THE RED LADY PAVILAND

THE OLDEST KNOWN BURIED REMAINS IN BRITAIN

 
 
The oldest known buried remains in Britain are 33,000 years old, 4,000 years older than previously thought. The findings show that ceremonial burials were taking place in Western Europe much earlier than researchers had believed.
 
Red Lady of Paviland
THE 'RED LADY' BURIAL SITE IN WALES
click photo for enlargement
New dating techniques developed by Oxford University and British Museum researchers have pinpointed the age of the 'Red Lady' burial site in Wales, previously thought to be 25,000 years old, to 29,000 years old. Despite the name, the bones are actually those of a man, aged approximately 21 years old. He was in good health at the time of his death and the bone protein analysis indicates that he lived on a diet that consisted of 20% fish, balanced by other foods such as horse, reindeer, roots, acorns and berries. Paviland, on the Gower Peninsular, now looks over the Bristol Channel, but 30,000 years ago the sea level would have been 250 feet lower, so the view was of a richly pastured 70-mile wide plain that was full of grazing animals. In 1823 the remains of The Red Lady of Paviland were discovered by palaeontologist and clergyman Reverend William Buckland, who removed them from the Goat's Hole cave on Gower. He mistakenly assumed the skeleton was female - as its bones were dyed red - and he identified it as being from Roman times.
 
Finds in the Paviland Caves include over 4000 worked flints, necklace bones, stone needles and mammoth-ivory bracelets. Also found buried with the young man were perforated seashell necklaces identical to the 75,000 year old shells discovered at the Blombos site in South Africa.
 
According to the researchers at Oxford University and the British Museum, the finding suggests that the origins of human burial may be found in Western Europe, and perhaps Britain, rather than elsewhere, although further dating work is required.
 
This, however, is highly speculative. And the larger question it raises is, what did Prehistoric cultures do with their dead? Surely they would have treated the remains of bodies with great reverence. For example, the women of the Unambal tribe of northern Kimberley, Australia, carried the bones of their dead until they could leave them at the 'spirit waterhole' of the deceased. 'The Red Lady of Paviland' represents a ceremonial burial in a shallow grave behind a mammoth's skull, presumably with the bones being buried after they had been rubbed with red ochre.
Red Lady of Paviland
THE RED LADY PAVILAND
click photo for enlargement
Red Lady of Paviland
THE RED LADY PAVILAND
click photo for enlargement
Red Lady of Paviland
THE RED LADY PAVILAND
click photo for enlargement
Red Lady of Paviland
THE RED LADY PAVILAND
click photo for enlargement
 
The United Kingdom Archive
 
bradshaw foundation donate help
Mailing List

Email Sign-Up
website updates

Email

First Name

Last Name

Country

Podcast
bradshaw foundation podcast
DVD
bradshaw foundation ishop dvd
Homepage About the Foundation Contact Us Facebook News Articles Twitter List of Research Papers Professor Stephen Oppenheimer Travel Index About the Expeditions Forthcoming Expeditions Bespoke Expeditions Enquire Practical Information History of Exploration Welcome to the iShop Film Downloads DVD's Sculpture Prints Clothing Messenger Bag eBooks INORA Downloads About iLecture Films Shipping & Handling iLectures In Conversation Video Stories Travel Films Read the reviews Join the free Mailing List Bradshaw Foundation Facebook Friends of the Foundation Archive Index World's Oldest Rock Art Africa Documentary Films South Africa RARI Giraffe Carvings Niger Namibia Western Central Africa Africa Paintings Gallery Tanzania The Tuareg People Tuareg Salt Caravans Gilf Kebir Archive Index San Rock Art Paintings San Bushman San Rock Art Film Origins Centre Johannesburg Archive Index Arizona Baja California Coso Range Nevada Oregon Territory Australia Archive Index Introduction Bradshaw Paintings Kimberley Region The Unambal Hugh Brown Leif Thiele Gallery Dan Clark Grahame Walsh Ian Wilson Bradshaws / Gwion Gwion Archive Index Introduction Origins of the British Stonehenge Sounds of Stonehenge The British Museum British Isles Megaliths Gower Peninsula Rock Art Mendip Hills Prehistory Northumberland Rock Art Red Lady of Paviland Stone Age Mammoth Abattoir Archive Index Yinchuan Museum Rock Art Festival Field Trip Gallery Itinerant Creeds Inner Mongolia & Ningxia Vanishing Civilization Life in Rock Art (PDF) Tibet Tibet Photographs Dazu Rock Carvings Tiger Motif Archive Index Chauvet Cave Lascaux Cave Niaux Cave Cosquer Cave Portable Art Research Paper Tuc d'Audoubert Bison Dr. Jean Clottes Index UNESCO World Heritage Introduction Cave Paintings Gallery Visiting the Chauvet Cave Return to Chauvet Cave Investigating the Cave Venus & Sorcerer Werner Herzog Film Chauvet Publications India Archive Index Rock Art Central India Pachmarhi Hills India Rock Art Gallery Middle East Archive Index Middle East Inroduction Rock Art of Iran Rock Art of Saudi Arabia United Arab Emirates Rock Art Ancient Geometry Middle East Colonisation Tanum Rock Art Museum Thor Heyerdahl Archive Index Introduction America's Oldest Art? Pedra Furada Bolivian Rock Art Campeche Island - Brazil Checta Petroglyphs - Peru Cueva de las Manos Santa Catarina Island - Brazil Rock Art in Britain Campeche Rock Art Petroglyphs El Salvador - Corinto Cave Hand Rock Art Paintings Tibetan Rock Art United Arab Emirates Uzbekistan Yinchuan Rock Art Museum Introduction Ice Age Art Gallery Claire Artemyz Jill Cook Interview Cycladic Introduction Cycladic Gallery Introduction Geometric Signs Chart Research Methodology Geometric Signs in France Sign Types/Countries/Regions Bibliography Ancient Symbols in Rock Art Newsletter Archive Download Issues Introduction Genetic Map Professor Stephen Oppenheimer Further Reading Origins of the British BBC Documentary Origins Index Origins Overview 13 Big Questions Stanley Ambrose Homo Floresiensis Herto Skulls Homo Dmanisi Liujiang Skull Introduction Sentinels in Stone Easter Island Rock Art Birdman Cult / Motif Sea & Marine Creatures Design & Motifs Dr Georgia Lee Easter Island Map Contemporary Art Glossary Conclusion Thor Heyerdahl Introduction When & Who Built It? How Was It Built? The Area Sounds of Stonehenge Meaning of a Pyramid Pyramid Studies Pyramid Superstructure Pyramid Substructure Pyramid Preparations Pyramid Building Saqqara Nabil Swelim Temples of Malta and Gozo Research in the Caucasus The Keselo Foundation Homo Dmanisi Ancient Toolmakers Index Introduction Descent into the Cave The Decorated Caves Shamanistic Experience Spring Initiation Rites Summary Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Professor John P. Miller Motif: Eternal Index Han Meilin Bruce Radke Christian Tuki Gordon Ellis-Brown Site Map Search the Website Glossary of Terms & Definition Podcast on iTunes Other Websites Contact the Foundation