Identification of Longhole (Gower) as an Aurignacian site

R. Dinnis


Several factors have conspired to deplete the British record of Earlier Upper Palaeolithic occupation and the coeval replacement of Britain’s last Neanderthals by early modern humans. These include, most notably, the destructive effect of the Last Glacial Maximum and the early archaeological excavation of cave sites dating to this period. Assemblages known to contain early modern human Aurignacian material are scarce, and therefore the identification of new sites is noteworthy. A lithic artefact in the old collections from Longhole, Gower, confirms it as an Aurignacian site. That artefact and justification of its Aurignacian attribution are detailed here. Technological traits of this artefact match those seen in the larger Aurignacian collection from nearby Paviland. These resemblances are strong evidence that Aurignacian occupation at Longhole was broadly contemporary with an Aurignacian occupation at Paviland.

Full reference: Dinnis, R. 2012. Identification of Longhole (Gower) as an Aurignacian site. Lithics: the Journal of the Lithic Studies Society 33: 17–29.

Keywords: Aurignacian, bladelet technology, Longhole, Paviland, Britain, northern Europe.

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