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Traces of Neolithic Stone Mounds Uncovered in Wales

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Wales Neolithic CairnBLAENAU GWENT, WALES—Members of the Aberystruth History and Archaeology Society discovered Neolithic cairns in the Cwmcelyn Valley of southern Wales, according to a Wales Online report. The remains of one of the cairns set in the hillside measures about 62 feet long and 40 feet wide. “We only found this one because we noticed that the nearby wall wasn’t straight, and was built around something that was no longer there,” said group member Ian Fewings. A geophysical survey, a 3-D drone survey, and a lidar image of the area revealed the oval-shaped structure. Excavation uncovered remnants of the cairn, in addition to Neolithic flints. “The cairn we have here is around 4,500 years old and would likely have been used as a burial site for one of the leaders or chieftains of this particular group of people,” Fewings said. The structures would have appeared bright white in color, he added. A group of Neolithic huts was found on an adjacent hillside in 2015, although Fewings explained that the cairns are thought to be slightly older than the settlement. Over time, the stones in the cairns would have weathered and faded in color, and were probably reused by farmers to build walls and other structures, he added. To read about a stone cairn and aligned menhirs recently unearthed in central France, go to "Megalithic Mystery."

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