Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Cian Ciaran yn y Guardian, Herald Gymraeg 24 Mehefin 2015



Fe soniais yn fy ngholofn bythefnos yn ol (10 Mehefin) wrth adolygu Gwyl Merthyr Rising 2015, fod grwp newydd Cian Ciaran o’r Super Furry’s, a’i gariad Estelle Ios, sef y Zefur Wolves, wedi adfer fy ffydd mewn cerddoriaeth. Cymaint felly bu i mi fynd i weld y grwp yn canu am yr eilwaith mewn llai nac wythnos.

Y tro yma, Canolfan Gymdeithasol Maesgeirchen oedd y lleoliad. Rwan ta, dwi ddim yn amau byddai Maesgeirchen ei hyn yn destyn ar gyfer erthygl os am drafod cynllunio trefol a chymdeithaseg. Bydd rhaid hyn aros. Ond roedd cynnal gig gyda Zefur Wolves yn “MaesG” yn weithred oedd yn ymylu ar fod yn ‘Dada-aidd’. Dyma fynd a diwylliant at y werin bobl, boed y werin bobl isho fo neu ddim.

“Ymwelwyr diwylliannol” oedd y rhan fwyaf ohonnom yn y gynulleidfa, ambell gefnogwr i’r Super Furry’s, ambell un oedd wedi ‘clywed y buzz’ am Zefur Wolves. Roedd y werin bobl mewn cornel, arwahan, fel sydd yn digwydd yng Nghymru, un Genedl o ran rygbi a pheldroed ond gagendor enfawr o ran y diwylliant. I ddatgan yr amlwg (onibai fy mod yn gwneud cam mawr a nhw) ond go brin fod Barn, Golwg a Barddas yn cael eu byseddu yma mwy na di Radio Cymru na S4C ar eu tonfedd.

Roedd Merthyr Rising yn engraifft da o sut mae’r ‘werin bobl’ yn ymdrechu i ail berchnogi eu hanes a diwylliant ond eto, ar y nos Sadwrn pan roedd Zefur Wolves yn perfformio yn Theatr Soar, o flaen rhyw hanner cant, roedd Weatherspoons drws nesa yn gorlifo. Simon Cowell yn hytrach na Gruff Rhys.

Wrth gyrraedd Canolfan Gymdeithasol Maesgeirchen, y cwestiwn cyntaf gefais gan drefnwr y noson, oedd – “a oeddwn wedi darllen yr erthygl gan Cian yn y Guardian?”. Felly ar ol cyrraedd adre dyma chwilota ar Google a dod ar draws erthygl barn wedi ei sgwennu gan Cian yn awgrymu / herio “Pop Needs to get political again”.

Yn ei erthygl, mae Cian yn son fod y gantores Paloma Faith wedi mynd a’r colofnydd Owen Jones (Guardian) gyda hi ar daith er mwyn addysgu ei chynuleidfa am beryglon meddylfryd UKIP. O ran hanes canu protest mae Cian yn cydnabod ‘Strange Fruit’ gan Billie Holiday neu ‘A Change is Gonna Come’ gan Sam Cooke fel caneuon sydd gyda neges gref ond heb yr angen i weiddi.

O ran fy nghyfnod i fel rhywun yn ei arddegau yn ystod y 1970au, mae Cian hefyd yn cydnabod digwyddiadau ac ymgyrchoedd fel ‘Rock Against Racism’ ac artistiad fel The Clash ac Elvis Costello yn gefnogwyr brwd. Byddaf o hyd yn cyfaddef, er cymaint dylanwad Dafydd Iwan, Huw Jones ac Edward (Morris Jones nid H) arnaf, mai recordiau fel ‘Glad T Be Gay’ gan Tom Robinson a ‘Ku Kluk Klan’ gan Steel Pulse oedd mwyaf gyfrifol am roi addysg gwleidyddol i mi fel hogyn ifanc ym Mwynder Maldwyn.

Felly, er nad yw Cian yn gwneud fawr mwy na datgan yr hyn ddylia fod yn hollol amlwg, mae ei erthygl i’w ganmol yng nghanol y difaethwch difater sydd wedi lledu llawer rhy eang ymhlith pobl ifanc. Yr unig beth ar goll yn ei erthygl yw gofyn y cwestwin, pam fod y gwleidyddion (o bob plaid) mor hollol anllythrennog pan mae’n dod i siarad gyda’r etholwyr rhwng 18 a 25 oed?


I’w ganmol hefyd, mae cwestiynnu parhaol a rheolaidd Cian ar ddilysrwydd Wylfa B, chwech chi fawr o hynny gan y gwleidyddion (o unrhyw blaid). Gan obeithio felly cawn weld Cian Ciaran ar y gyfres nesa o “Pawb a’i Farn” – mae’r Pop yn ol yn wleidyddol!

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/mar/09/pop-political-british-musicians-paloma-faith?CMP=share_btn_fb

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Tirwedd Bryn Celli Ddu, Herald Gymraeg 17 Mehefin 2015.




Y geiriau y byddaf yn eu cysylltu a’r cyfle i gloddio archaeolegol ar safleoedd neu henebion yng Nghymru yw ‘braint’ a ’gwerthfawrogi’. Dau air ddigon syml, ond mae hi yn fraint cael cloddio ar y safleoedd yma, dyma gyfel i gyffwrdd ar gorffennol, yr agosa y gallan fod at ein cyn-deidiau, yr hen bobl. A’r rheswm am yr ail air, yw fy mod o hyd yn gwerthfawrogi y cyfle yma.

Felly dychmygwch sut mae rhywun yn teimlo yn cael y cyfle dros y bythefnos ddwetha i gyd weithio gyda Cadw yn cloddio yn y dirwedd o amgylch Bryn Celli Ddu yn ceisio gweld os oedd defnydd o’r dirwedd yma o amgylch y siambr gladdu yn ystod y cyfnod Neolithig (Oes y Cerrig).

Er fod ambell adroddiad yn y wasg wedi awgrymu ein bod yn cloddio yn y siambr, y gwir amdani yw fod y siambr gladdu ei hyn wedi ei restru, felly go brin bydd unrhywun yn cael caniatad i dyllu oddifewn i ffiniau’r cofadail ond mae’r caeau o amgylch yn bosib. Bwriad y cloddio felly yw ceisio deall mwy am y dirwedd Neolithig, beth efallai oedd yn digwydd o amgylch y siambr gladdu?

Dyma beth yw gwefr. Disgrifias y profiad ar Trydar fel un cyfatebol i berfformio yn Neuadd Albert, Llundain petae rhywun yn ganwr. Anodd curo hyn. Un o’r nodweddion mwyaf diddorol yn y dirwedd o amgylch Bryn Celli Ddu yw’r graig enfawr naturiol yn y cae drws nesa, rhyw 200 llath i’r gogledd-orllewin o’r cofadail.

Ar ben y graig yma mae nifer o gafn-nodau. Cafn –nodau yw tyllau bach crwn rhyw ddwy fodfedd ar draws sydd wedi cael eu creu gan ddyn yn y graig. Y broses oedd eu curo gyda cerrig eraill, weithiau y crystal ‘quartz’, er mwyn creu twll bach crwn. Yn Saesneg, mae’r dechneg yma yn cael ei disgrifio fel ‘pecking’. Dychmygwch garreg yn cael ei defnyddio bron fel pig aderyn yn cnocio dro ar ol tro nes fod ffurf y cylch yn datblygu yn raddol ar y graig.

Gwaith y bore cyntaf oedd glanhau y baw defaid, y mwsogl ac unrhyw laswellt oedd wedi tyfu ar ben y graig gan guddio’r cafn-nodau. Dyma’r tro cyntaf erioed i waith o’r fath gael ei wneud. Fedra’i ddim cyfleu mewn geiriau pam mor wirioneddol wefreiddiol oedd hyn, son am fod yn agosach i’r nefoedd – roeddwn drwy’r drws ac i fewn !

Rydym wedi cael hyd i rhwng hanner dwsin a dwsin o’r cafn-nodau yma ar ben y graig a’r cam nesa oedd defnyddio peiriant sganio laser, LeicaP40, i dynnu lluniau o’r graig rhag fod mwy o gerfiadau yno efallai nad oedd yn amlwg i’r llygaid noeth. Rydym hefyd yn amau fod rhan helaeth o’r graig wedi ei chwalu rhywbryd ar ol y cyfnod Canoloesol fel chwarael gerrig. Felly pwy a wyr faint o gafn-nodau gollwyd dros y blynyddoedd?

Does neb yn siwr iawn beth yw pwrpas y cafn-nodau yma. Fe welir 110 ohonnynt er engraifft ar gapfaen cromlech Bachwen yng Nghlynnog, mae un arall ar un o feini siambr gladdu Dyffryn Ardudwy tra mae carreg arall hefo dwsin neu fwy ohonnynt ar fferm Penllech yn Mhen Llyn. Cerfiadau yw rhain ond cwestiwn da beth yw’r arwyddocad? Rhaid fod mwy o ystyr iddynt na ‘celf’ yn unig.

Ac wrth son am gelf, mae Ffion Reynolds o Cadw, sydd yn cyfarwyddo’r gwaith cloddio, wedi sicrhau fod gennym artist preswyl yn bresennol drwy gyfnod y cloddio. Dyma un o’r pethau cyffrous iawn am archaeoleg y dyddiau yma, sef fod yr hen ffiniau, hen ffasiwn, cul ac ysgolheigaidd yn cael eu chwalu’n rhacs. Dyma faes sydd nawr yn aml-gyfryngol, yn ceisio cyrraedd y werin bobl – ac yn hwyl.

O Wrecsam daw’r artist Angela Davies a mae Angela eisoes wedi gwneud gwaith preswyl mewn canolfannau hanesyddol fel y gadeirlan yn Llanelwy a Chastel y Waun. Gwych o beth yw gweld artist fel Angela yn edrych ar y gofadail drwy lygaid creadigol, dyma ail-ddehongi os nad ail-ddiffinio’r lleoliad. Eto peth da, chwalu ffiniau, creu posibiliadau, ysbrydoli ……..

Ffion ac Angela

Diweddglo (nid diwedd y stori chwaith) ond diweddglo y bythefnos o gloddio fydd Diwrnod Agored ym Mryn Celli ar yr 20fed o Fehefin, sef y Dydd Sadwrn. Dewch draw, bydd teithiau tywys (gan Mr Mwyn), bydd arddangosfeydd, bydd yna ddipyn o archaeoleg arbrofol a chyfle i greu potiau pridd ac efallai yn bwysicach byth cyfle i drafod Bryn Celli Ddu gyda eraill a diddordeb yn y safle.

Ar fore hirddydd-haf, (Mehefin 21) oddeutu 4-30 y bore bydd yr haul yn dod i mewn drwy’r cyntedd ac i fewn i’r siambr gladdu. Rydym yn argyhoeddedig bellach mai dyma bwriad yr adeiladwyr Neolithig, dros 5,000 o flynyddoedd yn ol, wrth godi a chynllunio’r feddrod. Bydd Derwyddon Mon yno i gynnal defod.

Eto, dyma engraifft gwych o sut mae agweddau wedi newid o fewn y byd archaeolegol, fod Cadw a Derwyddon Mon yn cyd-weithio ac yn rhannu’r profiad. Ar ol sgwennu am ddefod Derwyddon Mon ar y diwrnod byrraf (Rhagfyr 21ain) ym Mryn Celli ar dudalennau’r Herald Gymraeg cefais wahoddiad gan y BBC i gyfweld a’r Derwyddon.


Gwrthod y cyfle wnaeth y Derwyddon. Roeddwn wedi edrych ymlaen i sgwrsio a nhw, i geisio deall ychydig mwy am eu defodau ond dyna fo, rhaid eu bod wedi rhagweld fy mod yn mynd i roi amser rhy galed iddynt, sydd yn siomedig os nad yn awgrymu nad ydynt am fod o dan ormod o chwyddwydr. Dewch draw ar yr 20fed.

Atodiad: newydd gyfarfod a chydweithio gyda Kris Hughes (Urdd Derwyddon Mon) a fel bydda rhywun yn disgwyl da ni wedi gyrru ymlaen yn dda !

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Merthyr Rising 2015, Herald Gymraeg 10 Mehefin





 Does dim dwy waith fod y gwrthdaro diwydiannol ym Merthyr Tudful, 1831 yn un o’r digwyddiadau pwysicaf o ran Hanes Cymru, ac yn sicr yng nghyd-destyn hanes y chwyldro diwydiannol a hanes y dosbarth gweithiol yma yng Nghymru. Braf felly, os nad braint,  oedd cael gwahoddiad i gymeryd rhan mewn gwyl o’r enw ‘Merthyr Rising 2015’ sydd yn wyl ddiwylliannol wedi ei hysbrydoli gan ysbryd Lewsyn yr Heliwr, Dic Penderyn a’r Faner Goch.

Dyma engraifft perffaith o bobl yn cydnabod ac yn gyfarwydd a’u hanes ac yn gallu trosglwyddo hynny i rhywbeth perthnasol ar gyfer heddiw. Nid gwers hanes na darlithoedd sych oedd Merthyr Rising 2015 ond yn hytrach cyfuniad hynod ddiddorol aml-ddisgyblaeth o gerddoriaeth, ffilm, barddoniaeth a sgyrsiau / trafodaethau.




Wrth i mi gyrraed Merthyr a cheisio dod o hyd i faes parcio Theatr Soar dyma yrru heibio Sgwar Penderyn lle roedd grwpiau roc lleol yn perfformio ar lwyfan awyr agored. Roedd cannoedd o bobl Merthyr yno yn gwrando a mwynhau. Ar hyn o bryd mae’r grwp Pretty Vicious o Ferthyr yn gwneud argraff yn genedlaethol felly mae pawb ifanc o Ferthyr isho bod mewn band roc a rol. O fewn 5 munud o gyrraedd roeddwn wedi clywed y geiriau ‘Pretty Vicious’ dros ddwsin o weithiau. Chwerthais achos dwi’n nabod tad un ohonnynt.

Roeddwn yno i gyfweld a’r trwbadwr o Batagonia, Rene Griffiths. Amserol iawn o ystyried ein bod yn cofio / dathlu 150 mlynedd ers i’r Mimosa hwylio allan o Lerpwl. Dyn hynod ddiddorol yw Rene, fel soniais dro yn ol yn fy ngolofn, mae ei lyfr ‘Ramblings of a Patagonian’ yn ddarllen difyr. Fe sgwrsiais a Rene ar lwyfan Soar am dros awr a hanner gan dorri’r sgwrs gyda ambell gan ganddo.

Deffrais y bore canlynol yn canu ‘Heno mae’n Bwrw Cwrw’ sef y gan berfformiodd Rene ar y ffilm ‘Seperado’ gyda Gruff Rhys. Cymwynas mawr Rene ddywedwn i, a’r genedl Gymraeg, yw ei fod yn dod o Batagonia a felly yn gallu. ac yn wir, yn fodlon, chwalu’r mytholeg a’r rhamant sydd wedi ei or-lywio gan y Cymry Cymraeg sydd ‘rioed di bod yno. Mae’n ddyn talentog, yn ‘storiwr’ o fri, yn ‘raconteur’ fel byddai rhywun yn ei ddisgrifio yn Ffrangeg.


O ran sgyrsiau, daliais funudau olaf sgwrs rhwng  yr AC Bethan Jenkins a Armon Williams o fudiad Ie Cymru. Roedd Bethan yn siarad synnwyr. Cefais fy nghyflwyno iddi wedyn a fel esboniais iddi’ “Rwyf yn anarchydd gwael iawn, rwyf o hyn yn pleidleisio!” Ond mynegais iddi fy marn am wleidydion, sef y bydda hi llawer gwell arnom yng Nghymru petae pob Aelod Seneddol a Chynulliad Plaid Cymru yn fenywod. Fe wennodd Bethan. Amen i hunna.



Uchafwbynt arall oedd cael cyfle i wrando ar y grwp Zefur Wolves, sef grwp Cian Ciaran o’r Super Furry’s gyda ei gariad Estelle Ios. Rwan ta, dwi di gweld gormod o grwpiau dros y blynyddoedd, a mae’n mynd yn fwy fwy anodd i gael fy mhlesio gan grwpiau newydd. Ond roedd y Zefur Woves yn fendigedig, yn hyfryd, yn fel i’r glust – yn fy nhrawsblannu o strydoedd llwm ol-ddiwydiannol Merthyr i rhyw ardd nefoliadd. Dwi ddim wedi mwynhau grwp cymaint a hyn ers blynyddoedd.
Ac roedd y Gymraeg yno, yn ddigon amlwg. Dwi’n credu i ni gyd fel perfformwyr / cyfrannwyr droedio yn ofalus ar y llwybr dwy-ieithog. Roedd clustiau Merthyr yn clywed y Gymraeg fel rhywbeth naturiol, arferol ac ar adegau ‘chwyldroadol’ a ‘gwleidyddol’. A fel y disgwyl roedd hiwmor y Cymmoedd ddigon amlwg hefyd. 



Roeddwn allan ar y nos sadwrn gyda Lorriane Owen, un o’r pyncs cyntaf yng Nghymru, a sydd yn gwneud ambell i ymddangosiad fel DJ. “So what’s your DJ name?” medda fi “Valley Girl" wrthgwrs.


Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Archaeoleg ar S4C, Herald Gymraeg 3 Mehefin 2015




Eleni, rwyf wedi rhoi dros 25 sgwrs yn barod am wahanol agweddau o archaeoleg i wahanol gymdeithasau ledled gogledd Cymru. Amrywiau’r sgyrsiau yma o ganghennau Merched y Wawr i gymdeithasau hanes, llenyddol a chymdeithas capeli. Rwyf hyd yn oed wedi cael gwahoddiad i roi sgwrs yng Nghadeirlan Bangor ar hanes y gadeirlan a Sant Deiniol ym mis Medi.

Wrth deithio ar hyd llawr gwlad, o neuadd bentref i festri capel, yr hyn sydd yn amlwg yw fod gan bobl ddiddordeb yn eu hanes, yn y cyd-destyn ehangach archaeolegol a diwylliannol – a fod pobl yn mynychu neuaddau pentref yn Llwyngwril neu Llanffestiniog ar nosweithiau tywyll, oer a gwlyb ym mis Chwefror.

Byddaf yn gofyn yn aml, “faint ohonnoch sydd wedi gwylio Time Team?” fel rhyw fan cychwyn. Oleiaf wedyn wrth ddangos lluniau o archaeolegwyr yn crafu yn y pridd gyda’u trywal, mae gan y gynulleidfa ryw syniad beth sydd yn mynd ymlaen. Prin iawn yw’r bobl sydd heb wylio ‘Time Team’ a phrinach byth yw’r rhai sydd ddim yn ei fwynhau. Beth bynnag yw gwendidau Time Team fel rhaglen, does dim osgoi’r ffaith fod y rhaglen yma wedi gwneud mwy na neb, na dim byd arall, i boblogeiddio archaeoleg dros y ddegawd dwetha.

Felly beth am honiad diweddar Carwyn Jones, mai’r Cymry yw’r rhai a lleiaf o ymwybyddiaeth a gwybodaeth am  hanes eu gwlad yng ngwledydd Ewrop? Ddigon posib, petae rhywun yn taflu enwau cestyll fel Carndochan neu Ewloe atynt, faint fydda’n gwybod fod rhain yn gestyll yn perthyn i dywysogion Gwynedd? Eto, beth bynnag mae rhywun yn feddwl am sylwadau Carwyn, roedd yn braf gweld y drafodaeth yn dilyn. Y broblem fwyaf efallai gyda sylwadau Carwyn yw fod angen newid y sefyllfa nid datgan yr amlwg.

Llynedd darlledwyd cyfres archaeolegol ar S4C, ‘Olion: Palu am Hanes’, y gyfres gyntaf erioed dybiwn i, lle roedd y broses archaeoleg yn cael sywl yn y Gymraeg. Dyma deimlo fod hyn yn gam i’r cyfeiriad cywir, oleiaf rwan roedd rhaglen archaeolegol yn y Gymraeg, nid anhebyg i Time Team o ran fod y cynnwys yn deillio o gloddio ar safleoedd.

Efallai fod yn well i mi ddatgan diddordeb yma. Bu i mi gyfrannu i ddwy rhaglen yn y gyfres ac roeddwn yn falch o’r gwahoddiad. Fe gafwyd hyd i olion Rhufeinig yn Nyffryn Conwy fydda ddim wedi eu cloddio fel arall – felly roedd hyn yn  ddatblygiad ofnadwy o bwysig. Ond cyfrannu ddwywaith neu ddim,  roeddwn wedi bod yn ‘dadlau’ / ‘mynegi barn’ ers rhai blynyddoedd fod y Cyfryngau Cymraeg rhywsut yn colli cyfle drwy beidio rhoi sylw i’r maes archaeoleg, felly roeddwn yn croesawu rhaglen o’r fath.

Dyna siom felly i glywed si na fydd ail gyfres o Olion yn cael ei chomisiynnu gan S4C. Un cam ymlaen, dwy gam yn ol. Efallai y dyliwn roi bloedd i Carwyn a’i atgoffa fod teledu yn gyfrwng ‘dylwanwadol’, felly dyma golli cyfle i greu ymwybyddiaeth pellach o’n hanes cynnar yn sicr drwy gyfrwng y Gymraeg. Sgwenna at S4C Carwyn!
Does dim syniad gennyf os oedd y rhaglen yn boblogaidd. Cefais adborth positif ar y pryd, ond ella mai dim ond tri person oedd yn gwylio. Un peth sy’n sicr, dydi un gyfres ddim yn ddigon i raglen o’r fath (neu unrhyw gyfres) ennill ei phlwyf. Y cwestiwn amlwg, yw pwy sydd yn malio? Fel dywedodd Paul Weller yn un o’i ganeuon ‘The people want what the people get”.

Yn amlwg dydi Carwyn ddim yn rhan o unrhyw drafodaeth ehangach hefo S4C am wella ein hymwybyddiaeth hanesyddol. Efallai fod y penderfyniad wedi ei wneud a dyna ni, ond os ydych yn malio, sgwennwch at S4C Parc Tŷ Glas Llanishen Cardiff CF14 5DU.


Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Dig Diary 2015

July 15 Meillionydd


Team Meillionydd seems to have expanded again - a lot of volunteers on site today. Day spent tidying up inside one of the roundhouses - cleaning down to the natural yellow clay (full of stones) and looking for possible postholes within the roundhouse. There are several roundhouses around the inner entrance to the double ringwork - some of which block the entrance and we can see the different phases of roundhouses as the walls cut across each other - the picture below shows 3 different roundhouse walls. The entrance at this time must have gone out of use and some of the roundhouses also cut into the inner bank.
It's great talking to Ray Karl and making sense of all this - complicated is probably an accurate description of the archaeology but Ray is certainly getting to grips with the sequence. Who said archaeology should be easy?





July 14 Rhuddgaer


Final day of the GAT excavations - mostly spent cleaning for the final photographs and planning and tidying up the odd feature. To be honest it was just good to be there for the final day ....


We have now established that there were 2 entrances / doorways into our structure :


Jeff came across this stone (below) in the wall, and having spent 2 weeks at Bryn Celli Ddu (see below) cleaning and recording cup marks - this particular 'cup mark' looked very similar. The problem here is one of context - could this be a Neolithic / Bronze Age cup mark that somehow found it's way as a boulder into the wall of this early medieval building?
Or is it something else ? - I guess if it's not a 'cup mark' in the usual sense it would be very interesting / informative to know what it is so that we can understand these things better.
This find certainly provoked a debate ......









July 11 and 12 Open Days at Meillionydd

The weather turned wet later on Saturday afternoon but Sunday the sun came out as did over 40 visitors. Busy day then, taking visitors around the site / excavations and having a look at the finds. The Meillionydd team are very good at the community engagement aspect and we get a good mix of locals and visitors to the area alike.

The spindle whorls always create an interest:


The roundhouse meanwhile is looking good, the other half was exposed in last year's trench





July 9th Rhuddgaer

The Gwynedd Archaeological Trust / Bangor University excavations continue at the early medieval settlement at Rhuddgaer on Anglesey (close to the Menai Strait and Afon Braint). The structure has become much clearer a week and a half into the excavations.

My morning is excavating a section through what appears to be a bank and revetment built against the outer wall of the structure in the eastern corner. All a bit strange as to why they built a revetment against the outer wall but there is no doubt that we have found something abutting the outer wall and it looks like its earth filled with an outer revetment of stone.




July 7th Meillionydd



Another school visit. We have now had visits from Ysgol Dolbadarn, Llanberis, Ysgol Crud y Werin, Aberdaron and today's visit was from Ysgol Pont y Gof, Botwnnog. One of the brilliant things about the school visits is seeing young people enjoying archaeology. They have all really loved the turf chairs and the highlight of each tour seems to be to get to sit in the chairs.
The positive in all this is that they see archaeology as being fun.


But the level of intelligent questioning has been the most impressive aspect for me. The pupils respond to looking at some of the finds with a barrage of questions - and they get the concept that the finds help us to tell the story rather than being 'valuable' objects. As Hurst Thomas said, "It's not what you find but what you find out".


July 3d Meillionydd

It had rained late on the previous afternoon, this is always good for exposing things that may have been missed on spoil heaps - and this shiny piece of golden yellow flint showed up while I was on a barrow run up the spoil heap.


The day was spent clearing  burnt stone and soil / rubble from one of the roundhouses - again slowly but surely the inner edges of the roundhouse became clearer but I think there is some way to go yet clearing out the roundhouse infill. See below - what little is left of the inner wall - there may be some more as we clear of course but I suspect not that much.





July 2nd Rhuddgaer


The building is much clearer now as the sand gets cleared away after 3 days work. I spent the day with a couple of others cleaning the surface just to the north west of the building looking for evidence of ridge and furrow - medieval ploughing - below the wind blown sand. As we went down we realised that (no surprises) there was quite a bit of sand to clear but we got there and found a soli horizon.

As we cleared Jane Kenney (GAT) took a photographic record











July 1st Meillionydd

It was my birthday. I spent it pushing wheelbarrows full of soil.


Meanwhile Llyr was busy excavating a section of a fire pit or hearth


And we were uncovering more remains of roundhouses. We had a few things that are yet to make sense but it looks like we have at least three different structures / roundhouses in close proximity which would suggest different periods but a few of them like the one below seemed pretty well trashed. This looks like the remains of the outer face of a roundhouse?




30th June Rhuddgaer

Excavating with the GAT team, at the medieval site of Rhuddgaer. A building / structure is uncovered but as yet we are not sure of the function of the building. What is certain is that its a substantial structure and some of the wall footings on the western side remain pretty well intact.
But first, there is one hell of a lot of sand to remove - some of this is the 1330 storm that covered Llys Rhosyr


See below the wall footings uncovered by a trial trench last year - the plastic is at the bottom of last years trench.


It was absolutely scorching hot - the volunteers did a sterling job in the hot sun. I thought of I Fought The Law (The Clash version). Love it.


25 June Meillionydd

School visit by Ysgol Dolbadarn, Llanberis. I had taken them up Tre'r Ceiri in the mist earlier that morning which was quite an adventure for them and they seemed to really enjoy seeing archaeologist at work.


Once the kids were back on their coach I got to clean up some features within one of the roundhouses in preperation for a photograph. Nice to get the trowel back out and just focus on the archaeology at the end of the afternoon.






21st June Solstice @ Bryn Celli Ddu


Over a hundred people attended the Solstice Event and the Anglesey Druid Order did their thing with a degree of humour as the sky was overcast and therefore no sun shining down the passage of Bryn Celli. Good to see interest in the monument and having spent the last fortnight excavating with Cadw on the surrounding landscape, this seemed like a fitting end to a brilliant couple of weeks.

20th June Open Day @ Bryn Celli Ddu

I took 4 guided tours around Bryn Celli and the excavations on the hour, every hour and there must have been at least 25 on each tour, so at least a 100 people for guided tours - that's pretty good going !


We had local visitors and some who had traveled from as far as Rochdale especially for the event. We also had all ages - and the pink Doc's sum it up - we had some Goth/Punk/ yoof crossover ! Archaeology is the new Rock'n Roll !


Obviously a lot of the discussion was about the cup marks that we have been identifying and recording on some of the natural outcrops in the landscape surrounding Bryn Celli. Dave and Sue Chapman from Ancient Arts experimented making cupmarks on the local rock and reckoned that it was 30-40 minutes work to create a single cupmark.

Also an interesting question was raised, whether the dust created through the pecking process had any use in the Neolithic / Bronze Age ?



Angela Davies 's art instillation inside the chamber was quite stunning - transforming the chmaber to something resembling a Victorian pinhole camera. Again, great to see barriers between art and archaeology being taken down and bridges built.



Some more thoughts - we have been joined for the last couple of days by Kris Hughes from the Anglesey Druid Order. How cool is this, a Druid excavating alongside a cynical old Punk like me and Cadw staff. Barriers are being smashed. I have written about the ceremonies conducted by the Anglesey Druid Order at Bryn Celli in my Herald Gymraeg column and have expressed a desire to talk to them about how they relate to the monument as modern day Druids. Hopefully Kris will come in for a chat on my MonFM show in the near future.
We have had a good couple of days working together - and I am struck by his passion and empathy for what we are doing at Bryn Celli. Punk taught us to be cynical, and there's good in that, but it doesn't mean that we are always right. I have really enjoyed our conversations so far ...........

Ffion Reynolds (Cadw) and Kris Hughes (Anglesey Druid Order) documenting cup marks.


Colofn Herald Gymraeg 17.06.15 yn trafod y cloddio ar y dirwedd o amgylch  Bryn Celli Ddu

http://rhysmwyn.blogspot.co.uk/2015/06/tirwedd-bryn-celli-ddu-herald-gymraeg.html?spref=fb



17th June Bryn Celli Ddu Landscape
Note: we should point out that the land we are excavating and surveying for rock art is on PRIVATE land and access is through kind permission of Wil the farmer. There is no public access or rights of way - these are private fields.

Today was something else - we explored rock outcrops to the west of the monument and at least four outcrops have cup marks carved on them. We cleaned one of the outcrops and I think Ffion counted over 30 cupmarks. I'm not sure if all the cup marks have been recognised previously or even all the outcrops noted, if so we were right there with Carter and Carnarvon finding 'wonderful things'. This has to be one of the best days - add:  so far or actually one of the best days of my archaeological career even - just humbling to know we were unearthing these ancient rock carvings / rock art ......





16th June Bryn Celli Ddu Landscape
Note: we should point out that the land we are excavating and surveying for rock art is on PRIVATE land and access is through kind permission of Wil the farmer. There is no public access or rights of way - these are private fields.

Heno / S4C came along to film an item ahead of our Open Day on Saturday the 20th of June - we love being on telly, Ffion and me !! All good to get archaeology out there to the masses ....


Meanwhile back in the trench - could this be our first proper 'feature' - the darker soil with flecks of charcoal - could be a post hole or pit? The only way of finding out is to put a section through it and see what develops. 






15th June Bryn Celli Ddu Landscape

I only had a morning excavating as I had to shoot off at lunchtime to interview Fiona & Gorwel Owen about their new CD 'Releasing Birds' on MonFM, but we did find a strange piece of pottery - (actually pieces) which I only found through sieving.

No idea what this is - never seen anything like this before


And in the meantime Beaver and Jeff were drawing and plotting the cupmarks on the rock outcrop.




12th June Bryn Celli Ddu Landscape


Finally I win my own prize (almost disappointed) but here's our first piece of worked flint - found first thing on the Friday morning. We sieve the soil from now on to look for any more pieces.


11th June Bryn Celli Ddu Landscape

The trench we have opened is given a once over with a trowel and cleaned carefully so that we can see what is going on. There are elements of a natural rock outcrop that has probably been quarried out here, but an obvious question is whether this happened in the prehistoric period or more recently - or both of course.

We are visited by students from Coleg Menai.




The cleared trench (below)


Just as a bit of banter / joke I offered a quid to the first to find a piece of worked flint. Later that afternoon I found a piece of unworked burnt flint. Getting closer but no prize.


We also found some rounded stones - not totally convinced but could they be prehistoric hammerstones? We will get Dave Chapman from Ancient Arts to have a look at them during the Open Day on the 20th June




10th June Bryn Celli Ddu Landscape

We open up two trenches just beyond and next to the rock outcrop. This means de-turfing and clearing topsoil. This means "hard work" and its even harder when the bedrock is so near the surface ..... but by lunchtime its done. The aim is to explore a 'circular' shape just west of the rock outcrop and also to look at the foot of the outcrop - just to see if we find any evidence of activity in this area dating back to the Neolithic and the time of use at Bryn Celli Ddu. In other words we are exploring the landscape around the Bryn Celli Ddu monument.
Much of this looks like more recent quarrying activity - more recent could be anything post medieval ? and the quarried stone used for building field walls etc


Just after lunch, artist Angela Davies joins us for a wander over to Bryn Celli, as we have a look at a 'possible' rock carving in the burial chamber. The carving seems scratched rather than pecked and I think the consensus is that this is something fairly recent and probably not a rock carving dating from the Neolithic as is seen on the 'pattern stone' at Bryn celli  or more dramatically perhaps on the 6 stones at Barclodiad y Gawres.


Ffion Reynolds (Cadw) and resident artist Angela Davies at the passage entrance 

http://www.angeladaviesartist.co.uk/

Here's an interview between Ffion and Angela http://cadw.gov.wales/daysout/bryn-celli-ddu-burial-chamber/artist-in-residence-bryn-celli-ddu/angela-davies-artist-in-residence-bryn-celli-ddu/?lang=en



The cupmarks on the rock outcrop were surveyed today - I'll tell you more tomorrow when I check what the equipment was.


9th June Bryn Celli Ddu  Landscape

This is beyond exciting - an opportunity to work at Bryn Celli Ddu - what I'm calling a "once in a lifetime opportunity", maybe slightly dramatic - but this is like a gig at the Royal Albert Hall. The morning was spent clearing and cleaning the rock outcrop to the north of the monument which has several cup marks on the rock. Many are known, but I think Beaver might have found a new one today as well as a 1921 George V penny which suggests that this was a place of 'picnics' about a hundered years ago. Maybe the 1920's Druids ?


Seren, Jeff and Beaver cleaning around the 'rock art'


Could this be a previously unknown cupmark? - it was covered by moss / grass. The cupmark is to the left of the George V penny.




6th June Cwm Orthin



We have been consolidating and excavating two of the quarryman's cottages at Cwm Orthin above Tan y Grisiau. One of the earlier 1860's boulder built building has already been cleared and now work is being undertaken on one of the 1870's slate built cottages.

The fireplace was excavated and recorded / photographed - the before and after is quite clear - we found the slate floor - rough slate slabs, what we call 'crawia' alongside the fireplace.



This is the view over Llyn Orthin from the cottage window - looking north west.


Flintshire brick from the fireplace



Some small finds (below) button, bead and clay fired marbles




5th June Meillionydd





The trowels are finally out and we start cleaning the trench properly and there may just be the odd post hole making an appearance. We are excavating just east of a large roundhouse (as yet still covered) and therefore may be in a yard or open area outside the roundhouse. But if these are postholes - then they may be fencing structures or even buildings .... time will tell as we continue cleaning and section some of the postholes.

In the meantime, a good friend reminded me that we excavate not dig these sites - so maybe I should change the header for this Blog?????


Beaver and Jeff @ Meillionydd


Possible posthole


Cleaning the trench


4th June Meilionydd

Clearing topsoil in our trench - mattocks and ho's - and the natural soil is very stoney - so tough work but we are clearing ready for troweling. Views excellent today. I could see Llanfaelrhys Church clearly in the distance. Enlli present always as is Castell Odo. What a landscape. Pen LLyn. The above pic is 'teabreak' at Camp Meillionydd.




3 Mehefin 'Olion' ar S4C

http://rhysmwyn.blogspot.co.uk/2015/06/archaeoleg-ar-s4c-herald-gymraeg-3.html

Dyma beth rwyf wedi ei ysgrifennu yn yr Herald Gymraeg heddiw - yn ol y son, ni fydd ail gyfres o Olion. Dwi ddim yn gwybod mwy na hyn, ond yn awgrymu fod pobl yn sgwennu at S4C os ydynt am weld archaeoleg ar y sianel. 


 2 June, Meillionydd



Today was one of those days when archaeology is not so 'glamorous' - it was de-turfing day, but boy did the team get a lot done. This was a good day's work preparing the trench for the forthcoming excavation. There were some strong winds up there today on the side of Mynydd Rhiw and our trench location this year overlooks Ynys Enlli and westwards down towards Aberdaron.
Pushing full barrows of turf against the prevailing wind was quite a struggle !!
In Welsh we say 'Agosach at y Nefoedd' which translates as 'Closer to Heaven' - which is quite true about this part of Pen Llyn.





Looking good at the end of the day - trench de-turfed



We also managed to invent new turf chairs today - they look pretty comfy and were certainly appreciated by the knackered archaeologists. Tea breaks will never be the same again, sitting on the ground is so un-cool.