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Vol. 1 1957

Recent archaeological excavation and discovery in Glamorgan

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THERE has not been a great deal of planned excavation on
pre-Roman sites in Glamorgan during the past year or two
and one must turn to field surveys and chance discoveries
to make up the tale.
For the Old Stone Age, there would be nothing to report, were
it not for Mr. J. G. Rutter's painstaking researches in the Minchin
Hole Cave, Pennard, carried out on behalf of the Royal Institution
of South Wales, Swansea. Here, after spending a number of
seasons in successive years clearing the superficial deposits with
their abundant Romano-British and Dark Age remains, Mr.
Rutter and his collaborator, Mr. E. J. Mason, turned in 1955 to
the exploration of the deep Pleistocene deposits in the outer half
of this great cavern. A trial shaft sunk to the rock floor 15 ft.
below the pre-excavation surface disclosed a succession of deposits,
of which the lowest are marine and barren. Above the latter are
two bone-bearing layers which have produced a large collection
of remains of Pleistocene animals, notably of Soft-nosed Rhinoceros
(Rhinoceros hemitoechus) and Wild Ox [Box primigenius). As
many of these remains appear to reflect the warm climatic con-
ditions of an interglacial period, any human artifacts found in
association would be of the greatest interest, since hitherto the
only implements which could be referred to so remote an epoch,
perhaps over 100,000 years ago, have been the Acheulian hand axe
found on Penylan Hill, Cardiff in 1952 and the Acheulio-Levallois-
ian flake tool from the Paviland Cave, both recently studied by
Mr. A. D. Lacaille (Antiquaries Journal, 1954, pp. 64h.) So far,
indeed, no such artifacts have turned up at Minchin Hole, but Mr.
Rutter's excavations will be renewed in the summer of 1957, and
it is hoped that his efforts to increase our limited knowledge of
the first men to live in Glamorgan will be rewarded.
Recent discoveries relating to the New Stone Age and the
Bronze Age have all been made without excavation, but many of
these finds are the result of systematic search by amateur arch-
aeologists. Thus two Barry schoolboys, Howard Thomas and
Gerald Davies, have together found four Neolithic arrowheads of
the characteristic leaf-shaped type on Friar's Point, Barry Island,
and Mr. D. Webley has picked up another fine example near
Wenvoe. As it happens, several Neolithic axe-heads have come
to light in the last few years in the same general area: singly,
in Lavernock Road, Penarth, at Trelai, Ely, and in Llyswen
Road, Cyncoed, and in a hoard of two found while building St.
Cyres School for Spastic Children, Penarth. Such finds confirm the
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