Pontnewydd Cave in Wales—a new Middle Pleistocene hominid site

Abstract

An Acheulian industry in association with a hominid molar has been found at Pontnewydd Cave. This tooth represents the oldest hominid specimen known from Wales and, except for the Swanscombe fossil, from Britain. The molar is probably from a young adult and the tooth closely resembles those of ‘Early Neanderthal’ fossils from Krapina, Yugoslavia, a comparison accentuated by the degree of taurodontism at both sites. Uranium–thorium and thermoluminescent dates suggest an age for the specimen of around 200 kyr. Uranium relative dating indicates a Pleistocene age for two additional unstratified hominid fragments. Sedimentological study of the deposits and examination of the rock types in the cave, both natural and artefactual, indicates earlier glacial activity.

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Green, H., Stringer, C., Collcutt, S. et al. Pontnewydd Cave in Wales—a new Middle Pleistocene hominid site. Nature 294, 707–713 (1981). https://doi.org/10.1038/294707a0

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