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3 2 The MeNDIps secret passages through the landscape the Mendip Hills run eastwest across north somerset from Frome to WestonsuperMare on the Bristol channel. these lime stone hills have elevations of about 1000 ft above sea level and are honeycombed with potholes, caves, swallets and underground streams. to the south of the Mendips lie the somerset levels which were once part of an inland sea that receded leaving a network of rivers, rhines and marshes. In the middle of the levels one can see a distinctive small conical hill Glastonbury tor. Prehistoric man dwelt here. In a cave at cheddar Gorge Britain s oldest complete skeleton c. 7000 Bc was found and in caves at Wookey Hole there is evidence of human occupation going back 50,000 years. north of the Mendips are the great stone circles of stanton Drew dating back to the Bronze Age c. 2000 Bc. In the peat bogs of the somerset Levels near Glastonbury the remnants of Iron Age villages have been found along with earlier wooden trackways across the marshes such as the 2500 Bc Abbot s Way opposite, linking the islands of Westhay and Burtle, and the sweet track below. the latter has been carbon dated to around 3800 Bc, a time when basic farming was beginning to replace the initial huntergatherer existence of early neolithic man. Above The Abbot s Way runs from Burtle to Westhay, both of which were islands standing out from the marshes. The name is a misnomer, since the trackway is carbondated to 2500BC, long before there were any abbots living at Glastonbury.
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