Down in the Gully Cave… not far from Wells and Mendip Museum

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The Mind in the Cave of Professor Schreve (narrow-skulled vole jaws, mountain hares and graph showing temperature fluctuation over a 50,000 year period) 

This imagery is from the penultimate flipbook-box in the sequence and makes what strikes me as being a very important point; that museums are not just about the past and memory – but also vital, living research resources; institutions which are helping to shape a better future.

Colloquially known as ‘the narrow-skulled vole swastika’, it was inspired by the work of Danielle Schreve, Professor of Quaternary Science at Royal Holloway University of London. For over a decade now, Danielle has been excavating the Gully Cave at Ebbor Gorge which – trowel by painstaking trowel – is yielding fascinating (and valuable) insight into biological responses to very abrupt climate change at the end of the last Ice Age.

Similarly, in their range of species and timespan, the collections at Wells and Mendip Museum (part of the same canon) are helping researchers to construct a very high resolution image of environmental change over the last 100,000 years. This, one suspects, might be very handy in the light of the challenges that we in the twenty first century now face…

(You can hear all about Danielle’s work when she gives a talk ‘Ice Age Beasts and where to find them?’) as part of the Mendip Rocks! Festival Finale at Wells and Mendip Museum this coming Saturday: http://www.mendiphillsaonb.org.uk/our-work/mendip-rocks/)

Meanwhile, back at the Gully Cave… WMM Honorary Curator David Walker (who has brought great willingness, wisdom and insight to the Muse project) and I visited the dig in July… amazing stuff…

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Danielle looks very small and David very big in this photo – but in fact David is close and Danielle very far away…
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Not many people know that David is very good at hand shadow puppets. Here (appropriately enough) he is showing Danielle his reindeer.
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This picture makes me really happy – here is Danielle at the PV; shining a torch into her own mind!
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