Early Prehistory: Projects and Publications

In recent years the Department has been actively researching the Palaeolithic settlement of Wales through the work of the former Keeper of Archaeology, Dr Stephen Aldhouse-Green, assisted by Miss Elizabeth Walker, Collections Manager. This work has also involved the reassessment of a large quantity of material derived from previous excavations, including that from the famous site of Paviland Cave, Gower and Coygan Cave.

Pontnewydd Cave
Pontnewydd Cave excavations

New excavations have also been conducted at a number of Welsh caves including Pontnewydd, Cefn, Hoyles Mouth and Little Hoyle to recover new material under modern scientific conditions. This work resulted in the recovery of teeth from an individual dated to c. 250,000 years BC - one of Wales's oldest inhabitants.

This work has led to the publication of a number of academic articles and a monograph, with further publications to follow. This work has also been complemented by the publication of a popular introduction to this period in Wales: Ice Age Hunters. Elements of the Palaeolithic and Neolithic culture of Wales were also included in the exhibition Art, Ritual and Death, which was accompanied by a publication.

The Department has also compiled a catalogue of its Mesolithic and Neolithic collections (Catalogue of the Mesolithic and Neolithic collections at the National Museum of Wales, ISBN 0 7200 0516 7), which will be the first in a new series of catalogues.

Dr Steve Burrow, Earlier Prehistorian

For further information, please visit our research project pages: Archaeology & Numismatics Department

what's on

  • National Museum Cardiff

    National Museum Cardiff

    Discover art, natural history and geology. With a busy programme of exhibitions and events, we have something to amaze everyone, whatever your interest – and admission is free!

  • St Fagans National History Museum

    St Fagans

    St Fagans is one of Europe's foremost open-air museums and Wales's most popular heritage attraction.

  • Big Pit National Coal Museum

    Big Pit

    Big Pit is a real coal mine and one of Britain's leading mining museums. With facilities to educate and entertain all ages, Big Pit is an exciting and informative day out.

  • National Wool Museum

    National Wool Museum

    Located in the historic former Cambrian Mills, the Museum is a special place with a spellbinding story to tell.

  • National Roman Legion Museum

    National Roman Legion Museum

    In AD 75, the Romans built a fortress at Caerleon that would guard the region for over 200 years. Today at the National Roman Legion Museum you can learn what made the Romans a formidable force and how life wouldn't be the same without them.

  • National Slate Museum

    National Slate Museum

    The National Slate Museum offers a day full of enjoyment and education in a dramatically beautiful landscape on the shores of Llyn Padarn.

  • National Waterfront Museum

    National Waterfront Museum

    The National Waterfront Museum at Swansea tells the story of industry and innovation in Wales, now and over the last 300 years.

  • Rhagor: Explore our collections

    Rhagor (Welsh for ‘more’) offers unprecedented access to the amazing stories that lie behind our collections.