A BONE cave which is one of three sites in Britain to contain evidence of Neanderthals and the earliest modern humans is set to be dug up by archaeologists who want to find out about the origin of humans.

Ffynnon Beuno, a five-acre smallholding in Tremeirchion, four miles east of St Asaph, was first excavated in 1883 and was found to contain Ice Age flint tools and the bones of woolly rhino, mammoth and hyena.

There are so many objects underneath the site, which was also the childhood home of 19th century explorer Henry Morton Stanley, that digs typically make discoveries from as long as 40,000 years ago. However, the upcoming project is hoping to reveal something in particular.

Ffynnon Beuno Cave, which is dated 350 million years old, lasted two Ice Ages when the moving of glaciers scraped heaps of earth into the cave to remain there.

Dr Rob Dinnis, from the University of Edinburgh, will start their three-week dig later this month when they will search for information about Neanderthals before their extinction in 42,000 BP, as well as evidence of the first Homo Sapiens in 37,000 BP.

Dr Dinnis, whose research includes stone tool technology, chronology and palaeogeography in the European late Middle and Upper Palaeolithic periods, said: “Ffynnon Beuno Cave is a site of huge and international importance. There is still much we don’t know about how Homo sapiens came to replace Neanderthals.

"The answers lie at sites such as Ffynnon Beuno, on the northernmost fringes of the Ice Age world, home to what may have been some of the very last Neanderthals.”

The archaeologists will also sift through a 130-year-old soil heap which was made during the early excavations on the site in the late 19th century.

A planning application had to be approved by Natural Resources Wales so that the dig could go ahead.

Jane Marsh, who bought the smallholding in 2013 and now manages glamping pitches there, said: “Items are found here every time because there are so many. The cave is filled with a solid bed of earth which the team will carefully retrieve and sift through.

"They will also work through the Victorian soil heap for the first time, because research back then was less resourceful than it is now, so there could be items that we chucked away.

“We’ll have to see whether the team can find what they really want.”

The project starts on June 26, when the team will hold free daily tours, except Mondays and Tuesdays.

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