In 2011, Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) scientists found preserved geological deposits in a cave on the island of Jersey, located off the coast of Normandy, France. The site, which houses sediments that date back to the last Ice Age, contains the only known late Neanderthal remains in northwestern Europe.
"We were sure from the outset that the deposits held some archaeological potential, but these dates indicate we have uncovered something exceptional," Dr. Matt Pope of the Institute of Archaeology at University College London, who helped lead the research, said in a statement. "We have a sequence of deposits which span the last 120,000 years still preserved at the site. Crucially, this covers the period in which Neanderthal populations apparently went 'extinct.'"