ASh Tree Gorge

On the southern side of this gorge is Ash Tree Cave.

Who excavated Ash Tree Cave?

Leslie Armstrong and Arthur Court excavated at the cave at various times between 1938 and 1957. Stanley West and Derrick Riley worked here from 1959 to 1960 and Charles McBurney in 1960. Excavation recorded three main layers in which stone tools and bones of animals were found.

Who used Ash Tree Cave?

From the middle layer of deposits a number of flint, quartzite and clay-ironstone tools made by Neanderthal people were found. The upper most deposits were more mixed but did include tools from the Late Upper Palaeolithic.

As well finding Ice Age material, Leslie Armstrong discovered that the cave had been used as a burial site during the Bronze Age. A cremation was found near to the entrance and further inside human bone was placed beneath a pile of limestone slabs and within a stone cist.

Which animals lived in the area?

The lowest layer produced an amazing range of fossil bones including arctic hare, northern vole, wolf, red fox, brown bear, wolverine, reindeer and bison who were living in the vicinity of the cave during the early stages of the Last Ice Age. The middle layer contained an even more diverse range of animal species such as arctic hare, lemming, wolf, arctic fox, red fox, brown bear, spotted hyaena, lion, mammoth, wild horse, woolly rhinoceros, reindeer and bovid.

View objects found in Ash Tree Cave


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