Intriguing stone tools found at a Bronze Age site

A cache of unusual stone tools from the Bronze Age was found by  the Iron Age Moel Arthur hillfort, North-East Wales, in a place that would have been a stream around 4500 years ago.

Stone tools found at the site (by Ian Brooks)

Around 20 of the roughly triangular stone tools of various sizes appear to have been deposited deliberately, or ceremonially, on a plateau north-east of the Moel Arthur hillfort, which is one of six hill forts in the Clwydian Range thought to have been built around 800 BC. The tools were found by a team of archaeologist of Clwydian Range Archaeological Group nearby a site called “the burnt mound” that it was used to produce large amounts of hot water, by heating stones in a fire and dropping them into a trough-shaped pit filled with water from the nearby stream. Carbon dating of the tools found there places activity at the site between 2456-2583 BC. The recently discovered cache of tools does not seem related to the activity at the burnt mound, but they appeared to have been deposited on purpose at a particular spot nearby. Ian Brooks who is an archaeologists working in Clwydian Range Archaeological Group states that the tools are rough slabs of the limestone, which have been shaped to produce a pointed end. They vary in size, between 5-22 centimetres in length. The purpose of the tools is unknown but researchers think that it is possible they were used for chipping ornamental designs onto rock surfaces. Geophysical surveys between 2011-12 revealed that the plateau near the burnt mound and the ancient stream may have included a small settlement of roundhouses, a typical style of dwelling in Bronze Age Britain. The inhabitants of the roundhouses were likely to have been agriculturalists, rather than nomadic hunter-gatherers, Brooks said. In the Early Bronze Age. The hot water from the  site of the burnt mound was possibly used for cooking, or for brewing beer, or for producing steam for a sweat lodge

(after Live Science & Ian Brooks)

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