Archaeological collections from Long Hole (Gower, Swansea, UK) and their place in the British Palaeolithic

Robert Dinnis, Martin R Bates, Silvia M. Bello, Laura T Buck, Jesse S. Davies, R. C. Preece, Elizabeth A Walker , John Boulton, Damien Flas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

At the time of its excavation in 1861, the cave site of Long Hole (Gower peninsula, Swansea, UK) was recognized as important for establishing the antiquity of man in Wales. However, in comparison to its more illustrious neighbour Paviland Cave, it has received very little attention since. Long Hole has been host to three documented excavations: by Colonel Wood in the 1860s, by John Campbell in 1969 and most recently the small-scale work in 2012 described in this paper. Here we outline Long Hole's excavations and the archaeological material from the cave. Although the site's earliest collections suffer from the familiar problems of being significantly selected and lacking contextual information, several conclusions are possible. Previous suggestions of two late Neanderthal occupations are unconvincing. Lithic artefacts from Long Hole are instead reminiscent of Aurignacian material from Paviland Cave, suggesting that they were left by some of Britain's very early modern human occupants, 37–35,000 cal BP. Because Campbell excavated an apparently well-stratified Late Pleistocene sequence his collections have the greatest potential for future work.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-46
Number of pages10
JournalCave and Karst Science
Volume46
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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