Primary Reference Number (PRN) : 102132 Trust : Clwyd Powys Community : Cefnmeiriadog NGR : SJ01527102 Site Type (preferred type first) : Palaeolithic Cave occupation Legal Protection : scheduled ancient monument
Description : Cave previously explored by Boyd Dawkins. Recent excavations by S Green (NMW) (PRN 39919) has revealed evidence of human occupation dating back in excess of 128000 years. Probably Neanderthal man present also. Excavations continue.
Artefact-rich debris flows examined in 1984. Also new and undisturbed entrance located. Artefacts included hand axes, discoidal cores, Levallois flakes, scrapers and struck flakes. 1985 season produced first hominid find of unworn molar from immature individual, perhaps from 8 to 12 years old, found in previous seasons (Green, S 1985, 25-6).
1987 Excavations focussed on new entrance and deposits in cave. Entrance deposits 6m deep, palaeolithic artefact-bearing levels at base (Green, S 1987, 39).
Cave occupied 250,000 years ago by populations of Neanderthal lineage. Stone implements, animal and human bones found. Fauna include deer, bison, rhinoceros, horse, wolf, fox, hare and bird bones. Bones from adult and three children also found (Green, S 1988, 51-2).
Scheduling revised 24/8/90.
Finds in NMW. Lithic numbers taken only from first report (Green 1984). (CPAT Lithics, 2001)
Brick structures at the entrance were apparently created to act as an ammunition store in WW2. The cave is as described by previous sources. Apparently some in-situ deposits survive below ground but this was not checked, although the access doors to the interior were open. The degree of past excavation at the entrance to the site is not now readily apparent, but can be readily seen on old site photographs. (Caves Scheduling Enhancement Project, CPAT site visit 11/2/2009)
There is an extensive literature on this cave for which see Chamberlain & Williams 2000.