A 5,500-year-old dolmen may have information about the first Bretons

A 5,500-year-old dolmen may have information about the first Bretons

A team of British archaeologists has discovered the remains of a Neolithic dolmen in an isolated field in Wales. The tomb is thought to have been built from huge slabs 5,500 years ago. The cornerstone has a random pattern of dozens of holes etched into its surface, corresponding to Neolithic or Bronze Age funerary symbols. The type of monument is one of the oldest funerary constructions in Western Europe.

Newport Castle, city where the Neolithic dolmen has been found

But what makes this tomb in Wales so peculiar and exceptional is that contains strange human remains and many decorated ceramic pieces. We still have to wait for investigators to have a court order to exhume the remains, but carbon tests, among others, will shed more light on the ancestors who inhabited that place.

The archaeological excavation, located near Newport in Pembrokeshire, Wales, she has been mentored by George Nash, Thomas Wellicome and Adam Stanford, who plan to resume their work in September.

Dr Nash, an archaeologist and professor at the University of Bristol, argues that the dolmen isthe oldest type of monument"That can be found"from the Neolithic era”And explains:“It is very rare to discover a find of this age. Since 1600, agricultural practices have destroyed many of the remains that were in these types of sites. What is exceptional about this place is that, even dealing with thick and acidic soils, the bones and pottery have survived.«.

Researchers think that the tomb dates from 3,800 BC. and that the ceramic, due to its design, appears to be from Late Neolithic. Other finds include two 4.5cm diameter beads, believed to have been part of some type of costume jewelery. Furthermore, they link the discovery to hundreds of examples found in the 1970s at a nearby settlement dating back to Mesolithic period, 9,000 years ago. This indicates that the tomb found may be even older and have its origins in the Mesolithic.

The stone marked with the various holes, which is thought to be the cornerstone of dolmen, was registered in 1929. Later, in 1972, the archaeologist Frances Lynch referred to the place as “a possible dolmen due to the shape of the cornerstone”. He did not do any further research or excavation, only speculated what it might be.

The site remained without further investigation until Dr. Nash's team conducted the recent excavation. With the help of a geophysical survey, the dolmen lines, including a line of stones that were considered to belong to some limits of the field.

Dr Aron Mazel, an archaeologist and professor at the University of Newcastle, stated that the discovery of the Neolithic dolmen is very "exciting because there are not many similar”. He adds that what is particularly interesting about this one, “is the number of marks on the slab and the extraction of human remains and ceramics”. For Mazel, Dr. Nash's team will be «capable of extracting a lot of information from the bones about the origin and life of the people buried in the dolmen«.

Passionate about History, he has a degree in Journalism and Audiovisual Communication. Since he was little he loved history and ended up exploring the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries above all.

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