Prehistoric Human Skull found on the Isle of Man

The Isle of Man lies approximately 60 miles off the Lancashire coast in the middle of the Irish sea between England and Ireland.  This island, renowned for its pleasant scenery, easy going pace of life and annual motorcycle races has been inhabited by people for many thousands of years.  Now evidence of some of the earliest settlers have been uncovered during work to extend the island’s runway.

The island’s, airport is based at Ronaldsway, in the southern part of the Isle of Man, work to develop the runway has uncovered evidence of Neolithic settlement, including a Stone Age rubbish dump, stone cairns erected over the top of commemoration pyres, flint tools, ancient pottery and of course the human remains.  The finds have been dated to about 3,000 B.C.  The Neolithic, sometimes referred to as the “New Stone Age” marks the period in human history when sedentary farming became established along with the domestication of a number of animals.  This stage in human development began around 10,000  years ago and ended when stone tools began to be replaced by the first metal tools (bronze).  There is evidence of older settlements on the Isle of Man (Mesolithic) but archaeologists working on the site have described the finds as being of national and possibly European significance.

A Team of Archaeologists at the Ronaldsway Site

Picture Credit: IOM

The Isle of Man has been settled by many different peoples over its long history, this new site was discovered within a 60 metre stretch of land being developed to provide more taxiways for the busy airport.  A spokesperson for Ronaldsway airport commented that the archaeologist’s excavations would not delay the improvement work to the airport and that the development work was still on schedule for completion in the winter of 2009.

There are a number of important Stone Age sites within the United Kingdom, indeed there is also evidence of Neanderthal and Homo heidelbergensis  settlement and activity in this country.  The oldest hominid habitation has been found in southern England (W. Sussex) and this dates to around 500,000 years ago.

To read more about ancient hunters in the United Kingdom, potentially Neanderthals: Evidence of Neanderthals discovered near Pulborough

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