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The discovery of the remains of ‚Boxgrove Man‘, a ‚Missing Link‘ hominid half a million years old in chalk pits in Sussex made world headlines in May 1994. This was the most sensational archeological find in the UK since Piltdown Man – only this time it was not a hoax. Continuing excavation by site archeologist Mark Roberts has enabled him and his team to build up a picture of this, the first Englishman, and to open up a unique window on life in Britain before the Ice Age. Because these human remains, the artefacts surrounding them and the remains of the local flora and fauna – including elephants and rhinoceroses of an extinct species – are preserved in an unprecedented way, we now discover how our ancestors hunted, ate, manufactured the implements they needed to survive and interacted; these were neither the opportunist scavengers nor the mindless killers that they have previously been supposed to be. Boxgrove, therefore, represents a revolutionary view of the origins of mankind, and changes our understanding of what it means to be human.

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