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Submerged lands off the coast of Wales

8 October 2010

At www.walesonline.co.uk September 25th … archaeologists are looking for evidence of the prehistoric past – under the water off the coast of Wales. Dry stone walling and willow fencing has been discovered on the seabed – these features are still common on Welsh hills today. Fossil forests and the discovery of drowned peat bogs have surfaced over the years and it is thought they were submerged around 6000 years ago, environmental archaeologists suggest. This date appears to be a concoction founded on computer simulation of gradual sea level rise during the Holocene – but never mind, forests and bogs were drowned at some point in the prehistoric past and this recognition is leading to a rush to investigate what might be pristine archaeology preserved on the seabed. In this instance, marine archaeologists see the seabed as the place to look for evidence of Mesolithic people – but what else might they discover?

Meanwhile, at www.thecourier.co.uk/Community/Heritage-and-History/article/5518/perthshire … excavations at Forteviot, just to the south of Perth, have uncovered a 4000 year old burial chamber with a four ton capstone. Inside, the tomb was remarkably well preserved – containing a leather bag, wooden objects and plant matter (meadowsweet blooms). The site is however rich with other tombs and has been described as Scotland’s Valley of the Kings. These are from the Neolithic and Bronze Age in the main but also include the typical square barrow cemeteries of the Picts. In addition, a Neolithic timber enclosure was found – requiring some 200 huge timber posts which would have needed a ramp to hoist them into position.

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