Volunteer Excavation Opportunities

June to July 2015, Rhuddgaer

This year's Cadw funded Festival of Archaeology excavation is taking place next to Rhuddgaer near Dwyran, Anglesey and will be working in partnership with Bangor University. The area being excavated will be smaller area than in previous years so volunteer places will be limited. The dig will run on weekdays from June 29th until July 10th with an open day for the public on July 12th. Any outstanding recording will then be undertaken by GAT archaeologists and the site closed by July 14th.

The area was first investigated in order to try and find remains associated with a late Roman or early medieval lead coffin that was found in 1878. The site of the coffin was not found but geophysical survey discovered an extensive medieval field system along with a settlement containing seven rectangular buildings. A small trial excavation in 2014 showed that the settlement and fields had been buried by a deep layer of wind-blown sand, perhaps in the 14th Century. The sand had protected the archaeology. The collapsed walls of the building and a field boundary were discovered during the excavation. Two pieces of charcoal from the floor level of the building were dated to the first half of the tenth century. The settlement appears to be early medieval, which makes it a rare and significant discovery; the only other notable parallel in Wales is in Pembrokeshire. The lead coffin may indicate continuous occupation in the area since the late Roman period.

Very little is known about settlement in Wales in the early-medieval period, which was a time of change after the end of Roman occupation. The excavation of a well-preserved site from this period is therefore particularly exciting. We aim to learn more about the form, character and date of the building as well as investigating the field system and other geophysical anomalies.

We are currently recruiting volunteers to join in the excavation. A minimum commitment of 3 days is expected. We will be able to accommodate volunteers with no or very little experience in the first week and those with some prior experience in the second week.

If you are interested in getting involved please complete the ‘Rhuddgaer Volunteer Form' (In Word format) indicating your preferred dates and return by email to anita.daimond@heneb.co.uk or post to Gwynedd Archaeological Trust, Craig Beuno, Ffordd Y Garth, Bangor LL57 2RT by May 27th 2015.

For further information about recent work on the site click here.


The Trust is a registered organisation with the Institute for Archaeologists.
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