North East Wales

Bronze Age tools unearthed in Clwydian range hillforts dig

Stone tool
Image caption It was the first time the archaeologists who uncovered the stone tools had seen this type of implement

A new type of ancient stone tool has been uncovered by archaeologists working in the Clwydian range hillforts in Denbighshire.

An area between the Moel Arthur and Penycloddiau was being excavated when half a dozen unusual tools were found at the bottom of an ancient stream bed.

They date back to about 2000 BC and are thought to be the oldest found there.

It suggests there were people at the site long before the Iron Age Hillfort was established.

Previous excavations found burnt stones used for boiling water and an oven from about 5000 BC.

Radiocarbon dates indicate that activity there may go back to neolithic, and possibly mesolithic, times.

Ian Brooks, a professional archaeologist employed by The Clwydian Range Archaeology Group (CRAG) was CRAG, said neither he or his colleagues had seen that type of stone tool before.

Image caption The tools were made of limestone
Image caption The tools were thought to have been used by hunter gatherers
Image caption They have been dated as from 2000 BC
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Media captionMr Brooks said finds such as the stone tools always "gave him a thrill"

He said they are made from the local limestone, come in a range of sizes and have "battering on the end where they have been used for pecking at something, possibly rock faces".

He said despite working in archaeology for a long time, that sort of find always gave him "a thrill".

Denbighshire county archaeologist Fiona Gale said the tools showed them that people were there a long time before the Iron Age hillfort.

"We're talking about 8,000 years ago," she said. "We think they were hunter gatherers."

"They were the same as us. They had different issues to deal with but their capacity, their brainpower and understanding was the same, and that makes you feel quite humble."

She added that they were "really keen to go back next year" to find some more items.

Image copyright Denbighshire council
Image caption Students excavating an iron age hillfort at Penycloddiau

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