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Human remains found at Neolithic site on Anglesey island

Two partial sets of human remains have been found at a massive neolithic site on Anglesey. Archaeologists have also unearthed a fourth house from the period at the Llanfaethlu dig.

Human remains found at Neolithic site on Anglesey island
Human remains including teeth have been found at neolithic dig site at Llanfaethlu, Anglesey 
[Credit: CR Archaeology]
CR Archaeology have been working at the site since late 2014 and have called the discoveries made there "unparalleled".

More than 6,000 artefacts have been recovered which is the most of any Prehistoric site in North Wales and these include a massive range of pottery styles from both the Neolithic and Bronze age.

The discovery of two partial sets of human remains could cause a "revolution" in how historians view the origins of North Wales agriculture, say CR Archaeology, who have been working with Anglesey Council, Wynne Construction and Gwynedd Archaeological Planning Services.

The dig site is set to become Ysgol Rhyd y Llan, a new superschool for the catchment.

Archaeologist Catherine Rees said: "Human remains are incredibly rare outside of megalithic tombs in this area as bone seldom survives in North Wales. Several teeth have been recovered which will enable scientists to discover more about Anglesey’s first farmers."

Human remains found at Neolithic site on Anglesey island
Drone view of Neolithic archaeological dig at Llanfaethlu on Anglesey 
[Credit: CR Archaeology]
Teeth hold vital information about the individual’s diet and contain details of where the person grew up. Further analysis will show what the people of Llanfaethlu were eating 6000 years ago and whether they grew up in North Wales or had moved in from further afield.

She continued: "It is no understatement to say Llanfaethlu is one of the most significant archaeological discoveries of the last 50 years and it is clearly of international significance. It provides the potential to examine Welsh history over millennia, examining the changing culture and land use. This site will place Wales and Anglesey at the forefront of the current archaeological discourse and Llanfaethlu will undoubtedly become a “type site” in the study of Prehistory."

Professor Alasdair Whittle. Archaeology Professor and neolithic expert at Cardiff University said: "This exciting find is undoubtedly of international importance. It speaks to an important, ongoing debate in the international archaeological research community about the way of life of early farming communities."

Previous phases of work at Llanfaethlu uncovered three Early Neolithic (6000 year old) houses – two of which were almost twice the size of previous examples found in the area.

Human remains found at Neolithic site on Anglesey island
Flint scrapers discovered at the site [Credit: CR Archaeology]
A large Middle Neolithic (5500 years old) pit group containing highly decorated pottery was also excavated. A massive range of pottery styles from the Neolithic and Bronze Age has been collected along with an enormous assemblage of over 2,500 flint and stone artefacts.

Artefacts include complete stone axes, a leaf shaped arrow head, serrated blades and beautiful flakes of rock crystal. Much of the stone from which artefacts were made is not found on Anglesey and had been collected from as far away as Penmaenmawr, the Llŷn, Ireland and the Peak District showing the site was part of an extensive Prehistoric trade network.

Following analysis all finds will be deposited at Oriel Mon, Llangefni , where a display of the excavation is planned.

Author: Tom Davidson | Source: Daily Post [December 05, 2016]

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