Apple Stickers, Straws: Archaeologists Discover 2,000 Plastic Pieces at Historic Site in Wales
Researchers from the University of Liverpool have found as many as 2,000 plastic pieces from a historic site that was open to visitors, particularly school children. The site named Castell Henllys Iron Age Village is located in the Welsh Pembrokeshire Coast National Park in Wales, UK.As reported by CNN, the team of researchers started exploring the site to understand how the materials used in building decay and degrade over time. But the discovery of thousands of plastic pieces took them into another direction.
The amount of plastic that they discovered was shocking because the town is situated in a rural setting. They found plastic food wrappers and candy wrappers along with plastic bags used for storage of food items. Apple stickers, utensils, straws, bottle caps were some of the other plastic items that were found on the site.
A pair of spectacles and a Godzilla thermos wrap were two of the items that were discovered intact from the site.However, it is understandable as the site was open to visitors. The report says that it has hosted as many as 6,000 school children per year for the last 35 years.Speaking about the plastic discovered from the site, lead archaeologist of this research Harold Mytum said that if the lunch items were not given in the plastic packaging then things would have been different. He said, “Our convenience can lead to environmental damage.”
The historical significance of the site is that almost 2,000 years ago, the site was the home of a wealthy family. It was also found that a community of a 100 people lived on the site and they together made food and other materials. It consisted of four roundhouses, Cook House which was replaced in 2018 and the Earthwatch house which was replaced in 2019.The plastic pieces that have been collected from the site were mostly found at the roundhouses that were reconstructed at the site. Archaeologists had used materials that the villagers would have used to construct the roundhouses. They also used post holes of the original structure along with its foundation trenches to recreate the roundhouses. These structures are round and have conical roofs which are made up of two materials, wood and straw.Commenting on the roundhouses at the site, Harold said that the pre-historic designs were efficient as it can be seen by the state of the reconstructed houses.Now the purpose of the researcher is to create educational campaigns for future visitors of the site in order to increase environmental awareness.The findings of this research were published in the Archaeology journal Antiquity.