Cave fish, cake and karst

Cave fish, cake and karst

The BCRA’s 30th annual science symposium took place at Keyworth,hosted by the British Geological Survey. I attended the Saturday session and was impressed by the depth and variety of scientific work being undertaken by British cavers. The morning session kicked off with a description of palaeokarst features found in the Pielkhlieng Pouk-Krem Sakwa system in…

International Greenland expedition’s record-breaking trip

International Greenland expedition’s record-breaking trip

Researchers from four international universities have returned from an expedition to a remote area of north-east Greenland where they broke two records. The team, comprised of researchers from the Universities of Innsbruck, Akron, Oxford, and Sheffield, documented and explored more than 30 caves that had never previously been visited. In doing so, they broke their…

Aveline’s Hole: A new twist in an old tale

Aveline’s Hole: A new twist in an old tale

New samples taken for DNA analysis from human bone from Aveline’s Hole by Natural History Museum researchers have thrown up surprising results. Graham Mullan reports on their findings. Aveline’s Hole, Burrington Combe, Mendip, contained the largest assemblage of Mesolithic human remains yet found anywhere in Britain. The cave was excavated in the 1920s by the…

Archaeologists identify first figurative Palaeolithic cave art in the Balkans

Archaeologists identify first figurative Palaeolithic cave art in the Balkans

An international team, led by an archaeologist from the University of Southampton and the University of Bordeaux, has revealed the first example of Palaeolithic figurative cave art found in the Balkan Peninsula. Dr Aitor Ruiz-Redondo worked with researchers from the universities of Cantabria (Spain), Newfoundland (Canada), Zagreb (Croatia) and the Archaeological Museum of Istria (Croatia)…

Students get the chance to meet in-cave monitoring experts

Students get the chance to meet in-cave monitoring experts

Students interested in undertaking a cave-related dissertation will get the chance to talk to experts on in-cave monitoring next month. The BCRA (British Cave Research Association), in conjunction with CHECC (Council of Higher Education Caving Clubs), are holding a workshop on in-cave monitoring on 16th February 2019 at the British Cave Monitoring Centre, Poole’s Cavern,…

Ritual protection in the Chaldon Quarries – health and safety in the 16th century

Ritual protection in the Chaldon Quarries – health and safety in the 16th century

For the first time, curious chalk inscriptions on the walls of an ancient stone quarry in Surrey are being systematically recorded, as part of a wider research project to better understand the long and hitherto hidden history of this important source of stone for London. Many of the chalk inscriptions have been identified as ritual protection marks (RPM).

How to piss off the French in one easy lesson – and why voles are important

How to piss off the French in one easy lesson – and why voles are important

Linda Wilson picked up some intriguing tips at the British Cave Research Association’s 29th cave science symposium as well as drinking plenty of tea … If you wanted to find out how to annoy our cross-channel neighbours, which caves you might want to avoid if spiders aren’t your thing and why you might soon be…

Review: Cave and Karst Science, August 2018 Issue

Review: Cave and Karst Science, August 2018 Issue

The August 2018 issue of Caves and Karst Science is now available. Volume 45, Number 2 carries five main articles; the first being a subjective summary of the history, activities, publications and some of the characters of the former CRG and BCRA Hydrology Groups (1964–1999) written by John Wilcock. John hopes that current BCRA members…

Newly discovered “Tally Marks” in Church Hole, Creswell

Newly discovered “Tally Marks” in Church Hole, Creswell

Creswell Crags is an Site of Special Scientific Interest on the border of Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire. The beautiful limestone gorge cuts through an area of higher topographic relief that contains a series of horizontal caves that are perpendicular to the gorge itself. Several caves were first used by Neanderthals 50,000–60,000 years ago age followed by…

News: Cave Scientist Gina Moseley Receives €1.2 Million Research Prize

News: Cave Scientist Gina Moseley Receives €1.2 Million Research Prize

Dr Gina Moseley from the Innsbruck Quaternary Research Group will receive one of this year’s prestigious Austrian Science Foundation (FWF) START prizes. The START programme is an Austrian initiative to support and strengthen outstanding research projects in science and humanities. Gina, a member of the University of Bristol Spelaeological Society and current Symposium Lecture Secretary…

Review: Cave and Karst Science, April 2018 Issue

Review: Cave and Karst Science, April 2018 Issue

The April 2018 issue of Caves and Karst Science is now available. Volume 45, Number 1 carries six main articles, starting with an appreciation of Dr Trevor R Shaw, speleo-historian extraordinaire, to celebrate his 90th birthday. There are contributions from many of his friends, including those from the Karst Research Institute in Postojna, Slovenia, with…

News: DNA Research Reveals More About 10,000-Year-Old Cheddar Man

News: DNA Research Reveals More About 10,000-Year-Old Cheddar Man

DNA work carried out by researchers from the Natural History Museum (NHM) and University College London (UCL) has shed new light on Cheddar Man, a skeleton discovered 103 years ago in Gough’s Cave, Somerset. Specialists from the NHM have succeeded in extracting viable DNA from the 10,000 year-old-skeleton, a first for a British individual of…

News: Pre Columbian Cave Art in the Caribbean

News: Pre Columbian Cave Art in the Caribbean

New research by academics from the University of Leicester and the British Museum, working with colleagues from the British Geological Survey and Cambridge University, outlines the science behind the largest concentration of indigenous pre-Columbian rock art in the Caribbean. Exploration and surveys of around 70 cave systems — part of an interdisciplinary study of past…

Event: BCRA Cave Science Symposium, 21st and 22nd October 2017

Event: BCRA Cave Science Symposium, 21st and 22nd October 2017

British Cave Research Association, 28th Cave Science Symposium hosted jointly with the Yorkshire Geological Society and Leeds Geological Association Symposium – Saturday 21st October, 2017 Field-trip(s) – Sunday 22nd October, 2017 School of Earth and Environment, University of Leeds SECOND CIRCULAR & CALL FOR ABSTRACTS 1st July, 2017 The British Cave Research Association, Yorkshire Geological…

Cave Archaeology in North Wales – the last few years

Cave Archaeology in North Wales – the last few years

The bone caves of north Wales have received increased attention from archaeologists in recent years. Excavations have taken place at Llanarmon Cave (Llanarmon-yn-ial) and Ffynnon Bueno Cave (Tremeirchion) by Rob Dinnis, then of the British Museum, and his team. John Blore issued his final report on his fifty years work at Lynx Cave (near Eryrys),…

News: BCRA 28th Cave Science Symposium, 21st and 22nd October 2017

News: BCRA 28th Cave Science Symposium, 21st and 22nd October 2017

The British Cave Research Association, Yorkshire Geological Society, and Leeds Geological Association are pleased to announce details of the 28th Annual Cave Science Symposium and associated field-trip. The Symposium will be hosted by Prof. Simon Bottrell and Dr. Phillip Murphy of the School of Earth and Environment, University of Leeds, on Saturday 21st October, 2017….

News: University of Bristol Carbon-Dating Facility

News: University of Bristol Carbon-Dating Facility

In November 2015, the University of Bristol unveiled the brand new Bristol Radiocarbon Accelerator Mass Spectrometer (BRAMS). This instrument is based on one of the new generation of ultra-compact high-precision AMS instruments and will be used for 14C analysis in environmental, archaeological and palaeoenvironmental research. The term ultra-compact is relative, as the instrument weighs 4.5 metric…

Notice: 27th British Cave Research Association Cave Science Symposium

Notice: 27th British Cave Research Association Cave Science Symposium

27th British Cave Research Association Cave Science Symposium, Saturday 22nd October, 2016 Department of Earth Sciences, University of Oxford Call for Abstracts The response to the first call for abstracts has been very positive and it already looks like we will have a fascinating collection of talks on archaeology, biospeleology and hydrology. We still welcome…