BBC HomeExplore the BBC
This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Find out more about page archiving.

24 September 2014

BBC Homepage
»BBC Local
Things to do
People & Places
Religion & Ethics
Arts and Culture
BBC Introducing
TV & Radio

Sites near Somerset


Related BBC Sites


Contact Us


Reconstruction of Cheddar Man

Controversial Cheddar Man and the Cannibals museum opens

A contentious exhibition in Cheddar, which promises to tell you more than a conventional museum about life and death in the Stone Age, is now open to the public.

Cheddar Man and the Cannibals
BS27 3QF
Telephone:01934 742343
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external websites
ticket prices:Adult - £5.50
Children - £4.20
OAP - £5

"Some of the exhibits may not be for the faint-hearted: they're a graphic depiction of Stone Age life - including cannibalism."
Bob Smart

Set amid the dramatic landscape of Cheddar Gorge, the Cheddar Man and the Cannibals museum recreates life and death in the Stone Age based on finds made in the famous caves.

The most controversial exhibit is a collection of 12,500-year-old butchered human bones, which prove that our ancestors were cannibals.

The museum's other displays include the 9,000-year-old Cheddar Man - Britain's oldest complete skeleton - and a giant rotating skull within a cave of mirrors.

The new attraction features lessons in Stone Age survival skills. There is also a cave art wall where visitors can try their hand as prehistoric painters and a stunning display which transforms a 'living' Cheddar Man into his skeletal remains.

A child painting on rock

Other displays include a three-metre tall cave bear skeleton, a depiction of the Stone Age 'Arms Race' and tableaux featuring both the ritual 'burial' of Cheddar Man and his re-discovery in Gough's Cave 9,000 years later.

Adrian Targett, the local history teacher who was found to be a descendant of Cheddar Man following DNA testing, is joining Lord Bath at the official opening of the exhibition on Wednesday 23 March 2005.

Curator Bob Smart said: "This isn't a 'traditional' museum experience.

"Some of the exhibits may not be for the faint-hearted: they're a graphic depiction of Stone Age life - including cannibalism.

"I believe the giant skull is one of the more startling objects ever to go on display to the public.

"I'm sure it will provide a major talking point for visitors - and that's exactly what it's meant to do.

Reconstruction of prehistoric man lighting a fire

"We want people to really get a sensation of what the world was like back then, wherever possible they can touch and feel many of the objects.

"We also use sound and lighting effects to bring the experience to life.

"Our aim is to show people that Cheddar Man is really modern man in a Stone Age environment.

"We look at advances in technology, art, society and the growth of religion as well as the controversial topic of cannibalism," he added.

last updated: 21/04/05
Have Your Say
Have you been to the exhibition? What did you think?
Your name: 
Your comment: 
The BBC reserves the right to edit comments submitted.

geekie freekie
i went with my school on a trip. i found it was very educational and the caves were magnificent! love geeky freek

it was so amazing. i have never learnt so much on a holiday.

Cheddar Gorge rox

Nitish Raina
The exhibition was extremely informative. It emphasis on the most minor details, too. 1 thing I am sure of is that this wasn't my last visit.

scott fry
it was great mty chiuldern really enjoyed it so why is it so Controversial?

its is really good but i wonder what the modal of the eye ball was for

Archie and Andrew Todd- Hems
We loved it and learned a fair amount for our school project.

Go to the top of the page

Outdoors elsewhere

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external websites

About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy