Paviland Cave – also known as ‘Goat’s Hole’ by local people – has a distinctive, pear-shaped entrance that lies 8 metres above sea level, but was once cut by waves when the shoreline lay below, many thousands of years ago. During the time of the Red Lady, the landscape here would have looked much different. Global temperatures were colder and sea levels lower, which meant that the estuary would have been miles back from the cave, creating an open plain teeming with wildlife.
Mammoths would have lived here along with herds of deer, hunted by the occasional sabre-toothed tiger and tribes of Stone Age (Paleolithic) people. These hunter-gatherers would have depended on deer and other animals for food, clothing and tools, tracking the herds across hundreds of miles. Paviland is likely to have been a stopping-off point on their travels. The cave itself would have provided convenient shelter and a good view across the plains, now submerged beneath the sea.