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Craig Rhosyfelin, Pont Saeson; Craig Rhos-y-felin Rhyolite (bluestone) Outcrop

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NPRN416247
Map ReferenceSN13NW
Grid ReferenceSN1165036140
Unitary (Local) AuthorityPembrokeshire
Old CountyPembrokeshire
CommunityNevern
Type Of SiteNATURAL FEATURE
PeriodPrehistoric
Description
Fieldwork in 2011-12 led to the proposal that most of the foliated Stonehenge rhyolite debitage originated from a specific 70m long area called Craig Rhos-y-felin near Pont Saeson. Petrographical sampling by Dr Rob Ixer and Dr Richard Bevins found that 99% of these foliated rhyolites could be matched to rocks found in this particular set of outcrops. Rhyolitic rocks at Rhos-y-felin are distinctly different from all others in South Wales, which suggests that almost all of Stonehenge foliated rhyolites a provenance of just hundreds of square metres. The results were of considerable significance, and were published in 2011 in the Journal of Archaeological Science.

Excavations between 2011 and 2015 identified Neolithic activity that may have been associated with megalith quarrying, but this is disputed by geologists, who believe that erratic materials were entrained at Rhosyfelin by over-riding glacier ice and transported south-eastwards towards Stonehenge.

Sources:
Bevins, R.E., Pearce, N.J.R., and Ixer, R.A., 2011, Stonehenge Rhyolitic bluestone sources and the application of zircon chemistry as a new tool for provenancing rhyolitic litics. Journal of Archaeological Sciences, 38, 605-622.

Ixer, R.A., Bevins, R.E., 2011, Chips off the Old Block: The Stonehenge Debitage Dilemma. Archaeology in Wales, 52, 2011, 11-22.

Brian John, Dyfed Elis-Gruffydd, and John Downes, 2015, Quaternary Events at Craig Rhosfelin, Pembrokeshire. Quaternary Newsletter 137, October 2015, p16-32.

Mike Parker Pearson, Richard Bevins, Rob Ixer, Joshua Pollard, Colin Richards, Kate Welham, Ben Chan, Kevan Edinborough, Derek Hamilton, Richard Macphail, Duncan Schlee, Jean-Luc Schwenninger, Ellen Simmons and Martin Smith (2015). Craig Rhos-y-felin: a Welsh bluestone megalith quarry for Stonehenge. Antiquity, 89 (348) (Dec 2015), pp 1331-1352.

L. Osborne & T. Driver, RCAHMW