Looking at the wall,face-on the marks were overlaid by layers of calcite. Near the top of the wall was a' formation of calcite in a curved shape with a ledge below it. The criss-crossed markings were underneath the Ledge, below the rock bulged out and then in again as it met with the ground. I moved further along the passage and viewed the wall from a cross section perspective and I immediately thought it resembled the shape of a pregnant woman. I was struck with the idea that the marks could have been put in that specific place because of the shape of the rock, which resembles a fertility figure. I have seen many small portable fertility figures in the museum in Arkara, Turkey, and
during this year's Ice-Age Art exhibition at the British Museum I have also read about similar figures which have been found through out the world all dating to prehistoric times. I believe that this cave formation could have been similarly revered by the people who lived on Mendip in prehistoric times and this is why they made the marks on the stone as some kind of record or homage to the figure in the cave. I told my theory to Chris Binding who thought that this could be an important new idea.
Our second visit was to Goatchurch Cavern, halfway up the side of the Coombe in the West Twin Brook Valley. This proved to be an even more slippery climb down into the cave, over layers of wet calcite.
At the far end we were shown marks of a conjoined V form. These were discovered by Chris who has researched them and identified them as ritual protection marks dating from the period 1550 - 1750. These may have been made for protection against supernatural powers, as they were close to a shaft leading into a lower chamber. The visit proved to be an exciting and fascinating experience. My theory about Aveline's Hole is one that I shall continue to research further in,the future.