A Pleistocene Chronology for Cow Cave, England


Cow Cave, is a well-known archaeological and palaeontological site in the wall of Chudleigh Gorge, Devon, England. The cave is choked after a short distance with allochthonous sediments and speleothem accumulations. The cave was the site of paleontological excavations 1927-1935, and again in 1962-63, which yielded a rich Pleistocene fauna and several stone tools. However, in the absence of radiometric dating, the faunal composition was ambiguous with respect to age. Here, we report the first radiometric dates on the site. Two Thermal Ionization Mass spectrometry uranium series disequilibrium dates place a critical speleothem layer from within the Cow Cave sediments in the warmer intervals of the Wolstonian Glacial, and suggest that the basal sediments entrained a fauna and human artifacts from the preceding MIS 7 interglacial period, the Aveley Interglacial.

     A Pleistocene chronology for the fauna and artefacts of Cow Cave, Devon, UK. Cave and Karst Science 34(3):101-104  [ PDF DOWNLOAD ]