Trefael Stone and illuminating the cupmarks. Image © Adam Stanford and WRAO

Writing in The Independent on Tuesday, 10 April, Dalya Alberge reports that –

Archaeologists have discovered the remains of a Neolithic portal dolmen, one of Western Europe’s oldest ritual burial chambered monuments, in an isolated field in Wales. It is thought the tomb was built from giant boulders about 5,500 years ago. Its capstone bears a seemingly random pattern of dozens of circular holes gouged into its surface – symbols of Neolithic or Bronze Age ritual burial activity. What makes it particularly interesting is that the site has rare remains of human bones and shards of decorated pottery.

The archaeological excavation near Newport in Pembrokeshire has been led by George Nash, Thomas Wellicome and Adam Stanford, who plan to resume work in September. Dr Nash, an archaeologist and lecturer at Bristol University, said: “The dolmen is the earliest type of monument you can find in the Neolithic era. “It is very rare to discover such a site of this age. Since 1600, intense farming practices have meant a lot of ancient sites were destroyed. What is unique about the whole thing is that we are dealing with thick, acidic soils but the bones and the pottery have survived.”

Full article here. Detailed reports on The Welsh Rock Art Organization website here and Past Horizons here. See also The Heritage Trust’s 2012 Outreach Event which will take place in Solva, Pembrokeshire. The Event begins on Monday, 16 July and lasts until Wednesday, 18 July.