Not Iron Lady but Red Lady bones should come home to Wales

Published: Thursday 5th Dec 2013

Written by: The Wales Cottage Holidays Team

Bones from the earliest formal burial in Western Europe have been kept at Oxford University since the skeleton was found on Gower in 1823 – a mere 33,000 years after it was buried there. Now the local Welsh Government AM thinks they should be brought back to Wales.

Known as the Red Lady of Paviland (the skeleton was originally thought to be female because of the large amount of jewellery found with it, but in fact it’s male), the name was given due to the red ochre covering the bones. Scientists having recently raised its estimated age from 29,000 years to 33,000 thanks to the latest carbon dating technology. So the Red Lady predates the last Ice Age, prompting scientists to rethink what encouraged people to migrate further west.

A cast is on display in the Oxford University Museum of Natural History and in 2014 the bones will be at the Natural History Museum in London. Maybe it’s time for the Red Lady to be on view in public back in Wales, but that could take a bit of persuading to the dons of Oxford!

The Wales Cottage Holidays Team
The Wales Cottage Holidays Team



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