Tyne and Wear HER(867): Whitburn Lizards, human bones - Details
Whitburn Lizards, human bones
Religious Ritual and Funerary
In the latter part of the 19th century, during the quarrying of limestone on the east escarpment of the Cleadon Hills, near Whitburn Lizards, old sea-caves were uncovered. Five feet apart, the two caves were reported to be 140 feet above sea level, 15 feet from the top of the cliff, and to run west into the hill. The precise location of the caves is unknown.As well as animal bones (HER no. 868), both caves contained human bones. Two lower jaws and some limb bones were found in one, five human skulls and other bones in the second. The position and arrangement of the bones was not recorded. The bones were not thought to be old because no tools, or bones of hyena and cave-bear were found with them. However, they have been included in Miket's prehistoric gazetteer. By the end of the century the site had been quarried away.
<< HER 867 >> Transactions Natural History Society of Northumberland, Durham and Newcastle-on-Tyne, 1880, ...Old Sea-caves and a Raised Sea-beach at Whitburn Lizards, Vol. VII, 361-4 G.B. Hodgson, 1903, The Borough of South Shields, p. 2 W.C. Mitchell, 1919, History of Sunderland, 04-May E.L. Thornborrow, 1960, The Village of Cleadon in the Middle Ages, South Shields Archaeological and Historical Society, Vol. I no. 8, p. 23 R. Miket, 1984, The Prehistory of Tyne and Wear, p. 94 no. 4