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You are here: Home / Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2023 / Report on the 2022 excavations at Wogan Cavern (Pembroke, Pembrokeshire, UK)

R. Dinnis, J. Boulton, M. Bates, A. Chamberlain, J. Davies, R. Hopkins, Elodie-Laure Jimenez, E. Masson-MacLean, J. Mogg, S. Parfitt, N. Payne, C. Pickard, C. Stringer, E. Walker, D. Williams, and J. French (2023)

Report on the 2022 excavations at Wogan Cavern (Pembroke, Pembrokeshire, UK)

Cave and Karst, 50(2):83-91.

In a previous article in this journal (Dinnis et al., 2022), we described the first season of archaeological excavations at Wogan Cavern (Pembroke, southwest Wales). Although based on excavation of a very small volume of deposits, we suggested that the sediments in Wogan Cavern may have very good potential for preserving archaeological remains. Specifically, an intact early Holocene archaeological layer and underlying, bone-bearing Pleistocene deposits encouraged us to believe that the cave might be an important early prehistoric site. Here, we provide an update on our previous work, detailing the findings of the 2022 excavation season. The 2022 work identified several phases of historic and prehistoric activity. The early Holocene archaeological layer containing diagnostic Mesolithic artefacts, found previously in the eastern part of the cave, was shown to extend towards the centre of the cave. Stratigraphically lower deposits dating to the Pleistocene, previously demonstrated close to the cave's eastern wall, were also shown to extend towards the cave's centre. Excavation of the Pleistocene deposits close to the cave's eastern wall revealed evidence for human occupation, with one and possibly two Upper Palaeolithic layers present. The archaeological assemblage(s) from these lower deposits bear similarities to the Palaeolithic stone tool assemblage from the famous Paviland Cave, located c.30 miles (c.50km) to the east. Overall, our 2022 work confirms that Wogan Cavern is an early prehistoric site of national, and potentially international, significance.

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