Bontnewydd Palaeolithic site

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Bontnewydd palaeolithic site
Ogof Bontnewydd Cave
cave entry
Bontnewydd Palaeolithic site is located in Wales
Bontnewydd Palaeolithic site
Shown within Wales
Bontnewydd Palaeolithic site is located in the United Kingdom
Bontnewydd Palaeolithic site
Bontnewydd Palaeolithic site (the United Kingdom)
Locationnear St Asaph
RegionDenbighshire, Wales
Coordinates53°13′37″N 3°28′34″W / 53.22694°N 3.47611°W / 53.22694; -3.47611Coordinates: 53°13′37″N 3°28′34″W / 53.22694°N 3.47611°W / 53.22694; -3.47611
Associated withNeanderthals
Site notes
Excavation dates1978
ArchaeologistsStephen Aldhouse Green
Neanderthal from the period

The Bontnewydd palaeolithic site (Welsh: [bɔntˈnɛuɨ̯ð]; also known in its unmutated form as Pontnewydd Welsh language: 'New bridge') 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 Bontnewydd, near Cefn Meiriadog, Denbighshire.

Palaeolithic site[edit]

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]

The teeth show evidence of taurodontism, enlarged pulp cavities and short roots, which is characteristic of Neanderthals, and although it is not unique to them it is one of the reasons that the species was identified as Neanderthal.[2]

The site is the most north-western site in Eurasia for remains of early hominids and is considered of international importance.

In Britain, the wolf Canis lupus was the only canid species present from Marine Isotope Stage 7 (243,000 years before present), with the oldest record from Pontnewydd Cave.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Gathering the Jewels". The National Library of Wales. Gathering the Jewels. Archived from the original on 1 January 2015. Retrieved 2 October 2015.
  2. ^ Museum of Wales 2007
  3. ^ Currant, A.P., 1984. The mammalian remains. In: Green HS. 1984. Pontnewydd Cave. A Lower Palaeolithic Hominid Site in Wales: the First Report. National Museum of Wales: Cardiff; Quaternary Studies Monograph Volume 1, Pages 177-181