A Homeless man claims to have discovered Britain's oldest cave paintings whilst looking for somewhere to sleep. Billy Mungo (above), 64, entered a cave in Somerset's Cheddar Gorge last thursday night, and lit a fire to stave off the cold.
To Billy's amazement, the firelight revealed dozens of paintings on the cave walls, which he believes may originate from the Palaeolithic era, some 17,000 years ago. This would make them as old as the famous Lascaux cave paintings in Southwest France, and would turn accepted ideas about the evolution of early Britons on their head.
Compared to the French cave paintings, which consist of beautifully drawn animals and intricate symbolic designs, the Somerset cave art appears somewhat crude, exclusively depicting male and female genitalia. And, unlike the French paintings, which employ a rich colour palette of natural pigments, the Somerset works are all done in thick black strokes, almost as if somebody had used an indelible marker pen.
The largest image depicts an erect penis and testicles, with stylised line emanating from the bottom, possibly indicating pubic hair. From the top of the penis a curved dotted line is drawn, believed to show semen or possibly urine. The other cave paintings show tits and hairy pussies.
Mr Mungo admits that he has no formal Palaeological training, but believes his discovery casts a whole new light on our understanding of stone age man. He told us: "These paintings indictae that a belief system was in place, in which great importance was put on the idea of fertility."
"They also suggest that ancient men communicated using a rudimentary language, and that their names were very similar to those we know today," he continued.
"The evidence for this is very strong as one of the cave dwellers has written the words 'Steve Dennis's cock smells' under one of the drawings," he added.
Experts have yet to verify the exact age of the paintings, but anyone who wishes to see them for themselves can turn up and get a guided tour from Mr Mungo in return for ten pence for a cup of tea.