Archaeologists surveying former Ice Age site in Jersey

Credit: Melissa Rodrigues Photography

A team of archaeologists are visiting Jersey this week to survey a former Ice Age site.

They are working at Violet Bank, which is near Seymour Tower off the east coast, and hope to learn more about early human behaviour in the island.

The work will take place beneath the water and look at the conditions on Jersey's seabed.

The survey was expected to take place in 2020, but was delayed due to the pandemic.

Dr Paul Chambers at Violet Bank, near Seymour Tower, in Jersey. Credit: Melissa Rodrigues Photography

It is also hoped that more information will be gleaned on the ancient environment and the past consequences of climate change in the area. The hope is the project will help uncover how people used the landscape before it was consumed by the sea approximately 6,000 years ago. Dr Matt Pope from University College London said "After a temporary delay to the Violet Bank survey due to the pandemic, we are excited to get to work and find out more about this starkly beautiful and scientifically important landscape.

"We know there is a record of Neanderthal archaeology and extinct fauna, such as mammoth, out there waiting to be discovered and documented.

"This week's survey is about establishing how we can explore the seabed in the short tidal windows available and the first stage in specialist recording to map any Ice Age deposits and understand what potential they hold. If we are lucky enough to discover any artefacts on this trip, they will be recorded and handed over to Jersey Heritage to curate."

Millie Butel from Jersey Heritage is joining the project and notes that "This ambitious survey is the type of work that demonstrates the importance of Jersey's geo-heritage and the huge part it plays in the Island's story and explaining how it has been shaped by tide and time.

"La Cotte de St Brelade has already established Jersey on the international map and we can't wait to see what this new research reveals about the Island."