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Elephants in Colchester

Down in the Roman vaults underneath Colchester's Roman castle, our tour guide told us that the natives of eastern Britain would have been astonished to see something so large as an elephant.

If only they had lived half a millennium million earlier! Inside the castle museum, a fascinating little sign told met that there was local evidence of human habitation 500,000 years earlier near Colchester, along with the then-native elephants and rhinoceroses. Britain, that island so well known for its rhinoceroses.

This particular elephant (no rhinoceros, although it was in the company of a lion and a hippo) was in the gardens just outside the castle. C and tamaranth and I paused to admire it, en route to meet up with ladymoonray's tour group.


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 28th, 2011 11:54 pm (UTC)
We used to have lions and tigers (of the marsupial variety). More reasons to avoid indiscriminate time travel.
Jun. 29th, 2011 06:16 am (UTC)
There's something a bit strange with the dates here... Half a millenium? 500,000?

Maybe split the difference - say, 50,000?
Jun. 29th, 2011 09:58 am (UTC)
I retract half of that! 500,000 is indeed plausible (though the humans wouldn't have been homo sapiens).
Jun. 29th, 2011 10:20 am (UTC)
Five letters in common, and I said there were no lions there. I meant, of course, half a million.

Giving the elephants lots of time to die out by 50,000 years ago - not that I know when there stopped being native elephants here!
Jun. 29th, 2011 10:31 am (UTC)
I think we had mammoths up to the last Ice Age - which is what, maybe 12,000 years ago? But I don't know if they'd count.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )