Introducing a Research Framework for the Archaeology of Wales

 

 

www.archaeoleg.org.uk

 

 

 

 

You are here: Home > Introduction > Browse by Theme > Palaeolithic and Mesolithic Wales

 

PALAEOLITHIC AND MESOLITHIC WALES (250,000 BC – 4,000 BC)

The Palaeolithic and Mesolithic in Wales span almost 250,000 years from the first Neanderthals to the emergence of farming communities 6,000 years ago, yet the destructive effects of the last ice sheet mean that only sporadic evidence survives. Throughout this period human presence was influenced by environmental change.

The following are extracts/summaries of the key priorities identified for the period. For the full text, click on the All Wales Final Document link below.

  • Colonisation and re-colonisation - Greater understanding is needed of when people arrived and disappeared, and why.
  • Settlement patterns and histories – The distribution of settlement sites and their interrelationships require elucidation, underpinned by an improved chronology.
  • Social organisation and beliefs – Interactions between people need to be better understood, for example by applying modern approaches to investigating raw material exploitation and early burial and seeking evidence for cave art.

No regional seminar papers were produced in 2003 for this theme. Instead a pan-Wales paper was presented at the regional seminars.


 

Excavation on Burry Holms, Gower, Swansea, investigating an early Mesolithic settlement site beneath a later prehistoric roundhouse. ©National Museum of Wales

Excavation on Burry Holms, Gower, Swansea, investigating an early Mesolithic settlement site beneath a later prehistoric roundhouse.
©National Museum of Wales

 

 

 

1996 research excavations to investigate the findspot of the skeleton of the "Red Lady" of Paviland Cave, Gower, Swansea. ©National Museum of Wales

1996 research excavations to investigate the findspot of the skeleton of the "Red Lady" of Paviland Cave, Gower, Swansea.
©National Museum of Wales

 

 

 

Reconstruction of an early Mesolithic settlement, based on finds from The Nab Head, Pembrokeshire. ©National Museum of Wales

Reconstruction of an early Mesolithic settlement, based on finds from The Nab Head, Pembrokeshire.
©National Museum of Wales