British Museum / IceAgeIsland: Les Varines (Jersey) Excavation Survey


Excavation at Les Varines, an early human occupation site overlooking the south coast of Jersey, was initiated in 2009. Unpicking the history of the site is somewhat complicated due to its complex stratigraphy which has resulted from movement and re-deposition of the soil over time. The 2013 – 2015 field seasons at Les Varines were directed by Dr Ed Blinkhorn who invited Sarah to model the excavation over the course of fieldwork as a way to not only record the site at various phases but also as a means of studying its complex depositional history.

Using a photogrammetric recording approach, she has been able to produce various models over the course of excavation at Les Varines. As the following video illustrates, excavations efforts were considerably ramped up from 2013 (one 2m x 3m trench )  to 2014 (five 2m x 2m trenches).

In 2015 , the team’s hard work over the past few years paid off and the field season proved very exciting.  Of note, a fragment of engraved stone, estimated to be at least 14,000 years old was discovered and has been covered recently in the news (BBC link).  Sarah recorded the engraving using various techniques and a video link to that work can be found below…

Additionally, Sarah’s aerial (drone-based) imaging was incorporated into the recording strategy at Les Varines as well as used to capture some of the work at site.


The team is now in the process of combining the models with excavation and geological survey data in order to better understand the complex depositional processes at work at Les Varines.