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September 24, 2003

Aveline's Hole

The Guardian reports on new reliable dating of an ancient gravesite in what is now Britain along with the earliest known instance of osteoarthritis.

A narrow cave in a gorge in Somerset has been identified as the oldest cemetery in Britain, used by generations of people from one area in the Mendips just after the last ice age, 10,000 years ago.

The dates range from 10,200 to 10,400 years ago. It is a mind-boggling span. About ten percent of the time we have existed as modern humans... My father's people are from Somerset and, given a propensity for staying put, I would not be surprised to discover myself to be a reasonably direct lineal descendent of the people buried there (though we are all, of course, related to one another no matter how distantly). I have not been to Aveline's Hole but enjoy trips into caves so I shall add it to my list of places to visit. I have been to the nearby Wookey Hole carnival-meets-geology experience and Cheddar Gorge is like something out of Tolkien.

Posted by Ghost of a flea at September 24, 2003 06:48 AM