The Rock Art Network
The Rock Art Network
The Rock Art Network
Bradshaw Foundation - Latest News
Bryn Celli Ddu on Anglesey
Tuesday 11 June 2019

Hidden in the soil: Digging reveals new insights of long-lost site in Bryn Celli Ddu landscape.

Bryn Celli Ddu
Bryn Celli Ddu. Image: Adam Stanford Aerial Cam

Archaeologists return to uncover a prehistoric ritual landscape that includes a Bronze Age cairn, potentially larger than its famous neighbour Bryn Celli Ddu, a 5,000-year-old passage tomb aligned with the summer solstice sunrise on Anglesey. The famous Welsh passage tomb might not be as recognisable as Stonehenge, but it possesses a similar alignment where the stones line up with the sun on the longest day of summer. By building the long passage at Bryn Celli Ddu, the sun can creep along it into the far reaches of the inner chamber, an atmospheric moment that many never forget.

Excavation now suggests that the site had significance for prehistoric people that lasted for millennia after the earth mound was raised over a stone passage chamber. The monument has an evocative Welsh name, which translates as 'The Mound in the Dark Grove' and was first excavated in 1865 and then completely reconstructed in the 1920s, but excavations over the last five summers - with members of the public joining archaeologists - have uncovered a rich landscape of archaeological remains, covering more than 5,000 years of human activity.

Bryn Celli Ddu
Bryn Celli Ddu. Image: Adam Stanford Aerial Cam

The work has uncovered 12 examples of rock art carvings, all in the landscape around Bryn Celli Ddu, along with a pit filled with pottery and worked stone tools.

Excavations this year continue to uncover evidence of a long-lost prehistoric burial cairn just meters away from Bryn Celli Ddu, as archaeologists peel back the layers to reveal the monument. Radiocarbon dating has given a date of 1,900 BC, with finds of flint tools and a double kerb of large stones, some of them weighing over a tonne each. Pupils from local primary school Llanddaniel Fab and several others from across Anglesey have been given special access to the site learning about life in their area 5,000 years ago.

Excavations at Bryn Celli Ddu
Excavations at Bryn Celli Ddu. Image: Adam Stanford Aerial Cam

Through a series of talks and workshops by on-site archaeologists, as well as witnessing first-hand the discovery of artefacts, it is hoped that the pupils come away from the experience with a deeper understanding and appreciation of their local history as a result of the project.

An event at Bryn Celli Ddu in 2018
An event at Bryn Celli Ddu in 2018. Image: Adam Stanford Aerial Cam

Artists are also taking part and responding to Bryn Celli Ddu in new ways. John Abell, a Welsh prizewinning printmaker and artist, is working to create new woodcut prints. Abell's distinctive motifs, intertwining fact with folk memory has a persuasive sense of storytelling, bringing the past and present alive using a beguiling visual language.

The project is keen to offer those with an interest in history the opportunity to learn more about the archaeology of the island and have arranged a series of events to coincide with the project. The dig will run from 8 June to 7 July.

Bryn Celli Ddu
Last summer at Bryn Celli Ddu. Image: Adam Stanford Aerial Cam

Minister for Culture, Tourism and Sport, Lord Dafydd Elis-Thomas, said: "During Wales's Year of Discovery, we continue to develop new ways of engaging the people of Wales and beyond with our country's rich heritage. Hosting this excavation and events at Bryn Celli Ddu is an excellent way to encourage a deeper understanding of one of Wales's most impressive prehistoric sites. I hope that local people and visitors alike will be inspired to explore Bryn Celli Ddu this summer, find out about the new archaeological results, and make the most of the free activities and events taking place this June."

Article continues below
Article continues

The Bryn Celli Ddu landscape project is led by the Welsh Government's historic environment service, Cadw, University of Central Lancashire and Manchester Met University, along with members of the local community and archaeology students.

Bryn Celli Ddu
Last summer at Bryn Celli Ddu. Image: Adam Stanford Aerial Cam
Comment
Archaeology
Neolithic settlement discovered in Turkey
by Bradshaw Foundation
Thursday 05 December 2019
Lion figurine discovered in Denisova Cave
by Bradshaw Foundation
Thursday 21 November 2019
Modern technology for ancient ochre
by Bradshaw Foundation
Wednesday 20 November 2019
Mammoth traps discovered in Mexico
by Bradshaw Foundation
Tuesday 12 November 2019
Earlier development of prehistoric weapons
by Bradshaw Foundation
Thursday 03 October 2019
Raiders of the Lost Past on BBC
by Bradshaw Foundation
Thursday 12 September 2019
Megalthic site discovery in Spain
by Bradshaw Foundation
Friday 30 August 2019
Haul of hundreds of hunter gatherer tools sheds light on Scotland's earliest residents
by Bradshaw Foundation
Wednesday 14 August 2019
Bryn Celli Ddu on Anglesey
by Bradshaw Foundation
Tuesday 11 June 2019
Easter Island research & preservation
by Bradshaw Foundation
Tuesday 23 April 2019
John Desmond Clark
by Bradshaw Foundation
Wednesday 10 April 2019
Oldest confirmed tattooing combs
by Bradshaw Foundation
Wednesday 06 March 2019
Transporting the bluestones of Stonehenge
by Bradshaw Foundation
Tuesday 19 February 2019
Artsoundscapes
by Bradshaw Foundation
Tuesday 05 February 2019
Archaeological research in Korea
by Bradshaw Foundation
Thursday 01 November 2018
Mummified Ice Age fauna
by Bradshaw Foundation
Wednesday 19 September 2018
Follow the Bradshaw Foundation on social media for news & updates
Follow the Bradshaw Foundation
on social media for news & updates
Follow the Bradshaw Foundation on social media for news & updates
Follow the Bradshaw Foundation
on social media for news & updates
If you have enjoyed visiting this website
please consider adding a link © Bradshaw Foundation
 
 
ROCK ART NETWORK
Rock Art Network Bradshaw Foundation Getty Conservation Institute
ARCHAEOLOGY
Neolithic settlement discovered in Turkey
by Bradshaw Foundation
Thursday 05 December 2019
Lion figurine discovered in Denisova Cave
by Bradshaw Foundation
Thursday 21 November 2019
Modern technology for ancient ochre
by Bradshaw Foundation
Wednesday 20 November 2019
Mammoth traps discovered in Mexico
by Bradshaw Foundation
Tuesday 12 November 2019
Earlier development of prehistoric weapons
by Bradshaw Foundation
Thursday 03 October 2019
Raiders of the Lost Past on BBC
by Bradshaw Foundation
Thursday 12 September 2019
Megalthic site discovery in Spain
by Bradshaw Foundation
Friday 30 August 2019
Haul of hundreds of hunter gatherer tools sheds light on Scotland's earliest residents
by Bradshaw Foundation
Wednesday 14 August 2019
Bryn Celli Ddu on Anglesey
by Bradshaw Foundation
Tuesday 11 June 2019
Easter Island research & preservation
by Bradshaw Foundation
Tuesday 23 April 2019
John Desmond Clark
by Bradshaw Foundation
Wednesday 10 April 2019
Oldest confirmed tattooing combs
by Bradshaw Foundation
Wednesday 06 March 2019
Transporting the bluestones of Stonehenge
by Bradshaw Foundation
Tuesday 19 February 2019
Artsoundscapes
by Bradshaw Foundation
Tuesday 05 February 2019
Archaeological research in Korea
by Bradshaw Foundation
Thursday 01 November 2018
Mummified Ice Age fauna
by Bradshaw Foundation
Wednesday 19 September 2018
Bradshaw Foundation Donate Friends
Support our work & become a
Friend of the Foundation
 
 
Bradshaw Foundation Facebook
 
Bradshaw Foundation YouTube
Bradshaw Foundation iShop Shop Store
Bradshaw Foundation iShop Shop Store
Bradshaw Foundation iShop Shop Store