Finds Hint Prehistoric Man Founded Cardiff

Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales), May 10, 2006 | Go to article overview

Finds Hint Prehistoric Man Founded Cardiff


Byline: By PAUL ROWLAND Western Mail

Archaeologists excavating the grounds of the capital's famous castle believe Cardiff may be thousands of years older than previously thought. Prehistoric remains found at Cardiff Castle suggest a settlement existed in the area well before the Romans established a fort there in AD55. The discovery of flint tools and items of coarse pottery at the site mean settlement is more likely to have begun thousands of years earlier. Tests are ongoing to discover how old the finds are. Kate Howell, from the Glamorgan-Gwent Archaeological Trust, said, 'This discovery provides some of the earliest evidence on record for the occupation of the area that we now call Cardiff city centre. 'We have unearthed several small pits and post-holes containing flint tools and coarse pottery, in addition to a line of stake holes at least 15 metres long probably identifying evidence of occupation prior to the Romans. 'This is an exciting discovery and further analysis into these findings will help us gain a better understanding of the area and its activity.'

Excavations carried out at the site as part of the construction of a new visitor centre involved removing the four-metre-high ramparts surrounding the castle walls to expose its foundations.

Archaeologists use the term prehistoric to refer to anything dating from a period before written history was available, which in Britain applies to anything prior to the Roman arrival.

In addition to the prehistoric discovery, the archaeologists also found Roman, medieval and post-medieval artefacts, which are expected to give clues to the lifestyles of the various groups that settled in Cardiff.

One of the first finds exposed was two stone cesspits, which it is hoped will shed some light on the habits of the city's medieval residents, according to Ms Howell.

'A particularly interesting find within this layer consisted of a latrine pit containing deposits of cess,' she said.

'When the pit and its contents are analysed it is expected it may reveal interesting information about the diet of people during this period.

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