Picture: Kerry Roberts


THE mysteries of a prehistoric ritual landscape are slowly being unearthed at an ancient Anglesey site - where people still gather for ceremonies.

For four weeks archaeologists, students, volunteers and school children are working to uncover clues about our ancient ancestors and the landscape around the late Neolithic site Bryn Celli Ddu.

Besides the famous burial mound, at Llandaniel Fab, an excavation is currently underway, until July 7, to explore a Bronze age burial cairn ‘Bryn Celli Ddu Bach.’

In a joint project by Central Lancashire and Manchester Metropolitan Universities and Cadw, experts have been studying four sites in the area, which point to the landscape being used as a ritual location for more than 5,000 years. They have found panels of rock art, evidence of cremation, bone, flint tools, pits and prehistoric pottery sherds.

One of the dig directors Seren Griffiths said; "The Bryn Celli Ddu site is a really complicated landscape, it appears to have been used as ritual landscape for thousands of years after it was first built.

"Genereations of peoplewould have known of its significanc, we see a lot of superimposition of human activity on the site.

"It would have been visual, topographically, in sight of the mountains, with solar alignment. They also used a local stone called Blue Schist, which when worked is bright blue and would have stood out.

On Friday, June 21 Druids and others who follow Pagan customs, gathered at dawn at the site for an annual celebration marking the longest day - the Summer Solstice - and to watch an unusual phenomena.

Bryn Celli Ddu (the mound in the dark grove) has a burial chamber beneath a mound reached through a narrow passage. On the longest day, a shaft of sunlight travels down the passage illuminating the chamber.

To mark the recent archaeology and coinciding with the Solstice a series of events have been arranged at the site.

Last Thursday, Ysgol Llandegfan pupils were given a tour of the site and took part in a clay pot making workshop with heritage and arts manager Ffion Reynolds and Angharad Evans, school outreach artist, who dressed in costume and welcomed the children with ceremonial drumming. Artists and printmaker John Abell was also on site making a lino print inspired by the site.

On Friday, events include stargazing at the site, and a public lecture by Professor Mike Parker Pearson, on 'Stonehenge and Wales', is at the Oriel Môn, Llangefni, at 6.30pm, on June 21.

On Saturday, June 22, there is a free open day at the site, from 11am - 4pm, with tours of the latest excavation and prehistoric living history events.

At Oriel Môn, from 11am – 4pm, on Saturday, June 22, there is an open day, with displays and activities, an archaeological discoveries exhibition runs until Sunday, June 23.