We are happy to say that we are returning to Bryn Celli Ddu for our third year of excavation between the 11-24 of June! It’s free to take part, so we hope you’ll sign up.
The project focuses on the landscape surrounding Wales’ famous Neolithic passage tomb. During the last two years we have built up a picture that includes a Late Neolithic / Bronze Age cairn, along with several rock art panels situated close by, making a case for a complex multi-period landscape. We return to continue to work in the vicinity, looking further at a possible Neolithic causewayed enclosure and ring-ditch in the same area.
Last year, the team opened a 10m × 10m trench over the north-east quarter of a circular Neolithic/early Bronze Age cairn lying some 30m south-west of the main Neolithic passage tomb. We recorded the cairn in plan, recovered samples for radiocarbon dating, and re-excavated previous interventions in order to determine the construction sequence.
The excavation revealed a circular stone cairn with two concentric stone kerbs. Large stones of conglomerate, blueschist, and quartzite had been used for the kerbing and cairn. Among the finds were pieces of worked flint, charred plant remains, and occasional fragments of burnt bone.
Further afield and on rising ground within sight of Bryn Celli Ddu, with views of prominent landmarks such as the Snowdonia mountain range, we have discovered eight unrecorded rock art outcrops.
The proximity of these monuments to Bryn Celli Ddu emphasises the complexity of this landscape, about which we still know very little.
To get involved and be part of the excavation team, please contact Seren Griffiths on Sgriffiths7@uclan.ac.uk to sign up!
An Archaeology Open Day will take place on the 17 of June at Bryn Celli Ddu itself, with workshops, art installations, live tours of our trenches, geology talks and more. There will also be a stargazing event on the 16 of June.
The Bryn Celli Ddu Public Archaeology Landscape Project is a partnership between Cadw, University of Central Lancashire and Manchester Metropolitan University directed by Dr. Ffion Reynolds, Dr. Seren Griffiths, Dr. Ben Edwards and Adam Stanford.