Stone Age hearth another 5,000-year-old find

By Victoria Hallifax in Local People

A STONE age hearth, dated at almost 5,000 years old, has been discovered in Monmouth.

Monmouth archaeologists working on the housing and industrial developments along Wonastow Road continue to record prehistoric and Roman remains in and around the huge post-glacial lake which is believed to have once filled much of the bowl of Monmouth.

A New Stone Age hearth was discovered during preliminary groundworks for the large Siltbuster building which is now nearing completion.

Work was suspended on the groundworks until the archaeologists had totally excavated and ‘preserved by record’ the remains.

The hearth would have been on the shore of the prehistoric lake and contained animal bones and charcoal which have been radiocarbon dated to 4882 years ‘before the present’ (1950) by the Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre, or around 2932BC.

The hearth is of a similar period to that of the worked timbers believed to be from a New Stone Age boat found last year on the edge of the lake shore some 200 yards away, which have been dated to 3210BC.

A Barratt Homes UK site a few hundred yards away has also produced a New Stone Age timber dated to 2231 BC (4,181 years before 1950) and nearby two late Bronze Age/early Iron Age timbers have been dated to 468BC and 502BC.

All of these timbers would have been in the lake and at present all may have been structural.

Monmouth Archaeology, the professional wing of Monmouth Archaeological Society, is being employed under planning law by Barratt Homes UK and David Wilson Homes UK and on the entrance site by Siltbuster Ltd.

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