Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Ancient Engravings Found In Somerset Cave

Date:
February 13, 2005
Source:
University Of Bristol
Summary:
Two members of the University of Bristol Spelaeological Society have discovered an engraving in a cave in the Mendip Hills, Somerset, which may be at least 10,000 years old. Graham Mullan and Linda Wilson, who have spent much of the last ten years studying Palaeolithic cave art, recently began a systematic search of caves in southern Britain in the belief that such works in this country would not simply be confined to those found at Creswell Crags, Nottinghamshire.

Two members of the University of Bristol Spelaeological Society have discovered an engraving in a cave in the Mendip Hills, Somerset, which may be at least 10,000 years old.

Graham Mullan and Linda Wilson, who have spent much of the last ten years studying Palaeolithic cave art, recently began a systematic search of caves in southern Britain in the belief that such works in this country would not simply be confined to those found at Creswell Crags, Nottinghamshire.

The first results of this study are a series of inscribed crosses found on the wall of Aveline’s Hole in Burrington Combe, Somerset. Aveline’s Hole is famous as being the site of the earliest known cemetery in the British Isles. Recent work by Dr Rick Schulting and English Heritage shows that it was intensively used for burials shortly after the end of the last Ice Age, during the early Mesolithic period, and is this country’s oldest known cemetery.

Abstract designs such as this are commonly found in Mesolithic settings. Some do, however, date back to the Upper Palaeolithic cultures of the last Ice Age and although Upper Palaeolithic peoples also used this cave, the discoverers, assisted by Bristol University rock art specialist, Dr George Nash, and experts from the British Museum, believe that this engraving is more likely to be post Ice Age in date.

Jill Cook, Deputy Keeper in the Department of Prehistory and Europe at the British Museum, said: “This is an exciting and important discovery. The few lines that form this panel are a signature from the period right at the end of the last Ice Age when the present period of warm climate was beginning.

“The pattern is comparable with others known from Northern France, Germany and Denmark giving a wider context for the finds of this time and a rare glimpse of what may have been a rather special means of communication.”

Graham Mullan and Linda Wilson are continuing their search and believe more works of this type may well come to light in the other caves in the area used by Early Man. A further engraving has been noted in one of the caves in the Cheddar Gorge, and further investigations are being carried out to verify this.

However, for the vast majority of engravings, it is impossible to obtain any direct dating evidence, leaving stylistic comparisons and archaeological context the only means of reaching a conclusion on the possible age of any such markings.

A gate has been installed in the cave to protect the engraving, after consultations between English Heritage and other interested parties, including the landowner and English Nature.

A full account of the discovery has been published in the Proceedings of The University of Bristol Spelaeological Society, volume 23 (2). This is available via the Sales Manager, email sales@ubss.org.uk. The Society was founded in 1919 in order to bring a scientific approach to the study of caves and their contents and one of its first projects was the excavation of Aveline’s Hole, which continued throughout the 1920s.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Bristol. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Bristol. "Ancient Engravings Found In Somerset Cave." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 February 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/02/050211093351.htm>.
University Of Bristol. (2005, February 13). Ancient Engravings Found In Somerset Cave. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/02/050211093351.htm
University Of Bristol. "Ancient Engravings Found In Somerset Cave." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/02/050211093351.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Fossils & Ruins News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Where Did The World Trade Center Shipwreck Come From?

Where Did The World Trade Center Shipwreck Come From?

Newsy (July 31, 2014) Scientists say a ship remnant discovered underneath Ground Zero dates back to the 18th century. Why it sank is still uncertain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre

Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre

AP (July 29, 2014) Food scraps and other items left on the grounds by picnickers brings unwelcome visitors to the grounds of the world famous and popular Louvre Museum in Paris. (July 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
London's Famed 'Gherkin' Goes on Sale for 650 Mln

London's Famed 'Gherkin' Goes on Sale for 650 Mln

AFP (July 29, 2014) London's "Gherkin" office tower, one of the landmarks on the British capital's skyline, went on sale for about 650 million ($1.1 billion, 820 million euros) on Tuesday after being placed into receivership. Duration: 00:36 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Asteroid's Timing Was 'Colossal Bad Luck' For The Dinosaurs

Asteroid's Timing Was 'Colossal Bad Luck' For The Dinosaurs

Newsy (July 28, 2014) The asteroid that killed the dinosaurs struck at the worst time for them. A new study says that if it hit earlier or later, they might've survived. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile: iPhone Android Web
    Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins