|The Early Mines Research Group supported by Sarahjayne Clements, CBA bursary holder, RCAHMW, and Keith Haylock, PHD Researcher, Geography Department, University of Aberystwyth, excavating Castell Grogwynion Hillfort.|
|Aerial Photograph of the Iron Age hillfort, Castell Grogwynion.|
The excavation at Castell Grogwynion was the conclusion of a series of surveys conducted on three north Ceredigion hillforts, Castell Grogwynion, Darren Camp and Pen Dinas, for a research project by Keith Haylock at the Institute for Geography and Earth Sciences (IGES), Aberystwth University, in collaboration with The Royal Commission, and with permission from Cadw.
Using a special portable X-ray Fluorescence (pXRF) ‘gun’ Keith can find out what metals are present in the soils of the hillfort, with the aim of finding high concentrations of prehistoric metal working evidence. This equipment has revolutionised non-destructive archaeological identification of early mine areas, through the detection of metal slag and smelting activities.
To test the nature and date of the lead concentration, Dr Simon Timberlake and the Early Mines Research Group, carried out a limited excavation on the terrace at Castell Grogwynion in early October.
Rather than an Iron Age smelting site, far more recent evidence of seventeenth or eighteenth-century lazy-bed cultivation was discovered with lead-glazed pottery and other domestic rubbish tipped into the soil. These findings confirmed that a nearby platform and cultivation terraces within the hillfort, first identified by Louise Barker during the new Royal Commission survey, were indeed the remains of a post-medieval upland cottage settlement.
|Post Excavation Analysis.|
All in all it was great to be part of this excavation and watch the story of the Iron Age hillfort unfold and exciting to be part of such important research into the varied uses of new and powerful forms of archaeological remote sensing.
|Kimberly Briscoe and Sarahjayne CBA Community Bursary Holders, RCAHMW, Castell Grogwynion.|
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