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Neanderthal site attracts Canadian broadcaster

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CANADIAN national broadcaster CBC has visited the Island – filming at La Cotte de St Brelade for a new programme about Neanderthal man.

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The Jersey site, widely regarded as one of the most important Ice Age settlements in Europe, is one of a number of European locations to be featured in a documentary for the award-winning The Nature of Things series, which has run on Canadian national television for almost 60 years.

Jersey Heritage Director Jon Carter said that the programme-makers had filmed on site with Dr Matt Pope from University College London and Dr Penny Spikins of the University of York. The two UK academics are currently involved in research at La Cotte, which forms part of Jersey Heritage’s Ice Age Jersey brand.

‘From our point of view it’s an example of the reach of heritage stories in terms of promoting the international identity of Jersey as part of a wider European story of interest to global audiences,’ Mr Carter said.

He added that CBC were also travelling to Normandy to visit the site at Le Rozel near Dielette, where hundreds of footprints thought to be more than 80,000 years old have been discovered.

Research on La Cotte suggests an even longer time frame, with Neanderthal activity plotted over a period of around 190,000 years. Dr Pope has described the site as ‘probably the most important Neanderthal site in northern Europe [which] could be one of the last-known places that Neanderthals survived in the region’.

Last year Jersey Heritage completed a lease on the La Cotte site from owners the Société Jersiaise to permit emergency work to be undertaken to safeguard the headland against further sea erosion and allow academics back to the area to pursue further research.

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