Didn’t we mention archaeology on Anglesey?

Back in June we visited Anglesey with our children to see some of the archaeology of the island. Our weekend was packed full of archaeology from the Neolithic tomb of Bryn Celli Dhu to church graveyards. Well now we’ve heard of a really exciting discovery of an extensive Neolithic site at Llanfaethlu on the western side of the island.

The site emerged as work was being carried out prior to the building of a new school and it has become one of the most important Neolithic sites in the country, with evidence for 3 buildings and over 2,000 finds including seeds, pottery sherds and flint tools. The excavators, Catherine Rees and Matt Jones of C R Archaeology could hardly believe their luck on finding such an important site. You can read more on the discovery and see some great photos of the site here.

The team hard at work around the chalk floor. The hearth is the orangey-red feature in the centre.
Archaeologists hard at work around the sunken  chalk floor of a building at the henge of Marden in Wilts. The hearth is the orangey-red feature in the centre.

Recent years have seen the discovery of more buildings from the Neolithic period, from Durrington Walls and Marden in Wiltshire to Buxton in Derbyshire, we have more evidence than ever for these buildings which date to the early centuries of the 4th millennium BC (4,000-3,500 BC) yet we are still uncertain as to what they were used for. Some archaeologists call them ‘houses’, some ‘halls’ but both are loaded with meaning. What we do know is that many of them have evidence in the form of grain, sometimes burnt, which suggests they are in some way associated with some of the first ‘farmers’ (another loaded term) in Britain. It was at this time we see the first appearance of many elements of culture and subsistence such as domesticated animals, pottery and buildings which distinguish the Neolithic from earlier periods.

Ian Parker Heath

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