Wales

Woolly rhino teeth among finds discovered in Denbighshire

Teeth from a woolly rhino were found at the site Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Teeth from a woolly rhino were found at the site

Woolly rhino teeth were among finds discovered in an archaeological dig at a cave in Denbighshire.

The prehistoric fangs were discovered in the Ffynnon Beuno cave in Tremeirchion.

The site has been dubbed one of the UK's most important as it is one of only three where early modern humans and late Neanderthals lived.

Along with other animal teeth and bone fragments, a piece of flint worked by early humans was also found.

The team, led by Dr Rob Dinnis, was excavating a previously unexplored fissure in the cave, and examining discarded material left by Victorian archaeologists.

"Outside the cave we found all of the bits that were missed by the Victorian excavators," Dr Dinnis said.

"Not just missed, things they just did not consider important. We found animal remains that we know belong in the Ice Age. Things like hyena, woolly rhino, a lot of wild horse remains as well.

"And we have also found a few bits of stone tools."

The cave was first excavated in the 1880s. It has preserved fragments from the last Ice Age, between 30,000 and 60,000 years ago.

Dr Dinnis said: "As well as the animal bones we also have evidence for Neanderthals, late Neanderthals, and the very first homo sapiens being around the site.

"And we have found evidence of that outside the cave. We have found bits of waste from the manufacture of stone tools.

"Some of those pieces we can be very confident belong to the first homo sapiens that came to Britain."

Image caption Teeth and bone from other creatures were also discovered

Dr Dinnis said, following the latest dig, he could be sure that all the material from the site belonged to the same time period.

"The fact that, inside the cave, we have deposits of roughly the right age remaining makes it incredibly important," said Dr Dinnis.