Page last updated at 12:09 GMT, Tuesday, 1 September 2009 13:09 UK

Hill fort dates back 3,000 years

Moel Famau
An earlier dig at Moel Famau showed evidence of life 10,000 years ago

Archaeologists have discovered that a hill fort in Denbighshire may be almost 3,000 years old.

Experts excavated Moel y Gaer in the Clwydian Range after tests suggested the Iron Age settlement (700 BC to 34 AD) might be older than first thought.

Samples of metal slag and dry stone facing taken from an entrance suggest parts may date back to the Bronze Age (2,300 BC to 700 BC).

It is hoped carbon dating will identify the exact age of the samples.

The venture was a joint project between Bangor University and Denbighshire's Heather and Hill forts project.

Professor Raimund Karl, Head of Bangor University's School of History, Welsh History and Archaeology, said: "We have recovered some quite substantial charcoal samples so we can try to arrange carbon dating, which should hopefully narrow down our dating range for the construction of the rampart.

"I consider the dig to have been a great success and the results will hopefully answer the research questions we started out with, as well as having opened up a couple of new ones - which we may try to explore in further fieldwork either at Moel y Gaer or at some of the other hill forts in the area."

The three-year Heather and Hill forts Project has received a £1.5m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund towards research and conservation work.

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