The country was previously assumed to have been uninhabited during this period.
”I couldn’t believe my eyes when I received the test results,” said Dr Wenban-Smith.
”We know that Neanderthals inhabited Northern France at this time, but this new evidence suggests that as soon as sea levels dropped, and a ‘land bridge’ appeared across the English Channel, they made the journey by foot to Kent.”
Early pre-Neanderthals inhabited Britain before the last ice age, but were forced south by the severe cold about 200,000 years ago.
When the climate warmed up again between 130,000 and 110,000 years ago, they could not get back because, similar to today, the Channel sea-level was raised, blocking their path.
The new discovery, commissioned by Oxford Archaeology, showed they returned to Britain much earlier than 60,000 years ago, as previous evidence suggested.