Anglesey dig in search for ‘rock art’ and ritual landscape

Thursday 09 June 2016

Bryn Celli Ddu Burial Chamber

Bryn Celli Ddu Burial Chamber

The Neolithic passage tomb of Bryn Celli Dddu in Anglesey will host a two-week long public archaeology excavation with a free open day on 18 June 2016.

Led by the Welsh Government’s historic environment service, Cadw, University of Central Lancashire and Manchester Metropolitan University, it 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.

The project will focus on the landscape surrounding one of Wales’ famous Neolithic passage tombs, exploring hidden features that have been previously overlooked.

The team will be exploring the ridge where a host of outcrops covered in this ‘rock art’ have previously been found; it may be that even more rock art locations will be identified, further adding to the new picture of a rich ritual landscape around Anglesey’s celebrated tomb.

Volunteers will join the two-week excavation starting on 7 June, working side by side with experienced archaeologists to search for clues of the site’s 5,000 year-old history.

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 11am and 4pm.

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 during the day's Lego sessions.

Schoolchildren from Communities First areas on Anglesey will also get involved, with an outreach programme taking place throughout the two-week project.

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.

Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Infrastructure Ken Skates said:: "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."