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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