Lecture: Caves and Cannibals: A Mendip Perspective

Speaker: Professor Danielle Schreve, Royal Holloway, University of London, Reader in Physical Geography, Director of Centre for Quaternary Science

Entry Fee

Members: Free

Visitors: £5.00

Date and Time

19:30 -


Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution, 16-18 Queen Square, Bath BA1 2HN

Lecture Description

The area of the Mendip Hills in Somerset contains some of the most important Pleistocene cave sites in western Europe in terms of their vertebrate assemblages, Palaeolithic archaeological finds and early human remains. These sites span the period from c. 500 000 years ago until the end of the Pleistocene, c.10 000 years ago and provide a unique insight into changing climates and patterns of animal and human movement and behaviour. This lecture reviews some of the classic localities, such as Westbury-sub-Mendip and Gough’s Cave, focussing on the inferred age and palaeoenvironmental signatures of the fossil faunas, the taphonomic origins of the deposits and the significance of the archaeological assemblages. In addition, new research from a previously unexplored cave containing a rich terminal Pleistocene fauna will also be presented.

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