I have created this diorama as a backdrop to an exhibition of c.2500 year old bones found at BROWNE’S HOLE in the Mendip Hills.

The cave was excavated in the 1950s by the Browne family, enthusiastic cavers who carefully stored and recorded a mass of animal and human bone.

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Amongst the animal bones are those of spotted hyena, brown bear, woolly rhino, wild horse and many smaller creatures such as the mountain hare pictured above.

Professor Danielle Shreve of Royal Holloway University analysed the material recently. She suggested that the cave was probably used at different times as a den by hyenas and bears.

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2500 years ago the North Sea and English Chanel did not exist; Britain was joined to the European land mass. The landscape was open grassland or steppe and the climate colder than that of today. Browne’s Hole lies in a steep-sided narrow valley where some trees: birches, low-growing willows and perhaps a stand of Scots pine might have grown.

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