History

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 21
  • Published : May 4, 2013
Open Document
Text Preview
The history of Wales begins with the arrival of human beings in the region thousands of years ago. Neanderthals lived in what is now Wales, or Cymru in Welsh, at least 230,000 years ago. Homo sapiens had arrived by about 31,000 BC. However, continuous habitation by modern humans dates from the period after the end of the last ice age around 9000 BC, and Wales has many remains from the Mesolithic, Neolithic, and Bronze Age. The earliest known human remain discovered in modern-day Wales is a Neanderthal jawbone, found at the Bontnewydd Palaeolithic site in the valley of the River Elwy in North Wales, whose owner lived about 230,000 years ago in the Lower Palaeolithic period. The Red Lady of Paviland, a human skeleton dyed in red ochre, was discovered in 1823 in one of the Paviland limestone caves of the Gower Peninsula in Swansea, South Wales. Despite the name, the skeleton is that of a young man who lived about 33,000 years ago at the end of the Upper Paleolithic Period (old stone age). He is considered to be the oldest known ceremonial burial in Western Europe. The skeleton was found along with jewellery made from ivory and seashells and a mammoth's skull. Following the last ice age, Wales became roughly the shape it is today by about 8000 BC and was inhabited by Mesolithic hunter-gatherers. The earliest farming communities are now believed to date from about 4000 BC, marking the beginning of the Neolithic period. This period saw the construction of many chambered tombs particularly dolmens or cromlechs. Metal tools first appeared in Wales about 2500 BC, initially copper followed by bronze. The climate during the Early Bronze Age (c. 2500-1400 BC) is thought to have been warmer than at present, as there are many remains from this period in what are now bleak uplands. The Late Bronze Age (c. 1400-750 BC) saw the development of more advanced bronze implements. The earliest iron implement found in Wales is a sword from Llyn Fawr at the head of the Rhondda Valley,...
tracking img