"Bronze Age Urn"

Itís not very often that Rhiw makes national news, but an exciting archaeological find in 1957 did just that, and my father Harry Jones had his 15 minutes of fame!!! And even though I was only four years old at the time, I remember the day well, even though now I would be hard pushed to tell you what I was up to last week. My father at the time farmed Llwynfor and Garth, but he also rented fields at various locations around Rhiw. This particular day he was ploughing one of these fields, which was across the road from Pen y Boncyn (see map), and my three older brothers and I were there with him. As children often do, we were playing around, and on that day we were dropping small pieces of wood in front of the tractor and after it had passed, we would look for them. On this particular pass we noticed that the freshly turned earth was scattered with reddish pottery and something that looked like bits of whitish chalk. We called to our father, and he stopped the little Fergie tractor and ran over. My oldest brother John Henry was immediately dispatched to get the Schoolmaster, and I remember him running across the fields towards the village. Within no time at all Mr, John Williams the school was there at the scene, and himself and my father, carefully collected all the artifacts and placed them in a new burlap sack, none of the pieces were very large, the biggest no more than about three inch square, and looking back, they were quite meticulous at the task in hand, and by the time they had finished there wasnít a scrap of evidence left in the earth. The chalky bits that I mentioned earlier were in fact fragments of human bone, and there was also in the urn a comb and a bone handled knife.

 

 

"Harry Jones and his Fergi Bach" "John Williams and my brother John Henry"

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"Bone Dagger-Pommel" "Rhiw's Bronze Age  Urn" Bone Comb"

After what seems like many months, a large brown envelope arrived by post, and in it were three photographs of the restored urn, knife and come, plus some details of what my father had found. It turned out to be one of the most interesting archaeological finds on the Llyn Peninsula for many years, a terracotta coloured burial urn, approx 33 cm high, containing the cremated remains of a human adult, a bone dagger-pommel, and an animal bone comb, and was dated to the Bronze Age, about 1000 years B.C.

Newspaper Report at the Time

(Footnote) Recently a Rhiw resident contacted the National Museum of Wales, to enquire about the urn (which is not on display there), and he was informed that if Rhiw had a suitable place to exhibit the artifacts, they could return home. Sounds a bit like the Elgin Marble saga!!!

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