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Monday, 14 April 2014

Britain From Above at Cardigan Library






On Monday 31 March, Britain From Above’s Activity Officer and Community Archaeologists from the Royal Commission on Ancient and Historical Monuments Wales were in Cardigan Library as part of the nationwide Spring Online campaign, helping senior members of the community explore and use the internet. Over thirty people including residents from the local community and further afield came along to hear about the Britain from Above project for the first time. They were astonished by the range of the collection and the quality of the images.

The website is a fantastic online resource showcasing a previously unseen collection of aerial photographs of Wales, Scotland and England from the pioneering age of aviation. The collection covers the years 1919-1953, a period when the landscape of Britain was undergoing drastic change.

After hearing about the project and seeing the remarkable collection, they were all keen to log in and get started! Once registered, people were eager to start looking for places they knew well. There was an engaging mix of interests drawing people to the event, some came along who had a strong fascination with local history and were enthusiastic to find out how to use the site for their own research whilst other people enjoyed looking for places they knew when they were growing up.


It was a successful day with attendees happily sharing their stories of Cardigan from both their research and personal memories. Everyone who joined us left knowing more about the Britain from Above project and the ways it could be explored and used as a free research resource.

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Wednesday, 9 April 2014

First Modern Excavation on Skomer Seeks to Explore and Date Island’s Prehistoric Settlements





The Skomer Island Project team (L-R), Dr Oliver Davis (Cardiff University), Louise Barker (RCAHMW), Dr Bob Johnston (University of Sheffield), Dr Toby Driver (RCAHMW)
 
A collaborative research project between staff of the Royal Commission, The University of Sheffield and Cardiff University has just completed a third season of fieldwork and research on the renowned prehistoric landscape and national nature reserve of Skomer Island in Pembrokeshire, west Wales. This included the historic, first modern excavation in the island’s history, exploring a mound of burnt stone alongside a prehistoric settlement, which produced flintwork, datable charcoal and the first fragments of prehistoric pottery from the island.

Skomer is a heavily protected landscape famous for its puffins and other breeding seabirds, but it is also home to some of the best preserved prehistoric field systems and hut settlements anywhere in Britain. In 2011 the Royal Commission used airborne laser scanning (LiDAR) to map comprehensively the island’s field systems. This work discovered evidence for a longer chronology to the fields than had previously been thought. The Skomer Island Project built on this work in 2012 with the first use of geophysics on the island, which showed that unrecorded prehistoric fields and settlements survive beneath the modern fields in the centre of the island.

Despite two major studies of the island’s archaeology in the twentieth century, no modern excavation had been attempted. In order to refine a chronology, the team set out in 2014 to undertake the first modern excavation to locate buried charcoal and other evidence suitable for radiocarbon dating and scientific analysis. It was decided to target one of the many substantial mounds of burnt stone in the north of the island, which are found alongside the prehistoric hut groups, thought to have built up from cooking activities. Although few finds were encountered in the mound itself, a sealed soil layer was uncovered a metre down, which yielded charcoal, flint tools and fragments of prehistoric pottery. Excavations were recorded using Structure from Motion, a technique which builds individual photographs into a 3D digital model of the land surface. The hard work of post-excavation now begins to analyse the discoveries and learn more about prehistoric life on Skomer.



Accurately recording prehistoric finds and charcoal samples in three dimensions using GPS.

The Skomer Island Project team would like to thank the Skomer Island Wardens, the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales and Natural Resources Wales for accommodating the archaeological work and granting permission to work in a Site of Special Scientific Interest. They are also grateful to Cadw for Scheduled Monument Consent, which allowed the work to proceed. The Royal Commission’s online records for the work can be found here.

By Toby Driver

 Further Reading:



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Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Archaeology and the Sea: Aberystwyth hosts CBA Wales Spring Meeting





On Saturday 5th April CBA (Council for British Archaeology): Wales held its Spring Meeting at Y Morlan Centre, Aberystwyth. The theme was Archaeology and the Sea: Coastal Archaeology in Wales. The Royal Commission provided exhibition material, including a display on Aberystwyth’s storm-damaged Bathrock Shelter and aerial photographs of the coastal davastation caused by the recent storms of 2014.

CBA-sponsered Community Archaeologists, Kimberly Briscoe and Sarahjayne Clements, were on hand to discuss their current community project, The Coastal Heritage of Borth and Ynyslas. Both are completing CBA-sponsered work placements with the Royal Commission. The project has proved hugely popular, with an ever-increasing number of Borth and Ynyslas residents (past and present) eager to participate and to contribute memories, photographs and documents. Material generated will be added to the National Monuments Record (NMR) and uploaded to People’s Collection Wales, creating a permanent digital record. The project’s facebook page can be found at https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Coastal-Heritage-of-Borth-and-Ynyslas/277783665703802


The Royal Commission’s CBA work placements, Kimberley and Sarahjayne, discuss the coastal heritage of Borth and Ynyslas

During the afternoon’s symposium, Mike Roberts (Bangor University) detailed current research on the history of north Wales’ sea level change, including the fascinating results of a multibeam sonar survey of the entire Anglesey coast. A causeway linking Anglesey to the mainland is now thought to have been submerged for the first time at around  8,400BP. Stephen Briggs (independent researcher) then gave an informative talk about the remains of ancient landscapes beneath the beach at Llanrhystud. Various recently exposed features include post-glacial peat deposits and parts of a cobbled track thought to be associated with nearby post-medieval limekilns. Paul Huckfield (Gwent-Glamorgan Archaeological Trust) reviewed recent discoveries on the south Wales coast revealed by the 2014 storms. They  include a cemetery at Monknash, two canon at Porthcawl and a number of ship wrecks, discovered as a result of the Welsh Archaeological Trusts’ Arfordir scheme. The pan-Wales scheme brings together local volunteers to record and moniter their coastal heritage and incorporate the results into the regional Historic Environment Records. One of the shipwrecks, identified through the Royal Commission’s Maritme Database, is thought to be that of the iron-hulled Ben-y-Gloe, wrecked on its maiden voyage from Penarth in 1886.

The Royal Commission’s Maritime Officer, Deanna Groom, then explained the Commission’s leading role in the recording, curating and supplying of information regarding Wales’ maritime heritage. The Commission’s 9498 Maritime records comprise around 9% of the entire National Monuments Record. They include coastal and intertidal features, submerged landscape features, historic seascape features, 6000+ shipwrecks and 349 downed aircraft.


Royal Commission Maritime Officer, Deanna Groom, talks about Wales’ rich maritime archaeology

Deanna also outlined recent work with Kimberley and Sarahjayne on the Royal Commission and Cadw’s Shipwrecks Project, designed to investigate the wider impact of the Royal Charter Gale of 1859. The Royal Charter was one of 50+ vessels driven onto the Welsh coast by the gale. The project involved working with Welsh Baccalaureate students from Pembrokeshire College, engaging them with the story of the storm and their local maritime heritage. The project also demonstrated how local resources can be used for research, with Pembrokeshire Archives facilitating a ‘treasure hunt’ across shipping registers, burial records and census returns. Material generated by the project can be viewed by visiting ‘The Great Storm of 1859’ http://www.peoplescollectionwales.co.uk/collections/377940 and ‘Pembrokeshire Shipwrecks Project’ http://www.peoplescollectionwales.co.uk/node/380977 on the freshly relaunched People’s Collection Wales website.


Some of the items uploaded by the Royal Commission to People’s Collection Wales as part of ‘The Great Storm of 1859’ collection

The afternoon’s final speaker was Martin Bates (University of Wales Trinity St David, Lampeter), who discussed the results of recent archaeological investigation at Borth and Clarach. Recent coastal change, coupled with this year’s storms, has revealed extensive prehistoric peat exposures, within which are contemporary organic remains and animal and human (including a child’s) footprints. At Borth, a combination of survey, sampling and archaeological excavation has facilitated far greater understanding of the foreshore’s underlying geology and the reconstruction of its post-glacial landscape.

The event proved a great success, providing an informative insight into the wealth of archaeology located around Wales’ coastline, as well as highlighting its fragile and precarious nature.

By Nikki Vousden


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Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Y Daith Gerdded Fawr: Taith Dywys Fan Llia a Fan Dringarth, 3 Mai






Y dirwedd weundirol donnog, yn edrych ar draws dyffryn Llia uchaf i'r de-ddwyrain

Ar Ddydd Sadwrn, 3 Mai, bydd David Leighton, arbenigwr y Comisiwn Brenhinol ar archaeoleg yr uwchdiroedd, yn arwain taith dywys i Fan Llia a Fan Dringarth yn harddwch Bannau Brycheiniog. Ardal ddistaw ar gyfer cerdded yw hon, i ffwrdd o’r llwybrau poblogaidd, ac mae’r daith ar hyd gweundiroedd agored yn nodedig am yr henebion cynhanesyddol, canoloesol ac ôl-ganoloesol y gellir eu gweld ar hyd y llwybr. Rhai o uchafbwyntiau’r daith fydd Maen Llia, carreg enfawr o dywodfaen sy’n un o’r meini hirion cynhanesyddol mwyaf yn Ne Cymru (NPRN: 84541), yr hen dollffordd a oedd, o bosibl, yn dilyn llwybr Sarn Helen (NPRN:407122), ac olion helaeth aneddiadau hanesyddol niferus yng Nghwm Nant y Gaseg.
Bydd y daith hon yn dilyn llwybr ar hyd llethrau gorllewinol Fan Llia i ben dyffryn Llia, ar draws Bryn Melyn a Chefn Perfedd i mewn i Gwm Dringarth a dyffrynnoedd llednant islaw Fan Dringarth, ac i lawr Cwm Dringarth uwchlaw Cronfa Ddŵr Ystradfellte, gan ddychwelyd i’r maes parcio ar draws rhan ddeheuol Cefn Perfedd, cyfanswm pellter o ryw 13.5 km (8.5 milltir).
Maen Llia o'r gogledd-orllewin


Bydd y cerddwyr yn cyfarfod am 10.30am yn yr ardal parcio a phicnic (SN92721646) ar y ffordd annosbarthedig rhwng Ystradfellte a Heolsenni. Gellir cyrchu’r ffordd hon o’r A4215 rhwng Pontsenni a Libanus.

I gael rhagor o wybodaeth, e-bostiwch Nicola Roberts, nicola.roberts@rcahmw.gov.uk neu ffoniwch 01970 621200. Bydd lleoedd i 30 o gerddwyr ar y mwyaf ar y daith gerdded hon.

Ceir disgrifiad llawnach o’r daith, ynghyd â gwybodaeth am deithiau a safleoedd eraill ar hyd y llwybr, yn TheWestern Brecon Beacons: The Archaeology of Mynydd Du and Fforest Fawr gan David Leighton, y gellir ei brynu gan y Comisiwn Brenhinol.

Trefnwyd y daith hon fel rhan o raglen Taith Gerdded Fawr Ramblers Cymru a Cadw. I gael manylion teithiau eraill drwy ardaloedd hanesyddol yn ystod y gwanwyn, defnyddiwch Leolwr Digwyddiadau Cadw yn: http://cadw.wales.gov.uk/events/ 


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Friday, 28 March 2014

Swydd Wag: CYNORTHWYYDD GWEITHREDOL (Tîm Strategaeth ac Adnoddau)





Manylion llawn: CYNORTHWYYDD GWEITHREDOL (Tîm Strategaeth ac Adnoddau)
Amrediad Cyflog £22400 - £25720, 37 awr yr wythnos – penodiad parhaol

Y Comisiwn Brenhinol, sydd wedi’i leoli yn Aberystwyth, yw corff ymchwilio ac archif cenedlaethol amgylchedd hanesyddol Cymru. Ef sydd â’r rôl arweiniol o ran sicrhau y caiff treftadaeth archaeolegol, adeiledig ac arforol Cymru ei chofnodi’n awdurdodol, a bydd yn ceisio hyrwyddo deall a gwerthfawrogi’r dreftadaeth honno’n genedlaethol ac yn rhyngwladol.

Rydym ni’n chwilio am rywun i gynorthwyo Ysgrifennydd y Comisiwn (Y Prif Weithredwr) drwy ymgymryd â thasgau strategol a threfniadaethol. Y pwysicaf o’r rhain fydd datblygu a chydlynu Cynllun Gweithredol a Strategol y Comisiwn yn unol â chanllawiau Llywodraeth Cymru. Bydd dyletswyddau eraill yn cynnwys cydlynu adroddiadau, papurau a dogfennau ar gyfer cyfarfodydd allweddol, sicrhau yr ymdrinnir yn gyflym ac effeithiol ag ymholiadau ffôn a gohebiaeth, a rhoi ynghyd a chydlynu gweithdrefnau monitro perfformiad chwarterol y Comisiwn.

Bydd gan yr ymgeiswyr hyder, hunangymhelliant a sgiliau cyfathrebu a TG da, yn ogystal â phrofiad sylweddol a/neu gymwysterau proffesiynol neu academaidd priodol mewn disgyblaeth berthnasol. Rhaid bod ganddynt brofiad sylweddol hefyd o weithio ar lefelau strategol a gweithredol, a’r gallu i ddatblygu a chynnal perthnasoedd gwaith cadarnhaol a phroffesiynol â staff a chysylltiadau allanol. Byddai’r gallu i gyfathrebu drwy gyfrwng y Gymraeg yn fantais.


Dychwelwch eich ffurflen gais wedi'i chwblhau i'r cyfeiriad isod:-


Mr S Bailey-John
Y Comisiwn Brenhinol
Plas Crug     
Aberystwyth
Ceredigion
SY23 1NJ

Ffôn: 01970 621230
Ffacs: 01970 621246
e-bost: stephen.bailey-john@cbhc.gov.uk
                                              
Dyddiau cau ar gyfer ceisiadau: 26 Ebrill 2014

Mae’r Comisiwn Brenhinol yn gyflogwr cyfle cyfartal.

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Thursday, 27 March 2014

Gwerthiant Llyfrau Hanes a Threftadaeth yn y Comisiwn Brenhinol







Ar Ddydd Mercher, 9 Ebrill, fe fydd cyfle prin i brynu amrywiaeth eang o lyfrau, cylchgronau, mapiau ac arweinlyfrau’n ymwneud ag archaeoleg, pensaernïaeth a’r dreftadaeth adeiledig. Fe fydd mwy na 1000 o deitlau yn y gwerthiant hwn o stoc dros ben ac ail gopïau o lyfrgell y Comisiwn Brenhinol yn Aberystwyth. Mae’r teitlau’n cynnwys set gyflawn o Archaeologia Cambrensis a chylchgronau archaeoleg safonol eraill, nifer helaeth o wahanlithiau, llyfrau ar gynhanes, y Rhufeinwyr ac archaeoleg ddiwydiannol, Hanesion Sirol Gwent a Morgannwg, cyfrolau hanesyddol ac archaeolegol eraill, a llawer mwy. Hefyd fe fydd detholiad o fapiau ordnans 6 modfedd o wahanol argraffiadau a chasgliad bach o fapiau 1:10,000 a Landranger. Bydd detholiad o gyhoeddiadau presennol y Comisiwn Brenhinol ar werth hefyd, ar ddisgownt o hyd at 30%. Meddai Penny Icke, y Rheolwr Gwasanaethau Gwybodaeth: “Dyma gyfle gwych i brynu deunydd hanesyddol ac archaeolegol sy’n anodd ei gael ac allan o brint yn aml. Rydyn ni’n gobeithio gweld cymaint o bobl â phosib yn y gwerthiant”. Mae’r drysau ar agor rhwng 10am a 4pm. Croeso i bawb!

 
I gael rhagor o wybodaeth, e-bostiwch Penny Icke, penny.icke@rcahmw.gov.uk neu ffoniwch 01970 621200


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Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Cael y gorau o Brydain oddi Fry - Llyfrgell Aberteifi





Peilota’r Rhyngrwyd

‘Cael y gorau o Brydain oddi Fry’


Digwyddiad Am Ddim, Croeso i Bawb!

Dydd Llun 31 Mawrth 2014, 10am-4pm

Llyfrgell Aberteifi, sgyrsiau: 11am, 1pm a 3pm

Dewch i ddarganfod yr adnodd ar-lein gwych hwn sy’n dangos casgliad o awyrluniau, sydd heb eu gweld o’r blaen, o Gymru, yr Alban a Lloegr o oes yr arloeswyr hedfan. Mae’r casgliad yn cwmpasu’r blynyddoedd o 1919 i 1953, cyfnod pan oedd tirwedd gwledydd Prydain yn cael ei gweddnewid ar raddfa fawr.

Fe fydd tair sgwrs ar hanes y casgliad a’r prosiect ei hun yn ystod y dydd am 11am, 1pm a 3pm, ond bydd croeso i bawb alw i mewn ar unrhyw adeg a darganfod mwy drwy siarad â’r Swyddog Gweithgareddau Prydain Oddi Fry a rhoi cynnig ar y wefan ei hun, fel rhan o wythnos Gwanwyn Ar-lein Digital Unite.

Ystafell TG Llyfrgell Aberteifi, Canolfan Teifi, Pendre,
Aberteifi, SA43 1JL. Ffôn: 01686 626934

I gael gwybod mwy, ewch i: www.britainfromabove.org.uk/cy

Natasha Scullion,
Swyddog Gweithgareddau Prydain Oddi Fry, Cymru.

e-bost: natasha.scullion@cbhc.gov.uk
Ffôn: 01970 621200

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Monday, 17 March 2014

Diwrnod Gyrfaoedd Treftadaeth yn y Comisiwn Brenhinol





Ar Ddydd Iau, 12 Mawrth, daeth myfyrwyr archaeoleg, hanes, daearyddiaeth a threftadaeth yn gyffredinol o bob rhan o Gymru i Ddiwrnod Gyrfaoedd Treftadaeth y Comisiwn Brenhinol a gynhaliwyd ar y cyd â’r prosiect Prydain Oddi Fry. Cafodd y myfyrwyr gyfle i wrando ar sgyrsiau gan archifydd y Comisiwn Brenhinol, Gareth Edwards, ac ymchwilydd o’r awyr y Comisiwn, Dr Toby Driver – dwy alwedigaeth wahanol iawn yn y sector treftadaeth! Cafwyd cyflwyniadau ar amrywiaeth eang o yrfaoedd arbenigol ym maes treftadaeth: prosiect cymunedol Prydain Oddi Fry, arolygu technegol, archaeoleg forol, lleoliadau archaeoleg gymunedol Cyngor Archaeoleg Prydain, Casgliad y Werin Cymru, mapio GIS a chyhoeddiadau treftadaeth. Roedd yr ymwelwyr hefyd yn gallu gweld adnoddau’r Cofnod Henebion Cenedlaethol a siarad â’n staff Gwasanaethau Darllenwyr. Fel y gwelwch o’r ffotograffau a’r sylwadau adborth, ysgogodd y diwrnod lawer o frwdfrydedd a diddordeb!

“Wedi dysgu llawer iawn heddiw a chael dysgu mwy am ddatblygiad lle dwi yn byw.” (Learned a lot today and have learned more about the development of where I live.)

“Diwrnod diddorol, wedi gwneud i mi feddwl am y swyddi i mi gael yn y dyfodol.”
(Interesting day, made me think about the jobs available for me in the future.)

“Very informative – thank you. Careers advice useful. Hopefully I will progress in this Heritage Sector.”

“I haven’t used the Royal Commission to its full advantage. I will recommend their facilities to other Aberystwyth students.”

“Britain from Above website helped me with an assignment. Very good day, informative and useful.”

“Very informative, particularly on the specifics of Lidar. Thank you.”
“Very informative & engaging. Thank you for such a great opportunity. Talks v. good.”
Dod â’r gorffennol yn fyw â sbectol 3D.
Egluro hyd a lled y prosiect Prydain Oddi Fry.
Brwdfrydedd dros archaeoleg forol.
Egluro arolygu digidol i gynulleidfa frwd.
Trafod cyhoeddiadau treftadaeth llwyddiannus y Comisiwn Brenhinol.
Myfyrwyr wedi ymgolli mewn awyrluniau hanesyddol.
Sylwadau gwerthfawrogol ar y mur graffiti ar ddiwedd y dydd!


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