Bontnewydd Palaeolithic site

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Map of Bontnewydd Palaeolithic site
Map of Bontnewydd Palaeolithic site
Bontnewydd
Denbighshire

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]

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]

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]

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.

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]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Gathering the Jewels". The National Library of Wales. Gathering the Jewels. Retrieved 2015-02-10. 
  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

References[edit]

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