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Archeologists return to 5,000 year-old ritual landscape on Anglesey

New images show the excavation. Credit: Cadw

Archaeologists have returned to uncover a prehistoric ritual landscape that includes a Bronze Age cairn which may be larger than its famous neighbour Bryn Celli Ddu — a 5,000-year-old passage tomb aligned with the summer solstice sunrise on Anglesey.

The Welsh passage tomb might not be as recognisable as Stonehenge, but it has a similar alignment where the stones line up with the sun on the longest day of summer.

The passageway at Bryn Celli Ddu lights up during the Summer Solstice. Credit: Cadw

Excavation now suggests that the site had significance for prehistoric people that lasted for millennia after the earth mound was raised over a stone passage chamber.

The monument has an evocative Welsh name, which translates as ‘The Mound in the Dark Grove’ and was first excavated in 1865 and then completely reconstructed in the 1920s, but excavations over the last five summers – with members of the public joining archaeologists – have uncovered a 'rich' landscape of archaeological remains, covering more than 5,000 years of human activity.

An aerial view of the excavation with Bryn Celli Ddu behind. Credit: Cadw

Pupils from local primary school Llanddaniel Fab and several others from across Anglesey have been given special access to the site learning about life in their area 5,000 years ago.

During Wales’s Year of Discovery, we continue to develop new ways of engaging the people of Wales and beyond with our country’s rich heritage.

Hosting this excavation and events at Bryn Celli Ddu is an excellent way to encourage a deeper understanding of one of Wales’s most impressive prehistoric sites.

I hope that local people and visitors alike will be inspired to explore Bryn Celli Ddu this summer, find out about the new archaeological results, and make the most of the free activities and events taking place this June

– Lord Dafydd Ellis-Thomas, Minister for Culture, Tourism and Sport