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In a Nutshell

From ice ages to invasions, the story of the British is as rich and diverse as the people themselves...

THE BRITISH

SEEING THE WORLD With many choosing to emigrate, including those on this ship bound for Australia, the British can be found across the world
BRIDGEMAN IMAGES X1, GETTY X4, ISTOCK X1

When did people first arrive in Britain?

For some 900,000 years, humans may have been living in Britain, although these were not Homo sapiens. It wasn’t until 40,000 years ago that the first modern humans made Britain their home. When a major ice age made Britain uninhabitable around 25,000 to 15,000 years ago, many inhabitants were forced to leave. They returned after temperatures improved, only for another ice age to hit at some point around 11,000 BC.

This lasted for one-and-a-half millennia and it is possible a few people managed to cling on during this time, adapting to the cold conditions. Once the climate became more hospitable, migrants began to arrive once again and have done so ever since.

Where did these firstBritons come from?

Until about 6,000 BC, there was still a land bridge from Britain to Europe. Even so, it seems that many migrants arrived by sea. The evidence is not conclusive, but it is thought that, after 10,000 BC, a

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The September 2015 issue of History Revealed