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Bones from Britain’s ‘oldest northerner’ — dating back 11,000 years — dug up in a cave

BONES from Britain’s “oldest northerner” — dating back 11,000 years — have been dug up in a cave.

The male remains are about 1,000 years older than previous finds and the first evidence of human activity in the region after the Ice Age.


The male remains are about 1,000 years older than previous findsCredit: SWNS

They were found along with a periwinkle shell bead by archaeologist Martin Stables — who said it was “clear evidence” of ancient burials.

He has been searching Heaning Wood Bone Cave near Urswick in Cumbria since 2016.

Martin has previously found human and animal bones, along with stone tools and pottery.

But he said: “I never expected anything like the Early Mesolithic connection in my wildest dreams.

“I can’t wait to hear all the final results. It’s staggering — difficult to imagine what it would have been like around here over 11,000 years ago.”

Earlier human remains have been found in southern England and Wales. But the destructive effect of the Ice Age means such finds are rare in the North.

Dr Rick Peterson, of the University of Central Lancashire, said: “These are some of the earliest dates for human activity in Britain.”

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