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LONG HOLE AND SLITTER CAVE

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The Slitter originally comprised a steep scree slope which led up to Long Hole Cave, which is located some 150 feet up the cliff face at Cheddar. Numerous finds came from both, though many discoveries of the 19th and early 20th century are poorly recorded, if at all. In the early 20th century, much of The Slitter was removed without record. Excavations by Gough in 1887-8 recovered Roman finds from both, including human remains, iron spearheads, pottery, and coins "sealed together in little heaps" - late 4th/early 5th century in date. Prior to 1934, a Bronze Age palstave was recovered from the Slitter. The majority of the finds from the site are in the museum at Gough's Cave (ST 45 SE 10), although the human remains were presented to the museum of the University of Bristol Speleological Society. Among the coins possibly attributed to the cave is bronze coin of Rome of circa 500 AD. The coins have become confused with those from Gough's Old Cave (ST 45 SE 114), but at least 375 in total appear to have come from Long Hole and the Slitter, ranging from Nero to the early 5th century (plus the coin of 500 AD noted above), with a particular emphasis on the period 306-395. Roman pottery is represented by at least 18 vessels each from the Slitter and Long Hole. Copper alloy objects include finger rings, bracelets and steelyards. Other Roman finds include part of a rotary quern, plus iron spearheads and some spindle whorls.

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