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Archaeo News 

13 April 2012
Ancient buildings and fields found on Welsh island

A team of archaeologists have found remains of prehistoric buildings and fields on Skomer Island - a nature reserve off the Pembrokeshire coast of southwest Wales - finding buried ditches and structures not visible on the ground. Dr Toby Driver from the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales said they may date back 5,000 years, adding they are among the best preserved anywhere in the UK.
     Much of the island has been designated an Ancient Monument, but nobody had carried out any archaeological studies since the 1980s. Last April, airborne laser scanning was completed of the island, which provided a model of the surface of landscape, including its houses and fields. However, because the centre of Skomer was farmed until the 1950s, anything of interest on the surface there was ploughed away. So archaeologists from the Royal Commission and Sheffield University went to the island to carry out a geophysical survey. It was the first time the technique had been used on the island.
     Dr Driver, who was part of the team, says, "we think people were there for a few thousand years rather than a few hundred years", adding, "We now know that the centre of the island has been occupied in the Iron Age and possibly before the Romans, and that means pretty much the whole island would have been a very busy place for two to three thousand years. "We're very lucky on Skomer... It's very, very well preserved."
     The team hopes to do more work on the island in the future.

Edited from BBC News (7 April 2012)

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