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Archaeological dig to explore ‘rock art’ and ritual landscape

Archaeological dig to explore ‘rock art’ and ritual landscape Banner Image

The Neolithic passage tomb of Bryn Celli Ddu, located on Anglesey, where the archaeological dig will take place.

University academics involved in dig in Anglesey

Archaeologists from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) are part of a team who will be exploring fascinating ‘rock art’ in Wales throughout June.

The Neolithic passage tomb of Bryn Celli Ddu, located on Anglesey, is the base for the public archaeology project which will explore hidden features that have been previously overlooked.

Volunteers will join the two-week excavation starting on 7 June, working side by side with experienced archaeologists to search for clues in this complex prehistoric landscape.

Dr Seren Griffiths, UCLan archaeology lecturer, said: “This exciting public archaeology landscape project is in its second season, and I'm very excited to be returning.

“Last year we made a host of important discoveries without volunteer archaeologists, all of which directly impacted on the development of the Bryn Celli Ddu monument, one of the most important in Wales."

 

It’s great working with members of the public and to see them getting involved in important archaeological research.

“It’s great working with members of the public and to see them getting involved in important archaeological research. This project grew out of my post-doctorate in the region at the suggestion of a local amateur archaeologist, and it’s fantastic to be back for a second year.”

The excavation, which involves the Welsh Government’s historic environment service Cadw and academics from UCLan and Manchester Metropolitan University, will break new ground exploring the landscape’s fascinating ‘rock art’ — a term used in archaeology to describe the human-made markings discovered in natural stone.

This year the team return to explore further along the ridge where a host of new outcrops covered in ‘rock art’ have been identified, they will undertake geophysical survey in the vicinity of the monument, and will excavated in selected locations.

Members of the public will also get a chance to experience a real life dig and see the newly discovered secrets, when Bryn Celli Ddu plays host to an open day on Saturday 18 June, between 11.00am and 4.00pm.

Visitors will have a rare chance to learn the skills of our ancient ancestors as the Neolithic site hosts a range of wilderness workshops — including chances to see flint knapping and bone flute making, and opportunities to get creative with children’s activities exploring the various Mesolithic, Neolithic and Bronze Age phase of the site.

 

The Open Day and stargazing evening at Bryn Celli Ddu are both great examples of the imaginative events that are being held throughout 2016.

As night falls on the 20 June, visitors young and old will be able to take a spin across the stars as Dark Sky Wales highlight stellar sights in the Summer Solstice sky, from the constellations visible in the northern hemisphere to astral attractions like the Orion Nebula.

Ken Skates, Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Infrastructure added, "We are very keen for our historic sites to play their part in Wales's Year of Adventure, and the Open Day and stargazing evening at Bryn Celli Ddu are both great examples of the imaginative events that are being held throughout 2016."

"At its heart, the Year of Adventure is about creating unique experiences for our visitors — and the creative combination of science and the arts will make this day a truly out-of-the ordinary occasion, bringing Welsh heritage to life in a memorable way."

The archaeological open day is free to attend, and no booking is required. For more information about all activities at Bryn Celli Ddu visit www.wales.gov.uk/cadw

 

Rachel Atkinson | 02 June 2016