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Tests reveal Isle of Man deer skeleton is 14,500 years old

The Giant Deer's skeleton is over 14,500 years old - 4,000 years older than human habitation on the Isle of Man Photo: Manx National Heritage

An ancient skeleton has been scientifically dated at the Isle of Man’s Manx Museum 100 years after its first display.

One of the museum’s most popular exhibits, that of the Giant Deer, is a significant and complete artefact, which until recently had not been conserved.

Last year, the skeleton was carefully removed and taken to a conservation facility within the Museum complex, where teams from both Manx National Heritage and the Lancashire Conservation Studios completed the cleaning and conservation of the skeleton.

The skeleton is on display at the Geology Gallery, Manx Museum in Douglas Credit: Manx National Heritage

All three samples of the tiny bones removed from the deer revealed that the animal died over 14,500 years ago, meaning that the deer predated humans living on the island by 4,000 years.

The researchers now want to know whether tooth samples of the Giant Deer will reveal if it was native to the Isle of Man, or crossed over from England or Ireland.

The skeleton is on display in the refurbished Geology Gallery at the Manx Museum.