Launch of 3D digital model brings prehistoric landscape to life

8 June 2017

University archaeologists return to site of international important

Archaeologists from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) are once again playing a key role in uncovering the secrets of Anglesey’s prehistoric past at Bryn Celli Ddu.

And on Friday 9 June, as part of a series of collaborative events involving the University, the Welsh Government’s historic environment service (Cadw), Manchester Metropolitan University and Dark Sky Wales, a 3D digital model of the landscape under archaeological investigation will be unveiled.

UCLan’s Dr Seren Griffiths, Lecturer in Archaeology from the School of Forensic and Applied Sciences, said that since the research team had commenced its investigations two years ago, some important finds, featured in the new digital model, had been discovered. “Bryn Celli Ddu is a hugely important ritual landscape which has been significantly under researched,” she explained.

“We have found rock art and monuments which date back thousands of years, and which emphasise this site as one of major international importance.  I’ve really enjoyed working with Cadw on this project which has allowed hundreds of people to engage with their past and the process of experiencing archaeology.

"Our 3D digital modelling of the landscape, which features some of the results of our research so far, is now about to be released which is very exciting."

“They seem to enjoy it too. Many people come back for more, in fact this year we had nearly two hundred volunteers.

“Our 3D digital modelling of the landscape, which features some of the results of our research so far, is now about to be released which is very exciting. We are hopeful that this season’s excavations will be just as productive as those of the past two years.”

Ken Skates, Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Infrastructure, added: “2017 is Visit Wales’ Year of Legends, and this summer, we’re bringing visitors a programme of unique events and experiences that aim to bring Wales’s most impressive historic sites to life in a legendary way.

“The arrival of the Cadw Dragon family, along with CGI reconstructions and a brand new virtual reality app are all ways to promote our historic environment to a new audience.”

On Saturday, June 17, an open day celebrating the Neolithic period in Wales will take place at the site.

There will be live flint knapping demonstrations and a chance to meet Neolithic characters. Visitors will also have the opportunity to make pots like those found at the tomb and find out more about the current excavations of the Bronze Age cairn in the field next door, with live tours of the open trenches.

To mark the event Cadw has also released an incredible CGI five-minute reconstruction of the tomb, which sees the site restored to its former glory.

Known as one of the most evocative archaeological sites in Britain, the 5,000-year old monument was once constructed to protect and pay respect to the remains of ancestors.

Visitors to Cadw sites are encouraged to share their legendary experiences on social media by using the hashtag #LivetheLegends.

For full summer events listings, visit, find Cadw on Facebook or follow @CadwWales on Twitter.