|12 August 2010
Unlocking the mysteries of an ancient Welsh burial site
Archaeologists at the University of Chester have started an excavation to unlock the mysteries of an ancient and iconic Welsh burial site. Alongside fellow specialists from Bangor University, a team of experts from the History and Archaeology Department is excavating the mound at the famous ninth-century Pillar of Eliseg, near Valle Crucis Abbey, Llangollen.
The venture - named Project Eliseg - aims to establish whether the site dates back to the Bronze Age and will use modern archaeological methods to investigate the mound on which the pillar stands and its setting.
"We hope to find evidence of how the early medieval kingdom of Powys defined itself through its monuments. If the mound proves to be prehistoric in date, then the Pillar of Eliseg was situated to invoke the ancient history written upon it," Dr Howard Williams, one of the co-ordinators of the excavation, said. "Chester and Bangor students studying archaeology will be taking part in the excavation alongside local volunteers. As well as revealing important information about this exceptional monument, the project will provide archaeological training for the degree programmes of both universities," he added.
Professor Nancy Edwards, from Bangor University's School of History, Welsh History and Archaeology said: ""We are trying to date the barrow on which the pillar stands, and understand the broader archaeological context of the ninth-century pillar. The site, which is potentially of international significance, could date back to the Bronze Age."
Source: Chester Chronicle (6 August 2010)
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