News: Gazetteer of Caves, Fissures and Rock Shelters in Britain Containing Human Remains

Looking for information on human remains in caves?

Potts Beck 2
Photo: Earby Pothole Club

Look no further. Professor Andrew Chamberlain of the University of Manchester has compiled a gazetteer of all sites in Britain in which human remains have been found. This resource is hosted by the University of Bristol Spelaeological Society (UBSS) and can be found here.

Aveline’s Hole, Burrington Combe, Mendip. Photo: Graham Mullan

The gazetteer contains a summary of information about caves, fissures and rock-shelters in Great Britain that have contained human remains of possible or proven prehistoric date.

The site is organised by region, easily accessibly by a map, with records listed alphabetically. there is also a search function.

Basic details are given for each site, as well as a comprehensive list of references and, where known, details of where the material is curated. The gazetteer is kept fully up to date with new information being added all the time, so if you have any new information or any corrections, please contact the compiler or editor in the contact details given on the gazetteer.

Material from Aveline’s Hole, the oldest cemetery in Europe, is held by the UBSS. The site has been extensively studied, as the publication list on the gazetteer shows, and is still the subject of new research, with more C14 dates awaited as part of a human DNA project led by Professor Ian Barnes of the Natural History Museum.

Potts Beck Pott was discovered by the Earby Pothole Club in 1963 and more details and be found on the club site here.