18th November 2022

Pupils at a Gloucestershire primary school had a mammoth blast from the past today when they were visited by the experts behind one of the most significant British archaeological discoveries in decades.

Children at Down Ampney Church of England Primary School followed in the footsteps of David Attenborough by learning all about the remains of five mammoths direct from the husband and wife team who uncovered them.

As well as hearing from Sally and Dr Neville Hollingworth about the incredible discovery – which was the basis for the BBC documentary “Attenborough and the Mammoth Graveyard” – the pupils also had the chance to view some of the finds for themselves.

The ancient treasures were unearthed in the silt and gravel of a quarry in the Cotswold Water Park, Gloucestershire – just a few miles from the school – operated by Swindon firm Hills Group, and representatives of the company also joined the visit to the school.

Down Ampney Headteacher, Rebecca Gray said: “We are so grateful to Sally and Neville for coming to share their amazing story and discoveries with us. The pupils have been learning all about fossils over the last term and were hugely excited to get the chance to actually see some real-life mammoth bones for themselves.” 

“Sally and Neville, with the support of Hills, brought the whole subject to life for the children and this might even inspire some of them to go on and be future David Attenboroughs.”

The remains of the five Steppe mammoths – ancestors of ‘woolly mammoths’ – were discovered in 2017, along with a flint hand axe, which is evidence of early humans dating back more than 200 millennia. 


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