INTERGLACIAL DEPOSITS AT TRAFALGAR SQUARE, LONDON

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  • (With Plate 6 and 3 figures in the text)

Summary

Fossiliferous gravels were discovered during recent building operations on the south side of Trafalgar Square. At a later date organic deposits were exposed and an investigation of their plant remains was undertaken by the writer.

A similar organic deposit had previously been described from the site of the Admiralty Offices (Abbott, 1892). In that work the following plants were recorded: Amblystegium ripanum Schimp., Hypninn stramineum Dicks., H. fluitans Hedw., Potamogeton sp., Lemna cf. polyrhiza, Ceratophyllum demersnm L., Polygonum sp., Rumex sp., Carex sp., Scirpus sp., and Betula nana L. With the exception of B. nana all the vascular plants recorded above have been also recognized in the present study. It seems probable that the record of B. nana was due to mis-identification, since the general aspect of the flora is not one of cold or open conditions.

The mammalian and molluscan remains from the present site have been studied by Dr. A. J. Sutcliffe and Mr. M. P. Kerney and will be published in detail later. The list of mammals forms an interesting counterpart to the plant determinations and is as follows: Panthera spelaea (Goldfuss), cave lion; Rhinoceros sp. indet., rhinoceros; Palaeoloxodon antiquas (Falconer), straight-tusked elephant; Bos primigenius Bojanus, wild ox; Hippopotamus amphibius Linn., hippopotamus; Cervus elephas Linn., red deer; Dama cf. dama (Linn.), fallow deer. In addition a coprolite suggests that hyaenas may have been present and remains of bears not represented at this site have been found on two previous occasions during nearby excavations in other parts of the same terrace.

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