'Stone Age venue would boost Swansea'
A BUSHCRAFT expert has called for a new stone age museum or permanent exhibition to celebrate Gower's remarkable ancient history.
Andrew Price said Swansea would benefit from such a venue, given the area's rich pickings.
Late last month archeologists confirmed that a speared reindeer engraved on the wall of a Gower cave was the oldest known rock art in Britain, created at least 14,000 years ago.
Gower was also the last resting place of the 29,000-year-old Red Lady of Paviland — in fact, the remains of a young man — which is the earliest formal human burial to have been found in western Europe.
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Mr Price, of Loughor, said he had found flint arrow heads and other flint items in Gower over the years, and felt Swansea should be shouting loudly about such heritage.
"I'm looking to sow the seeds for the idea in the public consciousness," said Mr Price, who runs bushcraft and survival skills business, Dryad Bushcraft.
"I am strongly of the opinion that we don't make a big enough fuss about our ancient history in Swansea."
He said a museum and "archeopark" in the Italian Alps celebrating the preserved body of Otzi the Iceman, whose 5,300-year-old mummified body was found in 1991, were very successful.
He said visitors to the archeopark could eat the same foods Otzi would have eaten, knap flint tools and shoot a bow and arrow.
Mr Price said he recognised the difficult economic times, but has nevertheless pitched his proposal to Swansea Council leader David Phillips and said he would be keen to know if it caught the public's imagination.
He said a museum or exhibition could be staged in tandem with the National Waterfront Museum or Swansea Museum, which has bones and animal teeth found in Gower, plus a representation of the Red Lady of Paviland. The ancient bones were discovered at Goat's Hole Cave, Paviland, in 1823 by William Buckland, then a geology professor at Oxford U niversity.
The Gower rock art recently dated is at a cave very familiar to Mr Price.
"It (the art) is very difficult to spot as it's covered with a layer of calcification," said the 38-year-old. "They use a special type of lighting to see it."