Page last updated at 05:56 GMT, Wednesday, 25 June 2008 06:56 UK

Dig unearths Neolithic settlement

An archaeologist digging at the quarry
Archaeologists hope to find the remains of Neolithic timber houses

Archaeologists have found the remains of a 4,000-year-old Neolithic settlement in Wrexham.

The Clwyd-Powys Archaeological Trust (CPAT) is excavating the site at Borras Quarry, and hopes to discover evidence of timber houses.

They began digging after cooking pits were discovered during work to expand the site, which is owned by Tarmac.

The mining and construction company said topsoil removal nearby had ceased to allow artefacts to be retrieved.


This is an important discovery as there is currently very little evidence for Neolithic settlement in this part of Wales

Nigel Jones, CPAT

Nigel Jones, of the CPAT, said the discoveries were made as topsoil and subsoil was being removed in preparation for gravel extraction at the new Holt Estate section of the quarry.

He added: "We were monitoring them and we started to get a number of features come to light.

"We got in touch with Tarmac and alerted them to the fact they had something quite significant here.

"The area has been fenced off and there's a team of archaeologists there for several weeks."

'Important'

He added: "Tarmac have been very good and very co-operative. They are paying for the work as part of their planning conditions.

"This is an important discovery as there is currently very little evidence for Neolithic settlement in this part of Wales.

"It is hoped that the excavations will reveal more evidence for occupation, possibly including the remains of timber houses."

Plans for Tarmac to extract more than 10m tonnes of sand and gravel from land between Borras and Gresford were approved in 2005.

Tarmac's estates and geology manager Richard Hulse said: "It appears that these are cooking pits typically used to heat water in order to prepare food.

"As a result we have ceased topsoil removal in the immediate vicinity in order to retrieve any further artefacts which may be present."




SEE ALSO
Planners approve quarry expansion
06 Dec 05 |  North East Wales
Quarry landfill given go-ahead
31 Aug 04 |  South West Wales
Public inquiry into landfill row
20 Jul 04 |  North East Wales

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