Ysgol yr Hendre, Llanbeblig, Caernarfon

An early medieval cemetery and Roman construction camp

Introduction | Excavation Results | Neolithic Pit | Roman Pit Ovens and Possible Construction Camp | Early Medieval Cemetery

Medieval Features | 19th and 20th Century | Acknowledgements and Further Reading

The Neolithic Pit

A small, shallow pit, measuring 1.1m by 0.9m and 0.16m deep, had a layer of heat-cracked stones and charcoal in its base. The pit contained a collection of flint flakes and chips, and a small fragment of Neolithic pottery. All the flint pieces are waste products from tool making (a process called flint knapping), and there were no completed tools in the pit. Small pebbles of poor quality flint were used, probably collected from the nearest coastline where they wash up having eroded from the glacial boulder clays. The charcoal in the pit was mainly hazel and abundant hazelnut shell fragments were also found, possibly introduced on branches for fuel. Two radiocarbon dates on charred hazelnut shells showed that the pit dated to the late Neolithic period; between about 2800 and 2300 BC.

The presence of the pit here suggests, at the very least, the location of a temporary camp, where people cooked and worked flint tools. Other evidence from the wider area, particularly in the form of burial chambers, does indicate a resident population at this time, who would have moved around either in hunting groups, or shifting their settlement from time to time. Though the tidal estuary of the Seiont, and proximity to the coast, would have ensured a plentiful supply of food and other resources, this is the only evidence archaeologists have so far found for Neolithic occupation in the immediate area of the site.

Neolithic Pit during excavation


Flints from the Neolithic Pit