History Files


Prehistoric Britain

A Goldmine of Discoveries

BBC News, 12 April 2000



Archaeologists working at a west Wales gold mine said they have made a discovery "as important as Stonehenge".

Leading archaeologists from The National Trust have hailed the discovery that Dolaucothi gold mine in Carmarthenshire could be as much as 3,000 years old.

The evidence has been uncovered by French archaeologists, who have been working with The National Trust at the site to learn more about the history of gold mining.

The Roman associations at Dolaucothi are already known but this research has put the site in a historical context.

The National Trust's archaeology panel has reviewed the site.

They say that the discovery is as significant as Stonehenge.

In a Welsh context, it is the first clear indication of what the area's inhabitants were capable of achieving before they were first invaded by the Romans. By the time of the Roman Conquest, it was the Demetae tribe which governed the area, and they seemed to be relatively content to accept the Roman presence when it first arrived.

The site has not been extensively worked and reworked over.


This site had some archaeological work done on it in the 1960s but the French team involved on this new dig are world experts on ancient and Roman gold mines.

Iron age workings

They have concluded from primary observations that a major part of this site is pre-Roman in its origins.

There was evidence in the area that were consistent with Iron Age workings.

This now has to be confirmed by real digging and that excavation could take several years.

The aim of the research will be to help the National Trust decide how to manage and present the site to visitors in the future.



Images and text copyright BBC or affiliates. Reproduction is made on a 'fair dealing' basis for the purpose of disseminating relevant information to a specific audience. No breach of copyright is intended or inferred.