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Burrowing Bunnies in Wales Unearth Trove of Prehistoric Artifacts | Good Information

Burrowing Bunnies in Wales Unearth Trove of Prehistoric Artifacts | Good Information

2023-06-03 12:07:58


The positioning of the rabbit burrow has apparently been occupied by completely different teams over the millennia.
Richard Brown and Giselle Eagle / WTSWW

Students finding out prehistoric life in Wales just lately acquired an help from an sudden supply. As Steven Morris studies for the Guardian, rabbits making a burrow on Skokholm Island, two miles off the coast of the southwest county of Pembrokeshire, dug up two Stone Age instruments, in addition to early Bronze Age pottery shards.

Richard Brown and Giselle Eagle, seabird consultants who function wardens of the in any other case uninhabited island, noticed the objects and despatched images of them to archaeological researchers. a picture of one of many artifacts, Andrew David, an knowledgeable in prehistoric instruments, recognized it as a 6,000- to 9,000-year-old Mesolithic beveled pebble that was probably used to make seal pores and skin–clad boats or put together shellfish.

“Though some of these instruments are well-known on coastal websites on mainland Pembrokeshire and Cornwall, as effectively into Scotland and northern France, that is the primary instance from Skokholm, and the primary agency proof for Late Mesolithic occupation on the island,” says David in a statement.

This Stone Age software might have been used to make seal pores and skin–clad boats.
Richard Brown and Giselle Eagle / WTSWW

Adorned fragment of a 3,700-year-old early Bronze Age urn
Richard Brown and Giselle Eagle / WTSWW

Per BBC News, Jody Deacon, archaeology curator for National Museum Wales, notes that the pottery shards got here from a thick-walled pot in all probability used as a cremation urn some 3,750 years in the past. Just like the older beveled pebbles, these burial vessels will not be uncommon in west Wales however are the primary artifacts of their form discovered on the island.

Brown and Eagle first moved to the distant Celtic Sea island in 2013, as Neil Prior reported for BBC News on the time. Skokholm is a part of the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales, which bought the island in 2006 for conservation as a nationwide nature reserve.

Skokholm is generally open to a small variety of overnight visitors focused on an off-the-grid nature expertise, however throughout the pandemic, Brown and Eagle have been the one people on the island. The 2 preserve a blog the place they file wildlife observations and different happenings, together with the current finds.

Only one mile lengthy and a half mile throughout at its widest level, Skokholm derives its Norse identify, that means “wooded island,” from the Vikings who settled there within the late tenth or early eleventh century. Between the 14th and sixteenth centuries, the island served as a rabbit farm.

Aerial view of Skokholm Island

Aerial view of Skokholm Island

© Crown: Cherish Challenge 2018

In accordance with’s Danièle Cybulskie, this was a typical medieval use of small islands, the place rabbits may very well be raised for his or her fur and meat whereas being higher protected against predators than on the mainland. Skomer Island, additionally off the Pembrokeshire coast, is understood for its plentiful rabbits, whose heritage dates again to medieval Norman rabbit farmers.

Toby Driver, an archaeologist on the Royal Commission Wales who has labored on earlier surveys of the close by islands of Skomer, Grassholm and Ramsey, says the rabbits seem to have stumbled onto an early Bronze Age burial mound constructed over a a lot earlier hunter-gatherer web site.

“It’s a sheltered spot, the place the island’s cottage now stands, and has clearly been settled for millennia,” he provides within the assertion.

Researchers plan to hold out an archaeological survey of Skokholm later in 2021, as soon as Covid-19 restrictions are lifted.

“We all know from previous aerial surveys and airborne laser scanning by the Royal Fee that Skokholm has the stays of some prehistoric fields and settlements, although none has ever been excavated,” says Toby within the assertion. “Now Skokholm is producing some superb prehistoric finds.”

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