History of Landscape Unearthed; STUDY OFFERS GLIMPSE OF PAST

Article excerpt


A SAMPLE of earth analysed from the Clwydian Range has pieced together the timeline of human activity on the hills dating back almost 10,000 years.

Soil and heather extracts were taken from Moel Llys y Coed near Cilcain, to provide a picture of the change in the landscape over the years.

Experts found the uplands on Moel Famau were used for hunting in the Mesolithic period (8000-4000BC).

Evidence also suggests farming was common place during the Iron Age (750BC-43AD).

Techniques used in the Uplands Archaeology Initiative study included radio carbon dating and analysis of pollen samples.

Evidence of burned woodland was found, suggesting clearings were created to attract wild grazing herds, making them easier to hunt in the open. This also encouraged the growth of hazel, providing nuts as a valuable addition to people's diet.

There was evidence the uplands had been used for animal grazing in the earlier Neolithic (the New Stone Age 4000-2200BC) period and that people were beginning to cultivate cereals.

The first signs of heather are seen in the Bronze Age (2200-750BC). …