The Boxgrove Project excavations were undertaken within a group of gravel and sand extraction quarries in the county of West Sussex, UK. Within these quarries up to 95 individual locations were investigated through direct excavation. Most of these investigations comprised small geological test pits (GTP’s) but where significant archaeology was encountered excavations were opened up to cover wider areas. These included:
GTP17 (The Horse Butchery Site): Artefacts and faunal assemblage relating to a single episode of horse butchery. The archaeology here related to a short time period, conceived of as spanning only hours. During this period a group of hominins manufactured and modified bifacial tools (handaxes) and systematically processed the carcass of a large horse. Pathology on a shoulder blade from the horse is consistent with impact from a sharp wooden weapon (spear). This evidence, alongside the short, controlled, primary butchery signature, has been interpreted as likely to relate to hunting of the horse.
Q1/B (aka The Waterhole Site, The Hominin Locality): Large area excavations from 1993-1996 revealed a sedimentary sequence dominated by spring fed pool deposits. The pools sat within a relatively open grassland environment at the end of the MIS13 interglacial. The unique environmental conditions of the pool seems to have acted as a focus for hominin activity. The deposits contained an extremely dense concentration of flint artefacts with high number of large bifacial cutting tools (handaxes). The handaxes were found in an exceptionally fresh condition alongside well preserved mammal bones and teeth, many exhibiting the traces of cut marks from butchery. Q1/B was the only Boxgrove site to produce hominin remains. In 1993 a tibia was found and in 1995 two hominin incisors were recovered from the deposits at the site.