Archaeologists are ready to exhume and analyze human remains found in a prehistoric monument believed to be a burial place.
Until now it was thought that Pembrokeshire Trefael stone (UK) was just one of many sites linked to the Bronze Age. But scientists believe it is the cornerstone of a ritual burial chamber from the Stone Age 5,500 years ago. A team of archaeologists from the University of Bristol examine the human bones found there, as well as various beads and pottery shards.
Since the stone was discovered in 1889, there have been various theories about its usefulness, but none endowed it with important value. The first suggestion that may be more significant dates back to 1972, when archaeologist Frances Lynch suggested that it could be a dolmen or burial chamber.
Bristol University researchers Dr George Nash, Thomas Wellicome and Adam Stanford conducted the first excavation in September 2010. But seeing that there was more material, they returned the following year. In addition to unearthing the human and ceramic remains, they also found a kind of coffin half a meter long they estimate was put there in the Bronze Age.
The finding indicates that the site could have been reused as a burial site, shortly after the original stone chamber was built. This would make it one of the earliest Neolithic burial sites in Wales and Western Europe.
According to Dr. Nash, Lynch did not perform any geophysical or excavation survey, which always made him think that there was something else there: "I've always had a hunch that it could be a lot bigger. It's very exciting. It's one of those things that only happens once in a lifetime”.
The researcher also commented that have been able to establish that the chamber was built from giant rocks around 3,500 BC. and that it was disassembled about 1500 years later. The beads indicate that the area may have been associated with burials long before the burial chamber was built. Nash believes it may be related to a nearby 10,000-year-old Mesolithic site.
In any case, the team was surprised have been able to find all the remainsAs the soil is highly acidic and has been abused by crops and local treasure hunters for generations. "It's a big problem in Wales, because a lot of sites have been dug up by antique dealers who would dig a hole for interesting things, grab them and then leave, leaving the place in ruins. It is extremely rare”Explains Nash.
Passionate about History, he has a degree in Journalism and Audiovisual Communication. Since he was a child he loved history and ended up exploring the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries above all.