Joe in the Great Orme copper mine

Tuesday 9th August 2016, 10.40am (day 1,811)

Great Orme copper mine, 9/8/16

The Great Orme (or Y Gogarth in Welsh) is the limestone headland which rises to the north of Llandudno and was the destination of our visit today, our last day of this mini-break. There are a few candidate photos — the view of the mountains of Snowdonia from the summit was excellent — but while this chosen one isn’t so panoramic, this represents the most interesting element of the day, our visit to the prehistoric copper mines. These were only rediscovered in 1987, at which time it was believed that no metalworking had taken place in Britain until the arrival of the Romans. Archaeologists here proved that not only was copper being smelted at the Great Orme before then — 2,000 years before in fact (4,000 years before the present) — but that this may well have been the biggest industrial complex in the whole Bronze Age world. There are miles of tunnels; our ancestors weren’t sitting in caves eating weeds, these people were engineers, they learned how to do things…. Make metal from rock? Why not?

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