|30 August 2009
British caves give up more secrets
A new dig to find evidence of Britain's first man starts in Torquay (Devon, England) next week. The team of archaeologists are back at Kents Cavern to continue their major excavations underground in search of more evidence for the Neanderthal occupation of the caves tens of thousands of years ago. The cavern is open during the excavation from Tuesday to Thursday from September 10 and visitors will be able to view the dig in action, the first in more than 80 years, as part of the guided cave tour.
Cavern owner Nick Powe said: "The caves have already yielded some incredible finds, such as a 37,000-year-old ancient human jawbone unearthed during the last excavations at Kents Cavern in 1927, which it is believed could be Neanderthal. The bone is now back on display at Torquay Museum.
Experts Dr Mark White, of Durham University, and Dr Paul Pettitt, of Sheffield University, will be running the dig. Dr White said: "We hope the information recovered from this series of excavations will contribute to widely-debated issues in human evolution, specifically whether the expansion in numbers of our own species tens of thousands of years ago was connected with the extinction of the Neanderthals.
The team of archaeologists also hopes to learn more about the origins of Kents Cavern's use as a human shelter, and establish firm dates for the first occupation of the cave by Neanderthals and early members of our own species.
Source: Herald Express (28 August 2009)
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