Welcome to Scribd. Sign in or start your free trial to enjoy unlimited e-books, audiobooks & documents.Find out more
Standard view
Full view
of .
Look up keyword
Like this
0 of .
Results for:
No results containing your search query
P. 1
Cae-Dyni Cupmarks.

Cae-Dyni Cupmarks.

Ratings: (0)|Views: 74|Likes:
Published by Digital Digging

More info:

Categories:Types, Research, History
Published by: Digital Digging on Nov 01, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See more
See less





As part o ongoing research into rock-art andits association with Neolithic burial monu-ments in Wales, a team rom the Cliton An-tiquarian Club visited Cae-Dyni (CRN 14) inJanuary 2006 (see Nash
et al 
. 2005). This site,located within the coastal zone, east o thecoastal town o Criccieth (gure 1) have inthe past been considered a cist that has datedto the Early Bronze Age (Powell
et al 
. 1969,306-7). However, we suggest monumentso this size, where chamber measures 1.3mx 0.80m can still be considered megalithicand thereore earlier in date. This monu-ment along with eighteen others possessescupmarks, either carved on the monumentor close by on exposed rock outcropping(Table 1).As ar as the authors are aware little has beenreported on this monument. Daniel (1950,193) briefy describes this monument as alarge cist. He urther claims that Pennent inhis
Tour o Wales
(1783) rst discussed thesite. However, the description may reer toanother nearby monument. Thereore, theearliest reerence is Barnwell who briefydiscusses the site with an accompanying en-graving o the chamber area in 1868 (gure2). Based on Barnwell’s engraving little haschanged to the morphology o this monu-ment. Indeed, a visit to Cae-Dyni by the teamin December 2005 could clearly recognisethe major eatures including the position othe slipped capstone as shown on Barnwell’sengraving. In recent times the site has beenbriefy described by Cummings & Whittle whoalso discuss its landscape setting (2004, 126).They too consider the probability that the sitecould be earlier, probably Late Neolithic.
Cae Dyni and the landscape setting
The Cae-Dyni burial monument (SH 51113218), reerred to in the regional HistoricEnvironment Record (HER) as
is regarded as a Bronze Age monumentand thereore not classied as a megalithstructure. The chamber is set within a lowdenuded rectangular rather than a roundmound, measuring roughly 13m x 8m and isoriented east-west (Plate 1). The remains othe mound probably comprise o rubble andearth. On the NW edge o the mound arethree stones that are set on end and possiblyrepresent rock outcropping.There are extensive views to the generalcoastline, extending as ar as Barmouth (c.10 km to the south). The site is located withinthe coastal zone, on a slightly west-acingslope. The clayey soils overlie generic Pal-aeozoic slates, mudstones and siltstones.The monument is set on a small plateau
George Nash, Abby George & Laurie Waite
Cae-Dyni Cupmarks
Figure 1. Site Location
within the remains o an extensive drystonewalled eld system. Sections o the wallingare clearly visible to the north and east. Theeld system slopes continuously towards thecoast, approximately 0.5 km to the south andwest. Immediately south o the mound is thesource o a small spring. The location o thespring may have had some bearing on whythe monument was initially sited.
Monument Architecture
The chamber, inlled with rubble cairn, is con-structed o seven uprights, oriented SE-NWand measures 1.2 x 0.8m (Figure 3a). Themajority o uprights lean inwards towardsthe chamber. Two o these are more thana metre in height, while the remaining areless 0.40m in height. All stones with excep-tion o one are o laminated shale/slate, theother being o ne-grained sandstone andmeasuring 1.1m in height. The capstone, nowresting against the upper sections o uprightsthat orms the south-western chamber wallleans at an angle o 45 degrees. Althoughdicult to discern, the chamber appears tobe located at the eastern end o a low moundand has a similar morphology to other oth-ers with recorded mounds, classiying it asa terminal chambered monument.Located on the largest upright, located atthe SW end o the chamber are up to 13cupmarks, nine o which are carved on thelower SW-acing section o the upright, while4, possibly 5 are carved on SE ace o thesame stone. The cupmarks, each measuringaround 40mm in diameter are arranged in no
Table 1Plate 1. View of the Chamber area of Cae-Dyni looking west Figure 2. The chamber area in 1868Figure 3bFigure 3a. The Cae-Dyni chamber and mound Figure 3b. Detail of the chamber area
recognised pattern. However, on the SE ace,a possible crescent alignment comprising othree cupmarks may exist. On the SW ace,partly obscured by the leaning capstone thecupmark patterns are arranged into threegroups o three, two o which orming acrescent, the other a triangle (Figure 4). In-terestingly, the artist was only concernedwith decorating the lower section o theupright.
In comparison with thirteen other megalithicsites in Caernarvonshire recognised by Powell
et al 
. (1969, 302), the Cae Dyni site is rela-tively small, its size can be compared withnearby sites o Penarth and Four Crosses.The architecture, in particular the way thecapstone was placed on top o the uprightsdoes resemble small rectangular chamberedmonuments elsewhere in north-western Eu-rope such as the Bohuslän monuments insouth-west Sweden (Tilley 1999). We do ad-vocate though that there is a direct culturallink between Cae-Dyni and the monumentso Bohuslän. However, the architecture andpossible date or this monument thoughdoes suggests that Cae-Dyni may be a hybridmonument that incorporates both Late Neo-lithic and Early Bronze Age traits. The traitsinclude the chamber, uprights and capstonebeing constructed above ground and there-ore visible and this architecture being placedinto an oval or rectangular cairn mound. TheEarly Bronze trait comprises the constructiono a well-dened rectangular stone lined cist.It is probable though that all components oCae-Dyni are Neolithic.There are a limited number o monumentsin Wales that are similar in architecture andpossess an identical landscape position. Oneo these is Bedd Taliesin within the parish oLlanhangel, overlooking the Dovey estuaryin Carmarthenshire (SN 6724 9126). This mon-ument, located outside any o the Neolithiccore areas in Wales comprises a rectangularchamber with a displaced capstone that isset within an oval or long mound. Locatedaround the capstone and the chamber area number o loose sub-angular and angularstone blocks which either orm part o thecairn (Nash 2006). According to the RoyalCommission o Ancient and Historical Monu-ments (Wales) this monument dates to theBronze Age. However, its sheer megalithicappearance suggests a Neolithic date. Surpris-ingly, there has been very little archaeologicalinvestigation o this site. Approximately 4kmto the sout-east o the site are the remnantso a Bronze Age landscape, including a stand-ing stone (SN 689 877). A large number ocairns are also located 2km to the north andeast o the monument on Foel Goch thatoverlook the Dovey estuary.Despite recent detailed attention Cae-Dynihas been included in the inventory o Cum-mings and Whittle (2004, 126). Their researchocusing on
(i.e. what can be seenrom a selected number o Welsh Neolithicmonuments) indicate that the viewshed oCae-Dyni includes views o the Cambriancoast (to the south) as ar as Borth and thesouthern extent o the Llyn Peninsula (to thewest) as ar as Abersoch. The view rom thismonument also includes a vast area o openwater, covering an area o 884 km2. However,it is probably not what can be seen rom themonument but more importantly where inthe landscape can the monument be seen.I the latter applies then the data or theview shed is great decreased to include theimmediate slopes that surround the monu-ment to the north, east and west, and maybe views o the monument rom the sea.However, the monument cannot be seenrom the beach or the shingle slopes o theoreshore. I one is assume that these sitesare special and located in order to be hidden(i.e. with a covering mound) the viewshedhypothesis cannot apply to this or any otherNeolithic burial monument. The mound, its[inorganic] architecture and the people whouse it create a powerul and secret world andpart the secrecy is the way sites like Cae-Dyniare located. Metaphorically, they can be seen(i one knows where they are) and not seeni one is outside the circle o knowledge.Whatever the date, there is clear evidencethat Cae-Dyni represents a multi-phased site.Apart orm the capstone being moved romits original position, probably the result oantiquarian investigations, one o the up-rights possess hitherto undiscovered rock-artcomprising 13 cupmarks. These were eithermade prior to, during or ater the monumentwas abandoned. It is our view that thesecarving are made ater the monument wasconstructed, possibly by Bronze Age cults us-ing the monument ollowing its primary useas a place o interring human remains.Cupmarks are present throughout most oAtlantic Europe and may represent a univer-sal meaning. However, it is not clear whatthese carvings represent. Furthermore, it isdicult to suggest their stratigraphic re-lationship with their host monument. It isclear however that cupmarks, in particularare ound on Bronze Age monuments andcan thereore to be considered to be o thisdate or later, representing possibly BronzeAge cult practices (Schoknecht 1986). How-ever, recent excavations by Waddington
et al 
. (2005) have urther extended the datingrange that suggests that cupmarks and as-sociated carvings could predate the BronzeAge. A similar view is held by Bradley (1997,57–65). Burgess has suggested that signicantstones with cupmarks may have been reused(1989-90), either incorporated into monu-ments or later, taken away and re-erectedas standing stones. A case in question is thereuse o a ornately carved standing stonethat was broken into three sections andwas incorporated into two passage graves– Table de Marchands and Gavr’inis – bothlocated on the Gul o Morbian, Brittany.Whatever their date, cup-and-ring carvingscan be considered a means o statementing,either a monument or a part o landscape.This statementing can be either made byan individual, representing his or her ritualneeds or collectively, the carving represent-ing a group. The Cae-Dyni monument alongwith ten other Neolithic burial monuments inNorth Wales that either have cupmarks or onrock outcropping nearby, probably representsa multi-phased that equally addresses traitsthat are present in both the Neolithic andEarly Bronze Age (Table 1).
George NashDepartment o Archaeology & Anthropol-ogy, University o Bristol  Abby GeorgeLaurie Waite
Figure 4. Location of the cupmarks on the south-westernupright Plate 2. Cupmarks present on the south-western upright 

You're Reading a Free Preview

/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->