Les Varines is an Upper Palaeolithic site located towards the south coast of Jersey, near Bagatelle Farm, and has been the locus of our training excavation for the past four years. The archaeological deposits consist of a disturbed horizon containing flint tools that appears to have been moved post-depositionally from its original location. The tools are Upper Palaeolithic in morphology including crested blades, backed bladelets and core fragments. The site is particularly important as it is one of the only signatures of the Upper Palaeolithic found on the Channel Islands, the other a submerged deposit at Crevichon Beach on Jethou, Guernsey. Initial dates from the site have placed it in the Magdalenian period however as excavation continues focus is on establishing further dating. Currently the deposits are interpreted as a Late Glacial hunting camp where Magdalenian people perhaps took advantage of the vista across the wide sloping valley to hunt herds of migrating reindeer.
The site provides Ice Age Island with a public engagement platform where tourists and local people can visit a running archaeological excavation and take part in a site tour run by students and staff. In 2014 we were also able to host an exhibition of artwork from the nearby Hautlieu School with the theme ‘ice age’, which added an extra dimension to visiting the site.