Mesolithic Cave Burial System Identified from Human Remains

The exciting results of early Mesolithic radiocarbon dates on human bones from the cave at Cannington Quarry are now published in the Proceedings of the University of Bristol Spelaeological Society, Volume 28 (3). Cotswold Archaeology (CA) previously reported the discovery of an entirely new Mesolithic cave burial site in Somerset, through our work on the human bone collection cared for by South West Heritage Trust – material which had been found in the 1960s.

Mesolithic burial sites in the UK are incredibly rare and the preliminary investigations by CA’s specialist in human remains, Sharon Clough, have significantly contributed to the knowledge of burial at this important time in Britain’s history, when it was being repopulated by people after the last Ice Age.  Sharon’s work owes a lot to the meticulous work of Philip Rahtz and his published account of the original discovery; it also highlights the importance of museum collections and archives for further research.  Additional work is planned on this collection, in collaboration with the South West Heritage Trust.  

For a copy of the Proceedings please follow this link to the UBSS website where it can be purchased for £12.50, or free to members of the Society. 12 months after publication PDF articles are available to download from the UBSS website at no charge.

If you have a press enquiry and require more information on these findings, please contact us at enquiries@cotswoldarchaeology.co.uk.

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