The Modern Antiquarian. Stone Circles, Ancient Sites, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic MysteriesThe Modern Antiquarian

King Arthur's Cave

Cave / Rock Shelter


King Arthur's Cave is one of only five English caves known to have been used in both the Early and Late Upper Palaeolithic periods.

It consists of two chambers which join near the entrance - they go back about ten metres and have 'ceilings' up to four metres high. A two bedroom flat where you can get some privacy from the kids?

Excavations have found various Palaeolithic tools, and the remains of hyenas, horses and red deer. Were these left from meals? A horse would hardly wander into a cave - but maybe the hyenas did at an unoccupied time (you can only imagine them to be a rather stringy meal choice). A hearth near the entrance was dated to about 12,000 years ago. Later Mesolithic artefacts, including a drilled pig's tooth (for jewellery not animal dentistry I assume) have also been found in this part of the cave. It's interesting to think of people sitting in the entrance with their fire, looking out - no doubt rather as you yourself would choose to, if you camped there tonight.

Although I'm sure fans of TMA don't have the 'Ug'-style caveman as their stereotype of prehistoric people, perhaps it's still difficult for us to imagine life in King Arthur's Cave as it really was. They might not have had mobile phones and supermarkets, but were the fundamental concerns of their lives (family, friends, romance, dinner, the weather..) really so different?

(The Facts gleaned from the EH scheduled monument record on the Magic database)
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
6th July 2004ce
Edited 6th July 2004ce

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