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Last Updated: Wednesday, 9 June, 2004, 09:34 GMT 10:34 UK
Roman relics 'older' than track
Archaeologists excavating a site in mid Wales
The Roman site was discovered underneath the medieval track
The best preserved example in Wales of a medieval track, which dates back 1,000 years, has been unearthed by archaeologists in Ceredigion.

The small team claims the structure, made up of thick wooden beams, has been protected by a peat bog which has covered it for centuries.

Students from the University of Birmingham, lecturers from Lampeter University and experts from Cambria Archaeology, from Llandeilo, have been working on the project for six days.

Carbon dating carried out on fragments of wood from the site date back to 900 or 1020AD.

It is the best preserved medieval track in Wales and that's because it's been preserved by the peat bog
Gwilym Hughes, of Cambria Archaeology

Gwilym Hughes, of Cambria Archaeology, said: "We are excavating a timber trackway at Llancynfelyn, near Talybont, which is very close to Borth.

"The trackway was first examined in March when radiocarbon dates were obtained from two wood samples.

"It is the best preserved medieval track in Wales and that's because it's been preserved by the peat bog.

"It's very unusual to find a medieval track in such a well-preserved state and we've uncovered about 200 metres of the track although it probably would have stretched 2kms.

"The trackway is on edge of Cors Fochno (Borth Bog). This is an area of wetland containing both tidal and freshwater marshes and it is a site of great ecological importance."


Mr Hughes added that there are also botanical remains at the site which could provide evidence of plants and what people were growing 1,000 years ago.

"The waterlogged conditions have allowed the survival of materials, such as wood, that would normally decay over time. "One such site is the wooden trackway," said Mr Hughes.

Medieval track unearthed near Borth
The track is thought to be about 1,000-years-old

"Timber trackways of the kind identified at Llancynfelyn have been recorded and excavated in many areas of Britain and Ireland and have a wide date range from the early Neolithic (over 5,000 years ago) through to the Medieval period.

"The pre-Norman conquest dates for the timber trackway at Llancynfelyn were a considerable surprise and adds to the unusual nature of the discovery.

"It is possible that the trackway provides a route way across the marsh toward the church and settlement at Llancynfelyn.

The excavation of the trackway will help us to understand woodworking techniques and the way that local woodland was managed for timber during the early medieval period.

"We would like to thank the farmer Dilwyn Jenkins for allowing us to excavate in his field, to Cadw for providing financial support and to the students and staff of the University of Birmingham who are helping with the dig."

There will be an open day at the site on Saturday between 11am and 4pm. Directions and more details of the event will be posted on Cambria Archaeology's website.

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