The archaeological potential of Wogan Cavern (Pembroke, UK): Results of the first fieldwork season

Rob Dinnis, John Boulton, Jennifer French, Mike Buckley, Jesse Davies, Marion Herve, Sid Howells, Elodie-Laure Jiminez, Neil Ludlow, Edouard Masson Maclean, Jonquil Mogg, Catriona Pickard, Elizabeth Walker, Dee Williams, Andrew Chamberlain, Chris Stringer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract / Description of output

The impressive Wogan Cavern, lying beneath Pembroke Castle, has been subject to several historic phases of antiquarian investigation. None of these is well documented, however, so little can be said about the cave’s archaeological status. Here we summarize previous work at Wogan Cavern and describe the initial results of our 2021 fieldwork at the site, focussing mostly on our investigations close to the cave’s eastern wall. Despite the restricted extent of our excavation, it is clear that Wogan Cavern has significant archaeological potential. We identified an intact Early Holocene archaeological layer containing diagnostic Mesolithic artefacts in the eastern part of the cave, sealed beneath a flowstone floor. Underlying this stratigraphically, securely within Pleistocene deposits, is a layer containing palaeontological and possible archaeological material. Elsewhere in the cave there is clear evidence for large-scale disturbance, although initial indications are that substantial intact deposits of ancient sediments might remain. Overall, the nature and richness of Wogan Cavern’s Mesolithic archaeological remains, as well as the existence of Pleistocene fauna and possible presence of an intact Palaeolithic layer, demonstrate its importance as an early prehistoric site. Future work will aim further to establish the extent of its archaeological potential
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-72
Number of pages8
JournalCave and Karst Science
Volume49
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 5 Oct 2022

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