Archaeologists find prehistoric cattle tooth within mound of Iron Age stones on Skomer
The first excavations on Skomer, in Pembrokeshire, have revealed huge burn mounds made by hungry prehistoric settlers
A cattle tooth left in a cooking mound and fire-cracked stones used for boiling water have paved the prehistoric way to dating the sweeping settlement of Skomer Island in Pembrokeshire, where archaeologists say the anci... continues...
Skomer Island was farmed during the prehistoric period and the physical remains of field systems with cultivation marks, enclosures, clearance cairns, huts, dams and even settlements, survive more-or-less undisturbed in this peripheral area, which occupies nearly two-thirds of the island. The remains cannot be closely dated but Evans noted that 'nothing like the arrangement of the fields or the shape of the huts is known from the Roman or later periods' and ascribed to the features to a date-range from the neolithic to the iron age periods. Their exceptional survival is due to the fact that though the island was rented for the seasonal depasturing of cattle during the middle ages, and was rented annually for £4 7s in the 16th century, there appears to have been little permanent settlement until the 18th century when the present farm was established in the central part of the island.
Sources: Dyfed Wildlife Trust n.d.; Evans 1986; Evans 1990
An erect monolith, 1.7m high by 0.8 by 0.5m: one of several stones in SW Wales bearing the same name, which seems to derive from Gerald of Wales, who said that the stones were erected by Earl Harold to commemorate his victories over the Welsh in 1063: the relation between this stone and the extensive settlement remains on the island is unclear.
Source: J Wiles 23.05.02 Royal Commision AHM Wales
Whether ancient or not, it certainly is enigmatic on a foggy day!
This stone is not on the map so may be modern, but there are no less than four early settlements on this tiny island with numerous hut circles and a promontory fort. RSPB reserve with access by launch from Martins Haven.
I cannot quite remember the exact location as I photographed it while running from a ferocious thunderstorm. Some of the early settlements may be monastic. Local name for this stone is "John's" stone. Perhaps it is just a cattle scratchpost.