University of Bristol Spelæological Society

A report on the excavations at Rhinoceros Hole, Wookey (UBSS Proceedings v.20(3))

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Collcutt,S.N., Currant,A.P., Hawkes,C.J., Proctor,C.J., and Roe,D.A., 1996. A report on the excavations at Rhinoceros Hole, Wookey. UBSS Proceedings, 20(3) , pp 237-262 Download PDF.

Abstract: Rhinoceros Hole lies in the side of the Wookey Hole ravine, Mendip. It was first excavated by H. E. Balch in the early 20th century, and a major excavation was carried out by the UBSS from 1970 to 1976, removing most of the deposits. The sediments comprised a wedge shaped sequence of subaerial cave earths filling an alcove in the ravine side, underlain by water laid silts and sands. An abundant fauna with dominant spotted hyaena and woolly rhinoceros and Middle and Early Upper Palaeolithic artefacts, suggest a middle Devensian age. Early reports of interglacial faunal elements have been shown to be erroneous. Uranium series dating of detrital speleothem blocks suggests an age of less than around 50 ka for the deposits and the fauna and industries are tentatively concluded to date from between about 50 and 25 ka.

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