Neanderthal Camp Unearthed at Princess Diana's Estate

At Althorp House, the stately home on the late Princess Diana’s family estate northwest of central London, excavations have led archaeologists to suspect that its known history may be predated by some tens of thousands of years! The archaeologists were hunting for the remains of an abandoned medieval village when they came across worked seashell pieces from a far older Neanderthal camp, dating back at least 40,000 years.
Pieces of worked seashell found at Althorp House, in Northamptonshire, England, were carbon dated and proven to be more than 40,000 years old. (Roger Michel / Institute for Digital Archaeology)
From Neanderthal Camp to Olletorp Village to Althorp House
The Telegraph reports archaeologists were hoping to find the site of the medieval village of Olletorp that had been abandoned following the devastating medieval plague, the Black Death , in the 14th century. They were following the hunch of the late Earl of Spencer, Lady Diana’s father, who believed it to lie 1000 yards (914 meters) west of Althorp House, the imposing Spencer home built in 1688.
Records of Olletorp appear in the Domesday Book , the manuscript of the “Great Survey” of much of England and parts of Wales ordered in 1086 by William I, also known as William the Conqueror. Olletorp had disappeared by the time Lady Diana’s wool baron ancestor bought the estate in 1508. It has been the Spencer family’s estate since then.
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