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  • Print publication year: 2009
  • Online publication date: August 2010
  • First published in: 1863

CHAPTER X - CAVERN DEPOSITS, AND PLACE OF SEPULTURE OF THE POST-PLIOCENE PERIOD

Summary

Works of Art associated with extinct Mammalia in a Cavern in Somersetshire.

THE only British cave from which implements resembling those of Amiens have been obtained, since the attention of geologists has been awakened to the importance of minutely observing the position of such relics relatively to the associated fossil mammalia, is that recently opened near Wells in Somersetshire. It occurs near the cave of Wokey Hole, from the mouth of which the river Axe issues on the southern flanks of the Mendips. No one had suspected that on the left side of the ravine, through which the river flows after escaping from its subterranean channel, there were other caves and fissures concealed beneath the green sward of the steep sloping bank. About ten years ago, a canal was made, several hundred yards in length, for the purpose of leading the waters of the Axe to a paper-mill, now occupying the middle of the ravine. In carrying out this work, about twelve feet of the left bank was cut away, and a cavernous fissure, choked up to the roof with ossiferous loam, was then, for the first time, exposed to view. This great cavity, originally nine feet high and thirty-six wide, traversed the dolomitic conglomerate; and fragments of that rock, some angular and others water-worn, were scattered through the red mud of the cave, in which fossil remains were abundant.

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