Wales

Stone Age carved wooden post found at Rhondda wind farm

The Maerdy Oak
Image caption The carved wooden post is thought to be one of the oldest of its kind in Europe

A Stone Age wooden post that is thought to be one of the oldest artefacts of its kind in Europe has been unearthed at a wind farm site in south Wales.

The "intricately" carved timber has been dated as 6,270 years old, from the late Mesolithic or early Neolithic era.

The discovery was made in September 2012 at Maerdy Wind Farm in Rhondda Cynon Taf.

It is thought the 1.7m (5ft 6in) tall post may have marked a tribal boundary, hunting round or sacred site.

Image caption The post has been scanned by a 3D laser to record its detail

More excavations were carried out at the water-logged peat but no more artefacts were found.

The post was sent to Newport's Ship Centre, which houses the 15th Century merchant ship discovered in 2002, where it was kept in a water holding tank and scanned by 3D laser.

In addition to its carvings, the post was found to have an oval motif at one end.

The post has been examined by experts from the University of Wales, Trinity St David, and the Glamorgan Gwent Archaeological Trust.

It was discovered during work to install a sub-station at the wind farm by Scotland-based firm 2020 Renewables.

Alan Baker, of 2020 Renewables, said: "This is a tremendous discovery of real historical significance.

"It's very exciting that this discovery has proved to be of such international significance and fully justifies our company policy of protecting sites of historic interest."

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