Cave Archaeology in the Yorkshire Dales

Our first evening lecture as part of our Autumn programme was given by Dr Phil Murphy on Caves, Cavers, Collapses and Corpses and proved to be illuminating in various ways. He discussed mainly the discovery and opening up of Victoria Cave, Settle. This is a very important and renowned cave principally for the  scientific evidence that it provides for climate change. The different strata that was found and the evidence of hyena and hippopotamus – warm cycles and reindeer – cold cycles over thousands of years was pivotal to scientific understanding. He opened and closed with some evocative lines by Auden.   “When I try to imagine a faultess love or the life to come, what I hear is the murmur of underground streams, what I see is a limestone landscape”.

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