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Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Aurochs find at Whitesands

Thanks to Tony for bringing this to my attention -- from a BBC web page.  It's based on a National Park press release.  Interesting finds -- but it would be good to know more details.  I have no idea how strong the evidence for the footprints actually is -- and I remain to be convinced that they are human, and very old.  Also, I doubt that they are 10,000 years old, unless there is strong radiocarbon dating evidence to support that contention.  From what we know about the submerged forests, their uppermost surfaces are much more likely to be between 7,000 and 5,000 years old -- since that is when the final submergence by a rising sea level is likely to have happened.  The caption to the photo of an aurochs horn calls it an "aurochs tusk"... !!!  Hmmm......

It would be good to know more about the context of the find of the aurochs horn and "the remains" which presumably mean bones.

And as for this:  "the footprints.......suggest the humans may have been tracking a large hoofed animal such as an auroch"  is pure fantasy.  The footprints were at Newgale and the aurochs was found at Whitesands.  There is nothing whatsoever to connect them, and footprints on a peat bed could have been created by anybody wandering through a wooded area for any purpose whatsoever.  But that's what archaeologists apparently do nowadays -- to hell with science; all that matters is creating a good story.  But I suppose in this case it's harmless enough.

Storms reveal hunter-gatherer footprints and animal remains

More evidence of prehistoric life in west Wales has been discovered following the severe storms earlier in the year.

Ancient human and animals footprints have been found at Newgale and the remains of extinct cattle at Whitesands in Pembrokeshire.

The finds follow earlier discoveries of forests and other remains along the south and west Wales coastline.

The footprints are believed to date from around 10,000 years ago.

The discoveries were made possible after violent tides stripped large areas of sand away from beaches.

 Phil Bennett from the park authority holding the aurochs tusk
The remains of an aurochs, an extinct breed of cattle, was also found.

Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority's culture and heritage manager Phil Bennett said: "The footprints in the exposed peat at Newgale, which are most probably from the Mesolithic period around 10,000 years ago, suggest the humans may have been tracking a large hoofed animal such as an auroch.

"The discovery of the aurochs remains at nearby Whitesands would support this theory and the horns give you an idea of just how large these creatures must have been."

However Mr Bennett said there were two sides to the story, as the weather had also led to the loss of other resources.

The aurochs remains will be conserved, with the aim of putting it on display at Oriel y Parc Gallery in St Davids.


PeteG said...

on this day

TonyH said...

Slightly off - topic and off - Blog,I have also seen reported on the web earlier this year the excavation of Dark Age skeletons from Whitesands Bay, following winter storms activity, adjacent to St David's Chapel. I think the very full account came also from the Pembrokeshire National Park.

TonyH said...

Thanks for that, PeteG.

See my comment quoting Evelyn's Stonehenge visit, submitted today, to the Post "...old jerry - built shambles" of 28th June.

TonyH said...

Max Bygraves used to say, whilst waving his hands about in Pontius Pilate fashion, "I wanna tell you a story.." Later, he would sing one of his profound ditties, such as "You're a pink toothbrush, I'm a blue toothbrush, won't you marry me?"

Perhaps Pembrokeshire National Park's Phil Bennett is a Max fan.

TonyH said...

Phil Bennett [in this photo clutching his prized aurochs "tusk"] immediately reminds me of Ilkley's finest gardener - turned - Romantic - Novelist [a bit like you, Brian] - and - talk - show - host ALAN TITCHMARSH..... maybe clutching a specimen of the vegetable persuasion?

chris johnson said...

Nice find!