Excavations at cathole cave, Gower, Swansea
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The discovery of an engraving in Cathole Cave in 2010 led to a decision to grille the cave. In 2012 excavations took place in the cave ahead of the grilling. Two areas of the cave were excavated; Trench A demonstrating that the cave held a faunal occupation dating to MIS 3, at a time, or times, between 50,000 and 30,000 BP. Two flint blades of Upper Palaeolithic appearance were discovered along with a faunal assemblage from within the shallow deposits across the line of the grille. The work demonstrated that the earlier excavations in the cave by Col. E.R. Wood were extensive and at this point in the cave he excavated to bedrock. The standing section (Trench B) which he left exposed further along the main cave passage was also cleaned, recorded and sampled. The deposits contain a faunal assemblage dominated by microfauna, but no cultural artefacts were found. The dating of key animal bones, the analysis of the microfauna and the sedimentological analysis have together enabled a picture to be developed of the changes in this section from the mid-Devensian to Late Glacial and Holocene.
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