View Full Version : 'The Red Lady of Paviland' c.24000 BC

Monday, October 4th, 2004, 06:24 AM

The best-known site in Wales predating the Neolithic Age is Paviland Cave on the southern coast of the Gower peninsula. In 1826 a skeleton was discovered in the cave. It was assumed to be that of a female and, as the bones had been coloured with red ochre, the skeleton became known as that of the Red Lady of Paviland. Its discoverers believed that the burial had occurred during the Roman period. Modern tests have dated it to c.24000 BC, and it is thus a very early example of a ritual burial. As Paviland is in the southernmost part of Wales, it was probably not covered in ice in the following millennia. Thus, it is possible that those living around Paviland at the time of the burial - a people with an Upper Palaeolithic or Later Old Stone Age culture - are among the ancestors of the present population of Wales.

The cave is now in a steep cliff above the sea; in the far colder climate of 24000 BC it would have overlooked the valley of the Severn where the vegetation would have resembled that of the present day tundra of northern Siberia.

Monday, October 4th, 2004, 10:22 PM
That is very interesting. I find it amazing how rugged humans are. :)