Galley Hill Skeleton

In 1888, workmen removing deposits at Galley Hill, near London, England, exposed a bed of chalk. The overlying layers of sand, loam, and gravel were about 10 or 11 feet thick. One workman, Jack Allsop, informed Robert Elliott, a collector of prehistoric items, that he had discovered a human skeleton firmly embedded in these deposits about 8 feet below the surface and about 2 feet above the chalk bed. According to modern opinion, the Galley Hill site would date to the Holstein interglacial, which occurred about 330,000 years ago. Anatomically, the Galley Hill skeleton was judged to be of the modern human type. Most scientists now think that anatomically modern humans (Homo sapiens sapiens) originated in Africa around 100,000 years ago. They say that Homo sapiens sapiens eventually entered Europe in the form of Cro-Magnon man approximately 30,000 years ago, replacing the Neanderthals. Just what do modern paleoanthropologists say about the Galley Hill skeleton?

Allsop had removed the skull but left the rest of the skeleton in place. Elliott stated that he saw the skeleton firmly embedded in the stratum: "We carefully looked for any signs of the section being disturbed, but failed: the stratification being unbroken." Elliott then removed the skeleton and later gave it to E. T. Newton, who published a report granting it great age. A schoolmaster named M. H. Heys observed the bones in the apparently undisturbed deposits before Elliott removed the skeleton. Heys also saw the skull just after it was exposed by a workman excavating the deposits. Heys said about the bones: "No doubt could possibly arise to the observation of an ordinary intelligent person of their deposition contemporaneously with that of the gravel. . . . This undisturbed state of the stratum was so palpable to the workman that he said, 'The man or animal was not buried by anybody.'"

Numerous stone tools were also recovered from the Galley Hill site. Despite the stratigraphic evidence reported by Heys and Elliott, K. P. Oakley and M. F. A. Montagu concluded in 1949 that the skeleton must have been recently buried in the Middle Pleistocene deposits. They considered the bones, which were not fossilized, to be only a few thousand years old. This is also the opinion of almost all anthropologists today. The Galley Hill bones had a nitrogen content similar to that of fairly recent bones from other sites in England. Nitrogen is one of the constituent elements of protein, which normally decays with the passage of time. But there are many recorded cases of proteins being preserved in fossils for millions of years. Because the degree of nitrogen preservation may vary from site to site, one cannot say for certain that the relatively high nitrogen content of the Galley Hill bones means they are recent.

The Galley Hill bones were found in loam, a clayey sediment known to preserve protein. Oakley and Montagu found the Galley Hill human bones had a fluorine content similar to that of Late Pleistocene and Holocene (recent) bones from other sites. It is known that bones absorb fluorine from groundwater. But the fluorine content of groundwater may vary widely from place to place and this makes comparison of fluorine contents of bones from different sites an unreliable indicator of their relative ages. Later, the British Museum Research Laboratory obtained a carbon 14 date of 3,310 years for the Galley Hill skeleton. But this test was performed using methods now considered unreliable. Also, it is highly probable that the Galley Hill bones, kept in a museum for 80 years, were contaminated with recent carbon, causing the test to give a falsely young date.

In attempting to discredit the testimony of Elliott and Heys, who said no signs of burial were evident at Galley Hill, Oakley and Montagu offered several arguments in addition to their chemical and radiometric tests. For example, Oakley and Montagu argued that the relatively complete nature of the Galley Hill skeleton was a sure sign that it was deliberately buried. In fact, almost all of the ribs, the backbone, the forearms, hands, and feet were missing. In the case of Lucy, the most famous specimen of Australopithecus afarensis, more of the skeleton was preserved. And no one has yet suggested that australopithecines buried their dead. Scientists have also discovered fairly complete skeletal remains of Homo erectus and Homo habilis individuals. These cases, as all paleoanthropologists would agree, definitely do not involve deliberate burial. It is thus possible for relatively complete hominid skeletons to be preserved apart from burial. But even if the Galley Hill skeleton was a burial, the burial may not have been recent.

Sir Arthur Keith suggested in 1928: "Weighing all the evidence, we are forced to the conclusion that the Galley Hill skeleton represents a man. . . . buried when the lower gravel formed a land surface." As can be seen, old bones point beyond themselves, quite obliquely, to events in the remote and inaccessible past. Controversy about their age is almost certain to arise, and in many cases the available evidence is insufficient to allow disputes to be definitely settled. This would appear to be true of Galley Hill. The report of Oakley and Montagu casts doubt on the testimony of Elliott and Heys. At the same time, the testimony of Elliott and Heys casts doubt on the report of Oakley and Montagu.

(Source : Hidden History of the Human Race by Michael Cremo)

(Pic source :
Galley Hill Skeleton Galley Hill Skeleton Reviewed by Tripzibit on 08:01 Rating: 5


  1. nice info...thanks for sharing!

    btw, I would like to ask a favor if you could help us vote for my daughter....if you have time....your help is very much appreciated....

    * You can Vote for Akesha by answering "ONE" of the following questions and post the whole sentence as your comment:
    1. (Name of child) is my winning Pinoy Smile because…..
    2. My tip for a healthy smile is……
    3. My dental question for Pinoy Smile is …..
    4. The Pinoy Smile website can be improved by ....
    5. I take care of my teeth by...
    6. Teeth are important because...
    7. I take care of my child's teeth ...

    Note: You can cast your vote and comment everyday. Thanks!

  2. This is fascinating to me. I've heard of Michael Cremo's research before, and it's amazing to me that his work is IGNORED and DISMISSED by the scientific community at large. Why is this? He's on to something fascinating here - namely skeletons being found that contradict traditional scientific understanding of human origins, so why doesn't his research get more attention.

    There are other bones he's discovered that are just as remarkable. I'd love to see THIS in a science museum.

  3. One other thought: you should include a link to Michael Cremo's site,, which has plenty of fascinating links of ancient mysterious human bones.


Powered by Blogger.