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These early humans were not Homo sapiens but of the same genus Homo.These hunter-gathers came and went with the successive ice ages during the Palaeolithic period. During successive inter-glacial periods humans returned. In Devon the earliest known site used by these people is at Kent's Cavern in Torquay.

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The moorland landscape we see today is a direct consequence of this period.

Trees only remained in the lowland river valleys and peat bogs started to form probably as a direct consequence of this landscape manipulation by humans in the Mesolithic period.

Some of the stone rows and stone circles are also thought to date from the late Neolithic although most are from the early Bronze Age.

A recently discovered stone row on Cut Hill has been found to be embedded in peat that has been accurately carbon dated to 3500 BC, around a 1000 years before Stonehenge.

A piece of Homo sapien upper jaw disovered in 1927 was recently dated to a short interglacial period around 44,200 and 41,500 years ago.

This would suggest Dartmoor was first exploited by humans in the Lower Palaeolithic although the evidence is weak.There are a large number of settlements consisting of "hut circles" which can be seen all over Dartmoor except on the highest moorland.These are thought to mostly date from the Bronze Age although it is thought that some could be late Neolithic or built on earlier Neolithic sites.Around 1 million years ago Britain was connected to the continent and the first humans arrived in Britain.Flint tools found recently in Norfolk show that there were humans there around 900,000 years ago.The pollen records show that after the last ice age Dartmoor initially became a heath land and was becoming woodland at around 10,000 years ago (i.e. Hazel, oak and elm appear in the pollen record and by 7000 BC most of Dartmoor is wooded up to tree line at around 1500ft (460 metres) and remained relatively undisturbed woodland until about 5000 BC.

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