Encyclopedia of Geoarchaeology

2017 Edition
| Editors: Allan S. Gilbert


  • Tom S. WhiteEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-4409-0_109


Swanscombe is an internationally famous Middle Pleistocene locality in the Lower Thames Valley, UK. It is dated to the Hoxnian Interglacial of Britain, which corresponds in time to the Holsteinian Interglacial of northern Europe and the Mindel-Riss Interglacial of the Alpine ice age chronology, with a date within Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 11 (424–374 ka). The various Swanscombe sites have yielded rich archaeological and paleontological assemblages, and it remains a flagship site for NW European Quaternary studies after over a century of research.


The sand and gravel pits in the vicinity of Swanscombe, Kent, have been the subject of geoarchaeological research since the nineteenth century. The Swanscombe quarries (Figure 1), many of which were subsequently deepened and obliterated as a result of chalk extraction for the cement industry, revealed a complex of gravels, sands, and silts (loams). These strata form part of the Boyn Hill terrace of the River Thames,...
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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Research Laboratory for Archaeology and the History of ArtUniversity of OxfordOxfordUK