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Goat’s Hair Twin Caves, Palaeolithic occupation site. Also Neolithic site

Ref: HLCGFP4/008

Goats Hair Twin Caves Located at 190m above sea level, these two caves lie side by side 30m above the path leading to Martin’s Cave. They have both been formed along vertical fractures, and water percolating along these has dissolved most of the rock. Both caves have a large, triangular entrance tapering off some 15m towards the end of the cave. This indicates the likelihood of marine erosion, as there is also a wave-cut platform and evidence of sand conglomerate outside the entrance that could indicate a past sea level.

This name was given to them by explorers seeing it was a constant goatherd refuge in the 19th century and therefore due to the large amount of Goats Hair found attached to the cave walls. This sites original name however is ‘Sewell’s Fig Tree Caves’ after Captain Sewell who incidentally was also the discoverer of what is now often referred to as ‘Cave S’ or ‘Sewell’s Cave’.

In 1867, these caves were explored and partly excavated by Captain Brome, a well-known explorer of Gibraltar's caves at the time.

One of these caves was then heavily excavated and emptied of all deposits by the Gibraltar cave research group, led by George Palao in November 1969, reaching the caves bedrock in June 1970.

During these excavations, there was the discovery of a ‘prehistoric ceremonial burial’ on the northern wall of one of the two caves revealing a human skeleton surrounded by various pottery vessels, bone pendants, flint blades, armlets and anklets. There are descriptions of this excavation and the findings but sadly there is no record of these finds having ever been deposited within the Gibraltar Museum and therefore to this day, there is no trace of this important piece of Gibraltar's heritage.

George Palao working on some pottery fragments (Neville Chipulina).

Goat's Hair excavation graffiti.

Goat's Hair Cave entrance.

Goat's Hair Cave interior.

Goat’s Hair Twin Caves, Palaeolithic occupation site. Also Neolithic site Image