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Friday, 18 May 2012

Review of the Metal, Mines and Mountains Upland Archaeology Day-School by CBA Community Archaeology Training Placement Sophie Gingell

After many months of hard work, the formal launch of the Metal Links project was celebrated by a splendid cake.
Last week, the Royal Commission held its annual upland archaeology day-school at Edward Richard Centre in Ystrad Meurig, Ceredigion, which was jointly organised this year by the Royal Commission’s Metal-Links project. 62 people attended the event, with the morning focussing on recent work carried out on the uplands of Wales, together with the launch of the Royal Commission’s latest publication “The Western Brecon Beacons: The Archaeology of Mynydd Du and Fforest Fawr”, by David Leighton. There was a lively introduction into uplands archaeology by Paul Sambrook of Trysor, followed by presentations on recent uplands survey work across Wales, including areas in the southern Cambrian Mountains and Snowdonia. The morning kicked the day off to an excellent start, with some really promising results and new discoveries. For example, after the survey of the Cymystwyth area in the south Cambrian Mountains, we now have an additional 574 records for the area in the National Monuments Record – an increase of 2226%! We were then treated to a phenomenal and delicious buffet lunch by the staff of the Edward Richard Centre.

Professor David Austin, University of Wales Trinity Saint David, delivering an inspirational lecture to delegates at the conference.

The afternoon talks focussed on the theme of metal mining. This included an introduction to the ‘Metal Links’ project and a talk by one of the project partners from Ireland on metal mining in his home country. This part of the afternoon finished with the formal launch of the ‘Metal Links’ project and the presentation of a magnificent cake, designed to represent the Ystrad Einion metal mine in north Ceredigion; a real treat during tea break! Ystrad Einon was then discussed in greater depth by Royal Commission Investigator Louise Barker, who showed an animation recreating the mine. It was great to see how modern technology can really bring archaeology to life. The final part of the day continued to look at metal mining in Ceredigion and included a talk by Simon Timberlake on his work with the Early Mines Research Group into prehistoric mining in the area. We also explored the evidence for medieval mining, concentrating around Strata Florida abbey. All in all, it was an excellent day. Thank you to all the speakers for their fantastic presentations, to the Royal Commission and ‘Metal-Links’ project for organising the event, to the Edward Richard Centre and its staff for taking such excellent care of everyone and of course to all of those who came. The day was a great success and I am sure we are all looking forward to seeing what exciting discoveries next year’s forum will bring.

To find out more about the Royal Commission’s Metal Links project,

To learn about the Royal Commission’s uplands archaeology initiative, look at:

Also to find out more about the uplands archaeology of Wales, visit:

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