What is Deep History?

Deep History is a term increasingly used in place of the term pre-history; and has been coined to reflect the idea that in general the deeper you delve the older things are!

North Norfolk's Deep History Coast is the 22-mile stretch of coastline between Weybourne and Cart Gap which has revealed the most spectacular finds. Happisburgh is theoldest archaeological site in northern Europe and West Runton yielded the oldest and largest fossilised mammoth skeleton ever found in theUK.The exciting West Runton Mammoth find is the most studied of its kind and ongoing discoveries have also revealed the bones of rhinos, hyaenas, wolves and bears.

Finds along the Deep History Coast have provided the earliest evidence for human occupation so far discovered in northern Europe. They place early humans here in Norfolk some 350,000 years earlier than had been thought, at over 850,000 years ago. They also inform and provide a focus for the emerging story of Doggerland - an area of land, now lying beneath the southern North Sea, which connected Great Britain to mainland Europe during the last Ice Age.

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Explore North Norfolk’s Deep History Coast from Weybourne to Cart Gap with the DHC Explorer Augmented Reality (AR) app.

Discover the Deep History Coast

Imagine taking a journey back in time to a day when early humans roamed the land and encountered amazing megafauna as part of daily life. Well, you can experience exactly that along north Norfolk’s Deep History Coast.

When you explore the Deep History Coast, you will come across wonderful beaches between Weybourne and Cart Gap, ideal for fossil and artefact hunting. Follow the Discovery Trail with fact revealing Discovery Points along the way. Take a step back in time when you see a mammoth come to life and then stroll along Happisburgh beach where a flint handaxe was found and footprints were discovered of the first visitors who walked in Norfolk hundreds of thousands of years ago.

For water adventures, go rockpool rummaging and fossil finding at West Runton beach. Some of the creatures you may come across are really not much different from the creatures living here millions of years ago. And it's common to find a fossil along this stretch ranging from a belemnite to hyaena coprolites (fossilised dung!).

Good swimmers can snorkel to an underwater chalk reef between Sheringham and Cromer, dating back to a time when huge wild animals roamed the earth. You can even see how the ancient, now submerged, Doggerland could have looked through amazing technology while letting a Hominin family be your guide!

Explore the Deep History Coast

Explore the Deep History Coast along the Discovery Trail which follows the coastline from Weybourne to Cart Gap. Walk it all or pick a section and find out what the area was like thousands of years ago via eleven Discovery Points along the way. Along each route, you will discover something unique about north Norfolk's past. To dig a bit deeper into history, download the Deep History Coast App to follow the guided walks and meet a Hominin family and the animals they shared their life with. The App, triggered by the Discovery Points will bring the past back to life and let you see what the landscape would have looked like. The App will also provide information about facilities at each spot, including where to go to find a bite to eat.

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