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Cefn caves (multiple)
Primary Reference Number (PRN) : 19306 Trust : Clwyd Powys Community : Cefnmeiriadog NGR : SJ02057052 Site Type (preferred type first) : Multiperiod Cave occupation Legal Protection : scheduled ancient monument
Description : Multiple site: Cefn Caves. See PRNs 102137, 102138, 102135. Probably only one (PRN 102135) has been excavated.
CPAT 2009: This record is an overall reference to the upper three cave entrances recorded in the Cefn Rocks, all of which (PRNs 102135, 102137 and 102138) interconnect to form a single system (see detailed survey in Oldham 1991, 13).
Exploration and excavation commenced in the 1830s and is first described by the Rev E Stanley in 1833. Early finds included four flint flakes and pottery, together with human and apparently Pleistocene mammal bone. The presence of boulder clay pebbles and waterworn bone suggested that the deposits had been brought into the cave by the action of water (Dawkins 1874, 286).
The human bone and flint flakes are described as originating from the 'lower' entrance by Dawkins (1874, 159 and 286), probably referring to PRN 102135, although the possibility that some material originated from cave PRN 102136, nearby, cannot be dismissed. A late Upper Palaeolithic Creswellian point is recorded from an excavation, and noted by Campbell (1977). (Davies 1989, 100)
The finds from the 1830s excavations are now apparently in both the Grosvenor Museum, Chester and the National Museum Wales, Cardiff. (Oldham, 1991, 12). Other finds in Chester and Liverpool museums, and also in private hands (Cullingford 1962, 337).
There is an extensive literature on this group of caves for which see Chamberlain & Williams 2000.
Davies, E , 1929 , The Prehistoric and Roman remains of Denbighshire
Boyd Dawkins, W , 1874 , Cave Hunting
Green, H S , 1983 , Excavations at Pontnewydd and Cefn Caves , Archaeology in Clwyd : 6 : 1
Valdemar, A E , 1970 , A new assessment of the occupation of the Cefn caves in relation to the Pont Newydd cave , Transactions of the Cave Research Group of Great Britain : 12 : 109-12
Stanley, E , 1833 , Memoir on a cave at Cefn in Denbighshire , Edinburgh New Philisophical Journal : 14 : 40-3
Valdemar, A E & Jones, R D , 1970 , An initial report on the archaeological and palaeontological caves and rock shelters in North Wales , Transactions of the Cave Research Group of Great Britain : 12 : 99-107
Green, H S , 1986 , The Palaeolithic settlement of Wales research project: a review of progress 1978-85
Ffoulkes, W W , 1872 , On the discovery of platycnemic men in Denbighshire, and notes on their remains , Archaeologia Cambrensis : 3 : 22-32
Cadw , 2003 , Cadw Field Monument Wardens Report - De115(DEN)
Cadw , 1990 , Scheduling map - De115(DEN)
Anon , 1921 , title unknown - Cefn caves (multiple)
Anon , 1947 , title unknown - Cefn caves (multiple)
National Museum of Wales , 1994 , Correpondence - Cefn caves (multiple)
Dyfed Archaeological Trust , nd , Tiroedd coll ein cyndadau/The lost lands of our ancestors