Rule, Britannia, Britannia Rules the…"Earliest Modern Human in Europe" Sweepstakes?

Kent’s Cavern maxilla fragment (reconstruction and photo from Higham et al. 2011).

Poor ol’ Blighty. She’s been invaded again and again and again by continentals. And now, it appears, She was invaded very early on in the modern human takeover of the world. We’ve known for years that the earliest modern human artifacts, those known as Aurignacian in Europe and elsewhere, were on the order of 40 kyr old, and there exist a small number of human remains that are dated to that time. But now, in the waning light of the sun setting on the British Empire comes the news that England was the destination of choice for folks like us at least 41,500 and at most 44,200 years ago. And not just England, but Kent’s Cavern, near Torquay (Devonshire), which even today enjoys a robust summer tourist business. Vengeance is sweet! [pumps fist in air, triumphant, like]

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