Professor Mark White from Durham University is leading a team in a fresh dig in Anston Stones.
Anston Gorge is designated a SSSI and with good cause.It is one of the finest examples of the gorges within the Creswell Limestone Heritage Area. The landscape is dominated by Magnesium Limestone cliffs and the general area supports distictive types of rare plants and animals and ancient woodlands. The limestone was used in the rebuilding work at the Houses of Parliament after the fire in 1834.
Dead Man’s cave is reached from Anston Parish Hall car park by following the well marked path to the gorge and by taking the higher path at the fork. The path leads to a mini gorge with rock shelters and fissures which have not been excavated. Just before the path descends and to the right there is a right fork which will bring you to the edge of the limestone cliff. To the left is a path which leads down to the cave/rock shelter.
Dead Man’s cave was excavated in the 1960’s and archaeologists found flint stone tools used by hunters 12,000 years ago. Bones from Ice Age animals such reindeer and hyena were also found. The Magnesium Limestone is estimated to be 260,000 years old and Anston Stones is one of the very few sites where this type of rock formation is found.
So far a piece of flint and a few pieces of glazed pottery have been uncovered which will add to the knowledge and artefacts discovered in previous digs.
Professor Mark White will give a presentation on Wednesday 13 July at 7pm in Anston Parish Hall. Everyone is welcome and visitors are recommended to read the display boards in the parish hall which give more information about Anston Stones from the Ice Age to the present day. If you want to see the display boards in the meantime please ring the parish office on 01909 560922 between 9am -12 noon Monday-Friday so the staff can make arrangements for your visit.
There will also be another team from Durham University at Creswell Craggs excavating outside Mother Grundy’s Cave. Professor Paul Pettit will give a presentation about this at 1:30pm on Saturday 9th July.