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3d model, anglesey, Bronze Age, Community Archaeology, Digital art, geology, landscape archaeology, Neolithic, Public Archaeology, survey

Bryn Celli Ddu landscape project: Week 1 round-up

We are at the end of our first week at the Bryn Celli Ddu landscape project 2017, excavating in the field immediately behind the passage tomb, with a great group of volunteers.

This year’s archaeological excavation started on the 11 of June and will continue until the 24 of June, and the focus has been on investigating a series of circular anomalies brought to light by conducting a geophysical survey over this field earlier in the year.

Cairnfield

The geophysical survey results of the cairn field 2017 – you can see several circular shaped anomalies, with Bryn Celli Ddu just out of shot on the right hand side of this image. Copyright: Ben Edwards

Last year, we were in the same field where the remains of a Late Neolithic to early Bronze Age cairn was re-excavated. This was originally excavated as part of the investigations made by W. J. Hemp and R. S. Newall in the late 1920s.

The direction of the summer solstice at Bryn Celli Ddu, and our 2016 excavation in the background, showing the location of the Newall cairn we re-excavated. Copyright: Adam Stanford

What the geophysical survey suggested was that several more circular shaped anomalies were located along the same ridge, which looked suspiciously similar to the Newall cairn in form and shape.

Image of the Bryn Celli Ddu monument and cairn field, under snow conditions with raking winter light. Copyright: Toby Driver

Image of the Bryn Celli Ddu monument and cairn field, under snow conditions with raking winter light. The cairn field ridge can be clearly seen under these conditions. Copyright: Toby Driver

In order to prove one way or another if these anomalies were archaeological, we opened two trenches across two of the circular anomalies, and over the last week we have made some important discoveries.

In Trench 1, a cluster of prehistoric pits have been found. Inside these pits, a series of pottery fragments have been discovered, as well as some flint blades and flakes.

Trench 1

Trench 1 from the Bryn Celli Ddu landscape project 2017. Copyright: Adam Stanford

In Trench 2, we opened a further trench across the length of a second circular anomaly, and have come down on to a layer of stoney material, suggesting that this is another cairn. Hopefully, as the next week progresses we will find some reliable material to give the monument a date.

Trench 2

Trench 2 from the Bryn Celli Ddu landscape project 2017. Copyright: Adam Stanford

Over the two weeks, the excavation will host 100s of school children alongside youth groups and the general public.

Bryn Celli Ddu landscape project, showing the two open trenches over the two trenches

Bryn Celli Ddu landscape project, showing the two open trenches along the ridge in the cairn field. Copyright: Adam Stanford

On Saturday the 17 of June we hosted a free public open day, welcoming over 750 people to view the site and to take a tours of the open trenches. Thank you to everyone for taking part and coming along – it was a scorcher!

Bryn Celli Ddu Open Day 2017

Bryn Celli Ddu Open Day 2017. Copyright: Adam Stanford

Ffion, Seren, Ben & Adam

 

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About FfionR

I’m Ffion, Honorary Research Fellow at Cardiff University and Heritage and Arts Manager for Cadw, the historic environment service for the Welsh Government. At Cadw, my role is to oversee projects that link heritage with the arts, inspire new ways of engaging people with our built environment and to link people with their local heritage and archaeology.

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Manchester Metropolitan University

University of Central Lancashire

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