Underland - Chapter 2 Summary & Analysis

Robert Macfarlane
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Summary

In “Burial,” MacFarlane starts his underground journey in earnest, going caving in the Mendip Hills of Somerset. The hills, composed largely of limestone, have been used as burial sites by humans for at least 10,000 years. To start the chapter, MacFarlane discusses a 10,000-year-old charnel house two rabbit hunters discovered in 1797. The place, named Aveline’s Hole, contained the remains of many different people, children and adults, animal remains and votive items like necklaces and pieces of ammonite. Evidence from the burial site suggests the hunter-gatherer people who used it were malnourished yet still made the effort to travel to the site and lower their dead into the limestone chamber.

An experienced caver named Sean guides MacFarlane through this chapter and teaches him undersight, or the ability to see the entrances to caves and to see in the dark. Sean says the Mendip hills are...

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This section contains 1,461 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Underland Study Guide
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