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Race against time after historic find; RETRO REPORT June, 1999 How we covered...

Byline: Edited by Tony Woolway

A DARK HOLE in ancient history could be illuminated by a major new discovery on the Welsh coast, a team of archaeologists has claimed.

The unearthing of fragments of pottery believed to date back to 3,000BC could shed new light on a period of the Neolithic Age which experts admit they know little about.

But the team excavating the site at Ogmore-by-Sea face a race against time and nature to reveal more about the settlement they have excavated.

The coastline near the site, close to the mouth of the Ogmore River, is eroding at an alarming rate - three metres of land has disappeared into the sea during the past six years - and there is concern that further discoveries might be lost before the full excavation is completed.

Archaeologists have also discovered other items which they believe could date back even further - possibly to around 6,000BC - although they need to do further extensive work before confirming those finds.

The team, from Newport University, has completed the initial excavation but is hoping to return next year to start a much larger dig.

The find is regarded as one of the most important for years because so many well-preserved items, including a polished flint knife, have been discovered at the site during the past three decades.

Flints were found first, in 1966, followed by pottery fragments in 1967. The first excavations started a year later and pieces from up to 45 Neolithic pots, known as Peterborough ware and dating back to 3,000BC, were found.

Team leader Dr Stephen Aldhouse-Green said: "The items belong to the middle of the Neolithic period and here we have a very large settlement site.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Jun 27, 2008
Words:284
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