Mynydd Rhiw Axe Factory

September 2006

Over the past three weeks archaeologists from the National Museum of Wales, Cardiff have been excavating one of the Stone Age axe factories on Rhiw Mountain. The dig is situated on the eastern slopes of the mountain over looking Hells Mouth with Garn Fadryn the peaks of Snowdonia and the Meirioneth mountains visible in the distance. The head of the project was Dr Steve Burrows.

One of the main reasons for excavating this particular site was to find charcoal thus enabling them to do some carbon dating and establish when exactly the stone was quarried. Dr Ken Brassil who also worked on the project liaised with the local primary schools and arranged for all the children and teachers to visit the site on Wednesday and Thursday the 20th and 21st of September. Dr Brassil had also asked the poet Iwan Llwyd along to talk to the children about the site and to have a poetry workshop with them.

All the children were encouraged to create a poem about their experience and thoughts of their visit. Each school was given a stone from the dig to write their poem on. At the end of the school visits the stones were returned to the dig and as the project came to a close yesterday the whole site was filled in and returned to its former state, having hopefully revealed to the archaeologists and all of us more of how our prehistoric ancestors worked.

Dr Burrow has promised to send us a report of the dig when they have had time to examine the samples and sift through the evidence found at this site. Wed like to say a big thank you to all the members of the dig for being so welcoming and for taking the time to explain to us, and everyone that visited the site what exactly was going on. And hopefully well see them back again soon revealing more secrets of the prehistory of Rhiw.


20th and 21st September 2006
















Iwan Llwyd




















Day after the dig closed





Many thanks to Dr Steve Burrow, Dr Ken Brassil, and the poet Iwan Llwyd.


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