What is Deep History?

Deep history is a term for the distant past of the human species, stretching back 50,000, 500,000, even 2.6 million years to the earliest humans.  Towards the end of the 20th century a number of significant archaeological finds were made on the North Norfolk Coast.  These finds provide the earliest evidence for human occupation so far discovered in northern Europe and have led scientists to refer to this stretch of shoreline as the Deep History Coast. The finds also inform and shine a light on the emerging story of Doggerland and the animals that lived there. The exciting West Runton Mammoth find is the best-preserved elephant of its kind and on-going excavations have also revealed the bones of rhinos, hyenas, wolves and bears.

The Deep History Coast Initiative

The Deep History Coast initiative is a series of projects being run jointly between Norfolk Museums Service, North Norfolk District Council and Visit Norfolk looking at ways to promote and attract people to Norfolk to explore our beautiful coastline and find out about its ancient past.

The aim is to make the most of the fascinating history of our coast and significant finds such as the West Runton Mammoth, the Happisburgh Handaxe and the footprints of ancient hominins found at Happisburgh.

As well as providing great new facilities and educational resources for local individuals and groups, the hope is to use this initiative to extend the benefits of tourism along the coast, to extend the season and to promote the area to new audiences, in order to increase the value of the local economy.  

The Deep History Coast "Living Landscape Museum" Project

The Deep History Coast Project Team is currently applying for funding from a variety of sources to develop a range of displays, interactive material and events along our coastline from Weybourne to Cart Gap (North Norfolk's Deep History Coast designated area) to enable people to understand more about the ancient archaeology, history and biodiversity of the coast. The project aims to make sure that these appeal to people of all ages and provides opportunities for tourists and local people to learn about, explore and enjoy the surroundings. We also want this project to enable people, organisations and businesses to make the most of the publicity and marketing that this project will create and come up with their own events or opportunities. 

Coastal Photography by Chris Taylor

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