08 March 2013
Jersey Heritage has been awarded a £199,000 grant by the Tourism Development Fund (TDF) to finance an archaeological project that will further explore Jersey’s unique history stretching back over a quarter of a million years.
The grant funding will support the Quaternary Archaeology and Environments of Jersey Project, a team of UK archaeologists and academics which has been working in Jersey for the past three years.
The project is putting Jersey firmly on the historical map globally and has the potential for the Island to become one of the most significant cultural heritage destinations in Europe.
Ice Age research
The grant will enable the continuation of fieldwork and research that has already uncovered hunting sites and submerged Ice Age landscapes, ranging from the earliest occupation by Neanderthals more than 250,000 years ago, to the arrival of the first modern humans.
There have already been significant finds and it is anticipated that more artefacts and evidence of ancient human occupations have yet to be discovered across Jersey.
The Chairman of the Tourism Development Panel, Peter Funk, said "The Tourism Development Fund is delighted to support this very special project. There is a huge level of interest in archaeological discovery and Jersey has a unique story to tell, which we believe will be an integral part of Jersey’s tourism offering in the years to come.”
Jersey Heritage, working in partnership with Société Jersiase and the National Trust for Jersey, will be facilitating the interpretation of this project, the results of which will have resonance globally. They will be working to transform the archaeological discoveries into a tourism and educational resource.
The Director of Jersey Heritage, Jon Carter, said “Over the past three years we have identified a number of Ice Age locations in Jersey, adding to the knowledge we had already gained from La Cotte de St Brelade, which is one of the most important sites in the world.
"We are heartened that the Tourism Development Fund has seen both the value of continuing this work and supporting the role of Jersey Heritage as a custodian and promoter of the Island’s culture and heritage.”
'Digging for Britain'
The team undertaking the study comprises Dr Matt Pope, Senior Research Fellow of the Institute of Archaeology at University College London, and colleagues from a number of UK institutions including the British Museum. Their work in Jersey has already received extensive national television and media coverage, including ‘Digging for Britain’.
Dr Pope said "We have only begun to scratch the surface of Jersey’s rich record of Ice Age hunters, climate change and extinct mammals, like the mammoth.
"Jersey has a story to tell about human evolution relavent across Europe and the wider world. This funding will help to take the story of Jersey’s stunning coastal and deeply buried past to a new audience.”
Tourism Development Fund
The project has been made possible by £170,000 of UK-funded research, including grants from the National Environmental Research Council and the Leverhulme-funded Ancient Human Occupation of Britain Project.
The Tourism Development Fund is now open for the Spring 2013 application round, with a closing date for applications of 5 April 2013.