21st/22nd June 2014: Bryn Celli Ddu


I joined a number of archaeologists and living history reenactors for the second year at the annual summer solstice public event at Bryn Celli Ddu Burial Chamber in Anglesey, North Wales. Funded by Cadw, Arts Council of Wales and the Heritage Tourism Project, the event was organised by Ffion Reynolds and over 400 visitors came to see us over a warm weekend (with a further 70 or so people who woke earlier enough for the rising of the sun on 21st June).

As last year, I pitched next to Sally Pointer and Gareth Riseborough and this year we were joined by the enthusiastic Guerilla Archaeology, Aerial-Cam (who took some stunning photos which appear in the Daily Post) and Ancient-Arts.

Daily Post

( © CADW Crown  - with kind permission)

The Neolithic henge Bryn Celli Ddu (the mound in the dark grove) originally had 14 upright stones enclosed in a bank and ditch. It was first excavated in 1865 and then again between 1927-31 by Wilfrid James Hemp (1882–1962), when a number of artefacts were found including: burnt and unburnt human bones, a stone bead, two flint arrowheads, a scraper, mussel shells and an unusual ox burial.

 

On the morning of the 22nd, I quickly visited the largest Neolithic tomb at Barclodiad Y Gawres. Dating from around 2,500 - 3,000 BC, it is believed to be a public grave for the local farming community. During the excavation of two male burials, evidence of a strange stew was found, containing wrasse, eel, frog, toad, grass-snake, mouse, shrew and hare, covered with limpet shells and beach pebbles.

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