Bronze age urn
found at Rhiw
A Cinerary Urn, containing
human bones and pieces of charcoal estimated to be 3,000 years old
have been discovered in the isolated upland village of Rhiw, ten
miles from Pwllheli.
It was found by Mr Harry
Jones, a thirty four year old tenant farmer, while he was ploughing
with a tractor on land which he rents from Mr Evan Jones, Bwlch
Rhiw, a retired farmer. The field overlooks Cardigan Bay.
Mr Jones said yesterday that
he was ploughing rather a rocky field when he felt a bump. He looked
round and saw a hole in the ground. “ I got down from the tractor,
and saw what appeared to be a pot in the hole”, he said.
“I instinctively felt that
this was something unusual, possibly something of historical
interest, and sent my boy, John Henry to ask Mr John Williams, the
schoolmaster to come. I could see that the pot was face downwards,
and that the top had been broken off, possibly by the ploughshare”.
Mr Williams said “I realised
this was a find of archaeological interest. Four large stones
surrounded the pot, and with a pick, I carefully enlarged the hole
so that I could remove it with the least possible disturbance. I
collected all the pieces and the bones and placed them in a sack”.
Mr Williams telephoned Mr C
W Warren (assistant secretary of Caernarvonshire Historical Society)
for his advice. As a result he was put in touch with Mr Colin
Gresham of Cricieth, a well known, North Wales archaeologist.
The urn is about eighteen
inches high, and about ten inches in diameter.
Mr Gresham who examined the
broken vessel, fixed the date as of the middle bronze age. He said
it was of a brown colour, well made and of good quality pottery, and
an excellent example of the craftsmanship of the period.
A series of straight lines
had been scratched immediately below the overhanging rim, and there
was also a simple decorative pattern in traditional style.
“Although there are quite a
lot of these urns in Wales, it is a very interesting find, because
probably no others have been discovered in the Lleyn Peninsula and
certainly not in Rhiw” said Mr Gresham.
This week the urn will be
taken to the National Museum of Wales, Cardiff, to be pieced
together again by Dd. H.N. Savory (Keeper of Archaeology and his