On a very wet July day, our friends Mohamed Ali Hakim and Moamen Saad Mohamed, joined our excavation team, to experience the ongoing archaeological excavation at Llanmaes in the Vale of Glamorgan. (Thanks must go particularly to Mel and Nigel for looking after them so well!). They were in Cardiff with the National Museum of Wales as part of the British Museum’s Training Programme.
The site was first discovered in 2003, when two metal-detectorists reported many rare cauldron pieces and axes to Mark Lodwick, the Portable Antiquities Scheme Co-ordinator for Wales. A follow-up treasure investigation of the find-spot led to the discovery of an Iron Age feasting place and rich cultural mound of midden, covering an earlier Bronze Age settlement. This became the focus of a current major research excavation funded by Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales.
The photograph shows an uncovered Bronze Age roundhouse, with a fire reddened hearth at its centre. In neighbouring excavation trenches were found a Bronze Age floor surface and boundary ditch. Overall, 2,500 finds were made, spanning the Neolithic to Romano-British periods (4000BC – AD400) and including flint scrapers, decorated pottery, brooches, cauldron fragments, a harness button and a Bronze Age gold strip, possibly from the handle of a dagger.
A schools archaeology project, led by Education Officer Ken Brassil, involved many classes of primary age school children visiting the site and engaging with the team. The strong continuing support of Llanmaes Community for the project was reflected in our popular open day, guided by our student team members (a training excavation for the Universities of Cardiff & Liverpool).
Adam Gwilt, Later Prehistorian
Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales