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9,000-Year-Old Campsite With Hundreds of Artifacts Unearthed Near Rhuddlan Castle

An ancient campsite and hundreds of stone artifacts were unearthed near the 13th century Rhuddlan Castle in Rhuddlan, Denbighshire, Wales. Additionally, they were located close to Twthill which is the location of a motte (or mound) dating back to the 11th century and is believed to be where the town’s first castle was built.

Denbighshire county councilor Ann Davies explained that a house was approved to be built on Hylas Lane which is near the castle and Twthill so they decided that an archaeological dig would be conducted prior to the construction and that’s when they found the artifacts and campsite.

There were a total of 314 stone artifacts found at the site, some of which were scrapers made from chert (a hard, fine-grained rock) and flint that may have been used to cut meat and hides. Microliths (small blades used for slicing and cutting) and a “notch” (a small tool that may have been used in order to shape wood) were also unearthed.

(Not the stone tools found in Rhuddlan.)

It is believed that the artifacts belonged to a group of people who were just traveling through over 9,000 years ago and decided to make a camp by the water. Experts were able to identify the artifacts as dating back to the Mesolithic Period partly because microliths and bladelets were used during that time.

Richard Cooke from Aeon Archaeology described the findings in further detail, “We found a lot of worked flint from the Mesolithic period.  There were three post holes, material from which was carbon dated at between 9220-9280 years old – plus or minus 30 years.” He thinks that the post holes could have held structures that were used for hanging meat or drying animal skins.

Image of Rhuddlan Castle in the 19th century.

He went on to explain, “Not many of these Mesolithic sites have had samples carbon dated so this is on a par with the oldest proven Mesolithic site in Wales.” “It was a ridge of high ground – just a sandbank probably. These Mesolithic people were hunter gatherers and didn’t have fixed settlements.” “They were well developed people who came before the first farmers.”

Several pictures of the site and the tools can be seen here.

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Jocelyne LeBlanc works full time as a writer and is also an author with two books currently published. She has written articles for several online websites, and had an article published in a Canadian magazine on the most haunted locations in Atlantic Canada. She has a fascination with the paranormal and ghost stories, especially those that included haunted houses. In her spare time, she loves reading, watching movies, making crafts, and watching hockey.