two locations have become famous for archaeological discoveries that pushed the known human occupation of Britain back by several hundred thousand years. These discoveries were made possible by the coastal erosion that is also destroying the sites almost as…

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