I was recently sent a review copy of the book – The Prehistoric Archaeology of the A477 St Clears to Red Roses Road Improvement Scheme.
In the books description it states –‘The book details results of excavations along the A477 from St Clears to Red Roses during the Road Improvement Scheme, 2012. Finds include a Mesolithic site in the lower Tâf valley; early Neolithic pits and a post-built structure at Cildywyll; the remains of an Early Bronze Age barrow, 38 burials (some urned), a pyre site, and a Middle Bronze Age drying oven near St Clears; and A Bronze Age burnt mound near Red Rose.’
Growing up I spent many good times on family holidays in this area with my family, mainly at Saundersfoot, but I remember St Clears and the surrounding area quite well. My interest also peaked having interviewed Mike Smith regarding his Iron age Chariot discovery around 40 minutes drive from the site that this book covers, so my mind was drawn to this fantastic area again.
Cotswold Archaeology are a private sector archaeology company who were employed to survey the route of the improvements. ‘Established in 1989, Cotswold Archaeology is a supplier of professional archaeology and heritage services in the UK. Employing over 200 professional staff . They provide expert, bespoke solutions for both private and public sector clients nationwide.’
The book is extremely well-illustrated providing the results of a series of excavations along the A477, from St Clears to Red Roses in Carmarthenshire, during the road improvement scheme in 2012. Each image documented in the book is easy to understand and well explained. Photographs of the jigsaw like remade urns discovered are clear and show the intricate designs.
The book is organised into six chapters, each focusing on prehistoric settlement activity, from a Mesolithic site in the lower Tâf Valley to Early Neolithic pits, a post-built structure at Cildywyll, the remains of an Early Bronze Age barrow, a pyre site, a Middle Bronze Age drying oven site near St Clears, and a Bronze Age burnt mound at Red Roses.
I must admit to have being very excited to read through the book. I learnt a lot, and hope to be able to use the images and archaeological reports as a reference for any future projects or finds identification I may be involved in. The maps and LIDAR information will also assist in both reference and identification.
A fantastic and in depth public report of a massive road improvement project. This book will be an important reference to anyone interested in the prehistory of Carmarthenshire for sure.