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52.82, 1.53
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Time periods:
Calabrian, Pleistocene

Happisburgh became a site of national archaeological importance in 2010 when flint tools over 800,000 years old were unearthed. This is the oldest evidence of human occupation anywhere in the UK. In May 2013, a series of early human footprints were discovered on the beach at the site, providing direct evidence of early human activity at the site.

In 2010, Simon Parfitt and colleagues from University College London discovered flint tools near Happisburgh. The tools were dated to "somewhere between 866,000 to 814,000 years ago or 970,000 to 936,000 years ago", around 100,000 years earlier than the finds at Pakefield. The flints were probably left by hunter-gatherers of the human species Homo antecessor who inhabited the flood plains and marshlands that bordered an ancient course of the river Thames. The flints were then washed downriver and came to rest at the Happisburgh site.

In May 2013, the Happisburgh footprints, the oldest human footprints found outside of Africa, being more than 800,000 years old, were reported to have been discovered on the beach.


Age MinAge Max
Happisburgh's Footprints