Great Orme Has Oldest Copper Mine in World

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Byline: By DAVID POWELL Western Mail

A major tourist attraction in Wales has been entered in the Guinness Book of Records as the largest Bronze Age copper mine in the world. Archeologists at Llandudno's Great Orme Copper Mines said staff at the archaeological attraction are delighted to be awarded this prestigious certificate.

The prehistoric caves date back 3,500 years. Yesterday a Guinness World Record spokeswoman said the category was new so the Great Orme site is the first holder of the title.

Mines spokesman Nick Jowett said, 'Finally the mine has been recognised for what it is - a world-class site of major archaeological significance.

'The discovery of these mines turned former ideas about Britain in the Bronze Age on their head. Twenty years ago it was thought no copper mining took place in Britain during the Bronze Age.

'More of the mine is being uncovered each year and one can only guess at the exciting discoveries yet to be made.'

The award comes after 15 years of excavation, surveying and recording along five kilometres of tunnels.

Some passageways are less than 12 inches high, making excavations extremely difficult.

A section of the mine is open to the public as part of the Bronze Age mining experience on self-guided tours.

Currently research is being carried out with the University of Wales and Daresbury Laboratories to fingerprint the copper from the Great Orme to determine the extent of the trade network emanating from the mine. …