Who Were the First Brightwellians?
And who were these people who left behind their hand axes as they hunted hereabouts? If we assume that Brightwell was no different from other areas where remains have been found we learn that the first to arrive, some 500,000 years ago, was Homo heidelbergensis; easily spotted in a check-out queue at Waitrose by a strongly sloping forehead, heavy brow ridges above his eyes and a massive jaw. He was followed some 200,000 years later by Homo neanderthalis. (Neanderthal man) looking somewhat similar but with a bigger cranium, bigger also than ours - although he was disinclined to use the brain therein, and he gave way in the late Palaeolithic period (~50,000 years ago) to Homo sapiens.
And what are we to learn from this? Perhaps it is that we should be thankful that mutations have given us an improved brain capacity over our hunter-gatherer ancestors, but this must not be squandered by our finding new ways to pollute the land for we, like the hunter-gatherers, are simply passing through.