A large prehistoric building older than Egypt’s pyramids has been discovered in Wales.
The foundations of a meeting house which was at least 50ft long were uncovered as builders worked on a new housing estate in Monmouth.
Archaeologists are mystified by the ‘unique’ find and say that nothing like it has ever been found in Britain.
Unique find: The foundations of a meeting house which could be 6,500 years old were uncovered as builders worked on a new housing estate in Monmouth, south Wales
After studying the foundations, made up of 3ft-wide tree trunks, experts believe the building was a long house constructed on the edge of a long-lost lake which has silted up over time.
Monmouth Archaeology has dated the find to at least the Bronze Age – but it could be early Neolithic about 6,500 years ago.
The pyramids in Egypt were built about 4,500 years ago.
Archaeologist Steve Clarke said: ‘We’re not really sure what it is. It’s a mystery, but it’s the foundation for something. We haven’t seen anything like it.
‘We think it’s a long house which would have been home to a family, and perhaps used for gatherings and meetings.’
He added: ‘We think it could be from the Bronze Age but some of the experts we’ve brought in to see it think it could be early Neolithic.
‘If that’s the case it could easily pre-date the pyramids.’
Expert believe the building was a long house constructed on the edge of a long-lost lake which has silted up
The building’s foundations were made from entire tree trunks, measuring about a metre wide. The wooden foundations were at least 50ft long.
Mr Clarke said most of the known long houses were built on posts about a 1ft wide, but trees had been used for the base of the Monmouth structure.
The find is on the Parc Glyndwr development in Monmouth, where about 80 houses are to be built.
Monmouth Archaeology was employed by the housing developers to study the site.
Archaeologists have ordered radio-carbon tests of the foundations and the results are expected later this month.