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SOS Rhino : In the News : Current Rhino News : Historical site holds scientific key
 

Historical site holds scientific key

  BBC News
UK: Wales
July 16, 2002

The caves could prove when mammoths roamed Wales. Geologists believe an area of north east Wales could hold the key to when mammoths, elephants and rhinos used to roam the country. Huge mammals such as the hippopotamus, rhinoceros, bison and straight-tusked elephants roamed the Welsh countryside.

The site, called Coedydd ac Ogofau Elwy a Meirchion has examples of events that took place in the area between 15,000 and 250,000 years ago.

Pontnewydd Cave is the most widely known of the Denbighshire cluster.

A tooth believed to be more than 200,000 years old was discovered during an archaeological dig there.

The object is believed to be the oldest human remain discovered in Wales.

Raymond Roberts, spokesman for the CCW said not everything has changed over the years.


Pistyll Rhaeadr is an area of scientific interest


"Around 125,000 years ago Wales enjoyed similar environmental conditions to those we have now.

"However, huge mammals such as the hippopotamus, rhinoceros, bison and straight-tusked elephants roamed the Welsh countryside."

Fossil remains of these animals have been found in a number of caves throughout north east Wales.

People have been digging the site since the 1800s and the National Museum of Wales in Cardiff has done a lot of work there.

Archaeological importance

The private landowner has been notified that the area in Denbigh has been highlighted as important and he has agreed to make sure the site is protected.

Mr Roberts said the area is of great importance to both archaeological and geology students of the future.

There are more than 1,000 areas of Special Scientific Interest in Wales including Pistyll Rhaeadr, a spectacular waterfall near Llanrhaeadr ym Mochnant in mid Wales.

Mr Roberts added: "There is a wealth of sites throughout the country that shows us exactly how important Wales is in geological terms."


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