Last month’s ‘great excavation’ explored prehistoric Somerset through the work of John and Bryony Coles along the Sweet Track. In this month’s column, I stick with the same county, but move to a different era and two very different ‘great’ archaeologists: Mick Aston and Chris Gerrard at Shapwick.
The nearly 10,000-year-old skeleton who came to be known as ‘Cheddar Man’ was found in 1903, in Gough’s Cave at Cheddar Gorge, Somerset. In more recent times, his remains have been on display in the Human Origins Hall at the Natural History Museum. Despite his fame, until recently little was known about this individual. Now a team from UCL and the Natural History Museum has successfully sequenced his DNA for the first time, revealing a wealth of details about his physical appearance – with dramatic implications for our understanding of how inhabitants of Mesolithic Britain looked.
The first project to excavate at Lufton Roman villa since the 1960s has revealed new details of the Somerset site’s famous octagonal fish mosaic. Surrounding a deep pool that has been variously interpreted as an ostentatious bath, a Christian baptistery, or part of an impressive suite of reception rooms, the elaborate 4th-century floor was first […]
It has long been known that the early humans who inhabited Gough’s Cave, Somerset, around 15,000 years ago practised cannibalism and modified certain human remains (such as turning skulls into cups for possibly ceremonial purposes). Now a newly published study focusing on an arm bone from the same assemblage has described evidence for what may […]