Amgueddfa Blog: Ancient Wales

Contributed by IWAN BALA

It was remarkable to come here, having heard stories about this place, and imagined other stories too. To stand on the floor that was stood on so long ago. Like Sean Harris, I am inspired to do some work based on this. Not sure what yet. Wedi mwynhau yn ddirfawr. 01/07/07

Contributed by SEAN HARRIS

Visiting Llanmaes this time last year was fascinating as always – took a few photos, soaked it all up, went home… With no idea what it would lead to. I’m sitting here, talking to Nick Comerford, teacher from Aberdare School with whom I made the film Dadeni, a cauldron extravaganza based on finds from Llanmaes – sharks tooth, coin and so on. This time last year none of these had been unearthed. What will come from this years dig I wonder?

Contributed by NICK COMERFORD

I came down to the site in October, so it was nice to come back to see the site opened up. With a little help I’m starting to make sense of the colour of the earth, the position of the post holes, etc. I’m looking forward to seeing what turns up?

Contributed by ANNA

Only having come to Llanmaes for a week, today is my final day – and the week ends as it began, with everyone rained off site. But we had fair weather through the middle of the week, and good progress was made in the trenches. A mixture of pre-Roman and Roman finds in Trench 1 suggests that the site was occupied over a long period, intersecting features indicating that the (potential) settlement was built and re-built over the same spot. There are many post-holes in Trench 1, making an Iron Age settlement likely, although its shape (round or rectangular) has not yet been determined.

I have spent the week working on a large post-hole which, unexpectedly, developed into a second post-hole, almost certainly of different date. As the fill continued further and further back below the top soil, it felt at times as though I would be chasing this feature endlessly across the trench – but it was a nice change to be taken by surprise by a feature, and exciting to realise that the two intersecting post-holes might tell us something about different periods of occupation on the site.

A week is not really long enough to spend on as rich a site as Llanmaes, where new possibilities seem to emerge every day. As well as the potential Iron Age settlement, there is also possible evidence of a furnace, a hearth and a Roman building: plenty for everyone to mull over whilst skulking in the cabins and barns, keeping an eye on the rain.

Contributed by EMILY

Hello Archaeology fans!

Llanmaes has given us an unexpectedly sunny day today, with our courageous team of archaeologists only getting rained on once, and the grand total of wet socks at a paltry 4 from the wet sieving brigade.

Today I have been working in a strip of trench one, and have consequently seen very little of the rest of the goings on in the site.

I can however assure you that trench one has seen enough excitement for the whole of Llanmaes with a host of interesting finds coming to light. Among these finds came a shard of what appears to be Roman glass, which Nick has speculated may have originated from a window pane, leading to a somewhat enthusiastic, and yet to be proved ‘We have a house here’. More on that another day perhaps.

Another exiting find was found by the intrepid archaeologist Andy, who braved the adversity of forgetting his glasses to bring us a beautiful bucket handle. In order to quell the pre-history/Roman debate this find created, pacifists among us have suggested that we are dealing with pre-historic peoples coexisting happily with Romans in a somewhat utopic society. Our current ‘special person’ on site, Ian, added that within this society they may have been consuming donkeys, based on a rather large bone found in the lower right hand side of the trench. This with many other things in this blog entry, is yet to be established as a fact.

For my part, myself and Rob have been uncovering some interesting features in the lower right corner of the trench. Rubble fill may prove to be a surface or a dump of some description, whilst finds from the area have included a Roman coin, Iron nails and a number of animal bones. Tomorrow we hope to expand outwards from the feature that may be a surface in hopes of discovering its true purpose, but for now we are left to speculate on a number of features throughout the trench and site.