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The Clwyd-Powys Archaeological Trust News - old stories

Excavation and survey at the Meusydd Henge Complex, Llanrhaeadr-ym-Mochnant

A complex of prehistoric ritual monuments has been identified from cropmark evidence 1.3km south-east of Llanrhaeadr-ym-Mochnant, in Powys (SJ 13432520). The complex includes a henge and two possible pit circles which, by comparison with similar sites elsewhere, are thought to date from the late Neolithic and Early Bronze Age (3000-1800 BC). To date none of the elements within the complex have been investigated by survey or excavation.

Meusydd henge complex

Left: Meusydd henge complex. Photo CPAT 83-c-431

Henges are typically circular earthworks normally comprising a ditch with an internal or external bank and one or more entrances, and normally spatially associated with other funerary or ritual monuments of Neolithic or Bronze Age date. Pit circles are rather more enigmatic and can only be interpreted more fully through excavation which may show that the pits originally held upright timbers or stones, thus forming a timber circle or stone circle, but might otherwise represent a circle of cremation pits or votive pits.

The importance of the complex was highlighted during the Cadw-funded pan-Wales survey of prehistoric funerary and ritual monuments undertaken by CPAT in 1997-8. More recently, following the completion of the pan-Wales survey, a regional review of monuments and complexes has identified Meusydd as one of the areas which would benefit from further investigation. To this end a programme of survey and excavation is being funded by Cadw during the summer of 2007. To see this story unfold follow this link to our Project pages

Nigel Jones, August 2007

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