What do ancient bones tell us about the Stone Age?

The Red Lady of Paviland is one of the oldest skeletons found in Britain, dating from around 30,000 years ago.

The Red Lady of Paviland is one of the oldest skeletons found in Britain, dating from around 30,000 years ago. The fossil hunter who found her in Goat Hole Cave thought she was a woman as she was wearing a shell necklace, but it turned out to be a healthy man who ate a lot of fish. The skeleton was surrounded by around 4000 artefacts which gives us a real insight into the life and times of higher status hunter-gatherers in the Old Stone Age. Some questions still remain, such as ‘why was the skeleton covered in red ochre on burial?’

Teacher Notes

Could be used to explore the world of archaeology and the use of artefacts. You could ask the questions: what can we tell about the Old Stone Age from a burial? What can’t we tell?’ What else might we want to know? Where might we find out? How much of what we know is fact and how much is opinion? Children could draw their own version of the animals in the Stone Age, such as a massive woolly mammoth or a supersized lion. They could write imaginary stories about the life of the Red Lady of Paviland.

Curriculum Notes

This clip will be relevant for teaching History at KS2 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and 2nd Level in Scotland.