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Bontnewydd Palaeolithic site facts for kids

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Bontnewydd palaeolithic site
Ogof Bontnewydd Cave
cave entry
Bontnewydd Palaeolithic site is located in Wales
Bontnewydd Palaeolithic site
Location in Wales
Bontnewydd Palaeolithic site is located in the United Kingdom
Bontnewydd Palaeolithic site
Location in the United Kingdom
Location near St Asaph
Region Denbighshire, Wales
Coordinates 53°13′37″N 3°28′34″W / 53.22694°N 3.47611°W / 53.22694; -3.47611
Periods Paleolithic
Associated with Neanderthals
Site notes
Excavation dates 1978
Archaeologists Stephen Aldhouse Green
Neanderthaler Fund
Neanderthal from the period

The Bontnewydd palaeolithic site, also known in its unmutated form as Pontnewydd (Welsh language: 'New bridge'), is an archaeological site near St Asaph, Denbighshire, Wales. It is one of only three sites in Britain to have produced fossils of ancient species of humans (together with Boxgrove and Swanscombe) and the only one with fossils of a classic Neanderthal. It is located a few yards east of the River Elwy, near the hamlet of Bontnewydd, near Cefn Meiriadog, Denbighshire.

Palaeolithic site

Bontnewydd was excavated from 1978 by a team from the University of Wales, led by Dr. Stephen Aldhouse Green. Teeth and part of a jawbone from a Neanderthal boy approximately eleven years old were dated to 230,000 years ago. Seventeen teeth from at least five individuals were found.

The teeth show evidence of taurodontism, enlarged pulp cavities and short roots, which is characteristic of Neanderthals, and although it is not unique to them it is one of the reasons that the species was identified as Neanderthal.

In Britain, the wolf Canis lupus was the only canid species present from Marine Isotope Stage 7 (243,000 years before present), with the oldest record from Pontnewydd Cave.

The site is also important for its Mammoth steppe fauna, such as reindeer and woolly rhinoceros, dating to between around 41,000 and 28,000 years ago.

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