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2018 AGM and annual conference at St Fagans
ASE now freely available online
Mesolithic cemetery discovered on the Somerset moors

2018 AGM and annual conference at St Fagans


The 2018 annual conference and AGM will be held at St Fagans on Saturday 11th November 2018. More details to follow but put the date in your diary now.
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ASE now freely available online


In partnership with the Archaeological Data Service all the volumes of the publication are now available online for free at https://doi.org/10.5284/1044660. All future issues will also be available for free online, immediately after they are approved by the editorial team.
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Mesolithic cemetery discovered on the Somerset moors


Radiocarbon dating of two human skulls has produced evidence of a 10,000 year old cemetery near Middlezoy. The remains were originally discovered in 1928 at a sand quarry at Greylake, a small island of hard geology in the floodplain of the Somerset Levels and Moors. At least 5 skulls and some long bones were found.  Only two skulls and four tibiae fragments survive.

 

 

 

Both skulls are from people who died around 8,300 BC. This suggests that the sand quarry was the location of the earliest known open-air cemetery in the UK. Virtually all the other human bones of this period in the UK have been found in caves. Many of these are from Somerset, most notably Aveline’s Hole cave on the Mendip hills just 15 miles to the north.

 

A large number of flint tools have also been found from the Greylake site. No other site in the country has this combination of human remains and tool evidence for prolonged activity. Analysis of the bones showed that the group at Greylake had a protein rich terrestrial diet reflecting the importance of hunting to this community.

 

 

 

The dating was paid for by Somerset County Council Heritage Service as part of a project investigating the archaeology of the ‘islands’ of hard geology in the Somerset levels and Moors floodplain. This is a community heritage project being run by Somerset County Council with financial support of the Somerset Levels and Moors Local Action Group. More analysis will be carried out on the human remains, the flint and the palaeoenvironmental record to shed light on how this ancient community lived and died.

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