About this item
Within the faunal assemblage at Pontnewydd, as also within the potentially contemporary assemblage from the nearby cave of Cefn, it is possible to see interglacial elements which may date to MIS 7 or, even, to the preceding interglacial cycle (MIS 9), fully 50 to 100,000 years earlier. The pointers here are the rhinoceros Stephanorhinus kirchbergensis , a large horse Equus ferus , and the leopard, Panthera pardus . None of these can be later than MIS 7 and may even be of MIS 9 age. Moreover, the species of bear represented at both Pontnewydd and Cefn is the cave bear ( Ursus spelaeus ) and these seem to be replaced by brown bears ( Ursus arctos ) during MIS 11 or 9. This inference of an early date for elements of the Pontnewydd and Cefn faunas is borne out by the presence of macaque at Cefn, a species not known in Britain after MIS 9.
This multi-authored monograph will place the Elwy valley caves within a geological and archaeological context; allow a detailed publication of research on the artefacts, fauna and hominid remains; and provide a synthesis of how this work feeds back into understandings of the Palaeolithic settlement on the edge of the then known world.