Bontnewydd Palaeolithic site

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Map of Bontnewydd Palaeolithic site
Map of Bontnewydd Palaeolithic site

The Bontnewydd Palaeolithic site is an archaeological site near St Asaph, Denbighshire, Wales which has yielded one of the earliest known remains of Neanderthals in Britain. It is located a few yards east of the River Elwy, near the hamlet of Bont Newydd,near Cefn Meiriadog, Denbighshire The site is sometimes referred to as Pontnewydd, meaning 'New bridge'.

Palaeolithic site[edit]

Ogof Bontnewydd Cave Sir Ddinbych 11.JPG

Bontnewydd was excavated from 1978 by a team from the University of Wales, led by Dr Stephen Aldhouse Green. Teeth and part of a jawbone excavated in the cave in 1981 were dated to 230,000 years ago. The bone is from a Neanderthal boy approximately eleven years old.[1]

Based on the morphology and age of the teeth, particularly the evidence of taurodontism (enlarged pulp cavities and short roots), the teeth are believed to belong to a group of Neanderthals who hunted game in the vale of Elwy in an interglacial period.[2]

Neanderthal from the period

The site is the most north-western site in Eurasia for remains of early hominids and is considered of international importance. Other key paleolithic sites in the UK are Happisburgh, Pakefield, Boxgrove, Swanscombe, Kents Cavern, Paviland, and Gough's Cave.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Gathering the Jewels". Early Neanderthal jaw fragment, c. 230,000 years old. Culturenet Cymru. 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-25. [dead link]
  2. ^ Museum of Wales 2007


Coordinates: 53°13′38″N 3°28′35″W / 53.2271°N 3.4763°W / 53.2271; -3.4763