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Goldsland caves excavations

Rick Peterson with Stephen Aldhouse-Green, Cardiff University

Goldsland Wood is an area of deciduous woodland in the parish of Wenvoe on the Vale of Glamorgan. The wood grows on a low limestone ridge running approximately east-west for 2.5 km. Since 2005 the Goldsland Caves Research Project has been investigating deposits outside small caves and rock-shelters in valleys which cross the ridge. The project aims were to evaluate the chronological range of the deposits preserved in the caves ; to assess the sedimentological processes involved in the formation of the deposits; to seek evidence as a basis for environmental reconstruction; and to seek evidence, in particular, of the human use of the caves in the Palaeolithic and into the Holocene and for their possible use for burial. Three seasons of fieldwork have produced disarticulated human remains from three sites associated with Mesolithic and Neolithic flintwork and Neolithic pottery. Post-excavation research will focus on examining this material and trying to address a number of questions: the meaning of natural places and the encultured environment in prehistory; the use of material culture and human remains in the creation of long term memory; the place of caves and rock shelters in Mesolithic and Neolithic mortuary ritual.


Aldhouse-Green, S. & Peterson, R. 2006. Goldsland Caves, Wenvoe, ST112718. Archaeology in Wales 45.

Aldhouse-Green, S. & Peterson, R. (forthcoming). Goldsland Caves, Wenvoe, ST112718. Archaeology in Wales.

Pitts, M. 2005. Cave archaeologists find human remains. British Archaeology 85.