Norfolk has a surprisingly rich history, which is proven by the fossils and treasures discovered in recent years. Read on to find out more...
850,000-year-old human footprints
The tidal surge of 2013 uncovered something very unexpected at Happisburgh - human footprints dating back to 850,000 years. This makes them the oldest evidence of human activity outside of Africa. You can’t see them now, but impressions which have been on display at the British Museum.
The most complete skeleton of a Mammoth was first discovered at West Runton in December 1990, and the full evacuation finished in 1995. The mammoth would have lived in Norfolk more than 6-700,000 years, and would have weighed around ten tons! The skeleton is houses in special storage at the Gressenhall Workhouse Museum.
Stick and stones (and bones)
At the same site as the mammoth find at West Runton is a freshwater bed – a five-foot-deep riverbed deposited from a river more than 600,000 years ago. So older than the Ice Ages! Here, as well as at other beaches throughout Norfolk, people have discovered fossils, sabre tooth cat remains, hyena droppings, wild boar skulls and ancient flint tools including the 700,000 flint Happisburgh hand axe. What will you find?
The leader of the Iceni tribe, this British heroine is celebrated with a statue on Westminster Bridge opposite Big Ben. Iceni finds have been unearthed throughout the county, including a significant discovery at Snettisham – often referred to as the country’s greatest Iron Age find. The treasures included the ‘Marriage Torc’, ten gold torques, nine silver and bronze torques, bronze bracelets, metal ingots and coins. These, and other Iceni finds, can be seen at the Norwich Castle Museum. We definitely recommend a visit.
Sisters to Stonehenge, in the late 20th century, two pre-historic timber circles were discovered on Holme beach. Dating back more than 4,000 years to the early Bronze Age, they are currently undergoing careful restoration work, and will finally be displayed at the Lynn Museum in Kings Lynn. However, visit now and you will see a life-size replica.