A large Mesolithic site (c. 10900 – 5900BP) was discovered during excavations of the medieval town at Rhuddlan, Denbighshire. Over 13,000 stone tools were discovered, and within this assemblage were five decorated stone pebbles including one, which is engraved on both sides and might depict a human body. These represent one of the few examples of decorative art found in Wales during this period.
(Photo National Museum Wales)


Trwyn Du, Anglesey

Evidence for Mesolithic activity is often discovered fortuitously during the archaeological excavation of later more obvious earthworks or sites, as happened during the excavations of Medieval Rhuddlan and at Trwyn Du, Anglesey. In this latter case a Mesolithic occupation deposit dating between 8,000- 9,000 years ago, was recorded lying beneath a Bronze Age burial mound that was being threatened by coastal erosion. However, those living at Trwyn Du during the early Mesolithic would have been living in a river valley some 7km from the sea. It was identified from over 5,000 pieces of flint including points and scrapers, as well as other implements, including two stone axes. The excavators suggested that two small flint filled pits might have supported posts for a windbreak to protect the flint knappers during the manufacture of stone tools. The large number and wide range of flints suggest a long-term, though seasonal, occupation of the site.

The Mesolithic site at Trwyn Du lies beneath a Bronze Age cairn constructed around 4,000 years ago. It was excavated in 1974 when it became clear that the site was threatened by coastal erosion.
(Photo National Museum Wales)