CBA

Hands on Heritage at Neath Abbey

Neath Abbey poster

The impressive remains at Neath Abbey will once again resonate to the sounds of medieval life this coming Saturday 19th July, as Cadw’s  annual Hands on Heritage event makes it’s welcome return to the site.

Showcasing a range of heritage skills, the event will bring the medieval period alive with sounds and smells and offers the chance for people to experience and explore a range of heritage crafts from stone masonry to wool-spinning and basket weaving, all set within this spectacular location.

Experts will be  on hand to demonstrate skills stretching back to the Cisterian period in Wales, while visitors will be able to have a go at some themselves, thanks to hands-on activities.

There will also be  activities for youngsters  to get involved with too – from building a wattle-and-daub hurdle, making a medieval tile or stained glass panel to having a go at our mystery excavation activity!

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Archaeology for All!

The fantastic Festival of Archaeology is once more upon us, and GGAT kick off their activities for the festival with our flagship ‘Archaeology for All!‘ event on Saturday 12th July. 
This year the event is being held within the beautiful surroundings of Cyfarthfa Castle, in association with the Merthry Tydfil Heritage ForumThere will be Roman Cooking, Medieval Archery, Rural skills demonstrations, Archwilio, and that firm family favorite the Body in the Box!.  
The fun starts at 9:30am. Hope to see you there!  

Changes to tomorrows FBA walk

Our colleagues in the Brecon Beacons National Park tell us that there’s so much water on the mountain that it’s not possible to do the advertised Mynydd y Glog walk tomorrow, the 18th July.
However, Dr Edith Evans, who will be leading the walk, does have a Plan B.  This entails still meeting at the layby next to the Penderyn Distillery, but then driving to a few miles to Cyfarthfa Castle in Merthyr Tydfil, and do a circular walk to look the remains of the internationally important Cyfarthfa Ironworks and a wide range of sites associated with them, from the quarries, tramroads and water supply, to the houses for the people who worked there.  This is a shorter walk and should finish at around lunchtime.  Hope to see you there.
Cyfarthfa Ironworks
 For more information on this walk or any of the other GGAT events, contact enquires@ggat.org.uk

Damp but not disheartened!

A laptop with the Archwilio website was free for people to use and view the archaeology of their area

Our ‘Archaeology for All’ event at Swansea Museum suffered, as other events did, from the wet summer weather. Though those brave enough to venture out in Saturdays soggy conditions were treated to a cornucopia of historical and archaeological activities and stalls.

The museums teaching room was a wash (excuse the pun) with historical societies and interest groups informing the public about local history with their usual breadth of knowledge and gusto.  While outside various groups of medieval re-enactors showed the public how we lived during past  times.

Highlights of the day included the woad face painting, which went down a storm, but how long the paint remained on your face after stepping

outside of the tent and into the waiting deluge was up for discussion!  The Roman cookery demonstration, by our own Dr Edith Evans (Happy Birthday Edith), is always a  crowd puller.  However, Edith was finding it difficult to keep the home fires burning as a small pool of water gradually built up within the hearth and threatened to drown the proceedings.

All in all a good day was had despite the weather and a big congratulations goes out to our Community Archaeology Training Placement Sam Pamment who did such a great job organising the event.

GGAT's Heritage and Outreach Manager demonstrating Roman cookery

A GGAT archaeologist using traditional techniques to build a willow fishtrap

GGAT ‘Archaeology for All’ 2012

GGAT kicks off  its Festival of British Archaeology events with their annual ‘Archaeology for All‘ day at Swansea Museum, Victoria Road, Swansea, this Saturday 14th July.
The Trust have a full line up of activities for this 16-day festival, organised by The Council for British Archaeology and a full list can be found on the GGAT website.
The ‘Archaeology for All‘ event is to encourage everyone, especially young people and their families to visit sites of archaeological/historical interest or museums, heritage and resource centres, to see archaeology in action and to take part in activities on-site. This is a chance for the people of Swansea and its surroundings to find out about their heritage and archaeology of the region.
There will be something for all on the day:
  • Roman cookery
  • Childrens excavation
  • Bronze Age facepainting
  • Medieval archers
And lots more! So come along and dig in!!

GGAT short listed for British Archaeological Award

The Glamorgan Gwent Archaeological Trust and Miller Argent (South Wales) Ltd have been shortlisted for the prestigious 2012 British Archaeological Awards for their landmark archaeological project at Ffos-y-fran, Merthyr Tydfil, South Wales.

The Ffos-y-fran project involved the investigation of arguably one of the most important early extractive industrial landscapes in the world and has made it into the top three projects in the ‘Best Project’ category.  The winner will be announced at an awards ceremony in July.

A GGAT archaeologist recording a feature at Ffos-y-fran

Introduction to Graveyard Investigation-St Donats Churchyard

On a misty Saturday morning people were gathering at St Donats church ready to take part in a free training course.

Natasha explaining the changing churchyard

The Introduction to Graveyard Recording training session began on Saturday 10th March in St Donats Church itself with a presentation looking at history and development of churchyards and cemeteries and the changing designs of gravestones focusing on the significance of different iconographies and the meanings behind them.

This sparked excited discussion, which was very interesting; some of the course attendees were clergy and churchwardens so there were plenty of examples to share!

After a break for lunch everyone headed out into the churchyard to view the whole area and discuss some of the more interesting graves. Once we’d all had a look we began setting up the plane table surveying points showing the attendees how to conduct a survey in order to create their own-scaled map of the graveyard. We followed this with going through an in depth recording form and how to fill it out to ensure we had gathered as much information as possible for each gravestone including style, inscription and iconography.

Menna explaining the process of plane table recording to the course attendees

This was the second of two courses run by the Council for British Archaeology’s (CBA) Community Archaeology Training Placement (CATP)  bursary holders based at GGAT and Dyfed Archaeological Trust.

The courses have been very successful with everyone commenting how interesting and useful they have been, helping to provide more training and incentive for groups interested in recording their own churchyards.

The course has been funded through the CBA’s Community Archaeology Bursaries project with specific funding kindly provided by Cadw. This has meant that all the recording equipment bought for the session are now available to borrow from the GGAT and Dyfed Offices for any group interested in conducting their own graveyard investigation.

People interested in borrowing the kit should get in contact with their local trust and ask for the community archaeologist.

Volunteers trying out their newly-learned plane tabling skills

GGAT;
Natasha Scullion – 01792634236,  email natasha@ggat.org.uk

DAT;

Menna Bell – 01558825997, email M.Bell@DYFEDARCHAEOLOGY.ORG.UK

Introduction to Graveyard Investigation- St Telio’s Course

On Saturday 3rd March people assembled in the Dyfed Archaeological Trust offices in Llandelio in order to learn more about graveyard investigation and survey in a free training session made possible by the Council for British Archaeology (CBA) with funding from Cadw.

The first half of the day comprised of presentations detailing the history and evolution of graveyards and their changing style of memorials, followed by examples of the types of survey recording work that have already been carried out.

Menna showing her group how to use the plane table despite the rain!

After a break for lunch the course attendees led by the CBA Community Archaeology Training Placement (CATP) holders from Dyfed Archaeological Trust and GGAT headed to St Telio’s Church to start the practical session of the course

The group were split into two halves, one being taken by Menna Bell (Dyfed’s CATP) to be trained in plane table survey whilst the others were taken by Natasha Scullion (GGAT’s CATP)  to look at general graveyard recording methods and how to focus on features of individual gravestones.

The day proved very popular with the group who bravely withstood the elements in order to get the most from the course, learning new skills ready to be used in their own planned graveyard surveys.
Everyone agreed it had been an informative day and we’re now looking forward to the new surveys that will be produced using what was learnt in St Telio’s.

Course attendees recording the details of individual gravestones

If this sounds interesting then there is a repeat of this course taking place this Saturday 10th March at St Donats Church, St Donats, Vale of Glamorgan.

The course is free to attend though places are limited and will have to be booked through either:

Menna Bell, CATP Dyfed Archaeological Trust

Tel: 01558 825997
Email: m.bell@dyfedarchaeology.org.uk

Natasha Scullion, CATP Glamorgan-Gwent Archaeological Trust

Tel:01792634236

Email: natasha@ggat.org.uk

The day runs from 9:30 am meeting at St Donats Church Car Park and will finish at 4pm.

Explaining different memorial types to course attendees

Introduction to Graveyard Investigation-Free 1-Day Courses

Ever been interested in having a go at some hands on family history research?

The Council for British Archaeology (CBA) with funding from Cadw is putting on two special free training sessions that will provide an Introduction to Graveyard Investigation and is being run by the CBA’s Community Archaeology Training Placement (CATP) holders based at GGAT and Dyfed Archaeological Trust.

The free one-day course involves an introductory presentation on graveyard history, gravestone evolution and iconography followed by a practical session recording features and details in a graveyard using the equipment provided.

It should be a fascinating insight into local history and provide the basic skills needed to conduct further investigations in the graveyards of your own areas .

The sessions are being run from 9:30-4:30pm

The first session is being held on Saturday 3rd March at St Teilo’s Church, Llandelio, Carmarthenshire.

The second session is being held on Saturday 10th March at St Donats Church, St Donats, Vale of Glamorgan.

Places need to be booked in advance as capacity is very limited so if you are interested in attending please contact either;

Menna Bell, CATP Dyfed Archaeological Trust Tel: 01558 825997 email m.bell@dyfedarchaeology.org.uk

Natasha Scullion, CATP Glamorgan-Gwent Archaeological Trust Tel:01792634236 Email natasha@ggat.org.uk

A typical selection of the different styles of gravestones found in graveyards