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Early Devensian (MIS 5d–5b) occupation at Dartford, southeast England



A deeply buried horizon containing mint-condition flint artefacts was discovered in 2006 during archaeological investigations in advance of major roadworks near Dartford, Kent, in southeast England. The context of the artefacts and the freshness of their condition suggest this horizon represents a buried occupation surface. Optically stimulated luminescence dating places this horizon in the period Marine Isotope Stage 5d–5b, early in the British Devensian glaciation. This paper describes details of the artefacts, their context and dates, and outlines how this apparent occupation fits in with the wider pattern of Neanderthal settlement in Britain and northwest Europe in the later Pleistocene. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.