Upon The Horizon’s Verge; Forts, Cairns and the Festival of Archaeology


The annual Festival of Archaeology 2013 took place from July 13th to 28th – cue many posts online about thousands of events held across the UK to explain, enjoy and share archaeology with everyone who has some interest in the subject! As part of the festival the Brecon Beacons National Park held two public archaeologically themed tours of special sites within the National Park; we have so much archaeology within the park’s 520 square mile area and we want to share it with you!

©HollyMae Steane Price

The Brecon Beacons’ first Festival of Archaeology tour took place at Twyn-y-Gaer on the 13th July. After meeting at the Mountain Centre at Libanus we set off (after applying a great deal of sunblock) on a walk up to Twyn-y-Gaer Iron Age hillfort via a Prehistoric standing stone and a Bronze Age round cairn.

Twyn-y-Gaer tour group

Twyn-y-Gaer tour group observing a standing stone

Led by the Brecon Beacons’ archaeologist, Natalie Ward, we learnt about the possible reasons behind erecting a standing stone (way markers? Ritual event locations? Location of springs?), discussed different types of burial cairn within the National Park (round, long, ring carirns) and considered the reasons behind establishing ‘hill forts’ during the Iron Age period (defence? Settlement? Centre of power?).

A view of Twyn-y-Gaer hillfort

A view of Twyn-y-Gaer hillfort

A view from the summit of Twyn-y-Gaer Iron Age hillfort.

A view from the summit of Twyn-y-Gaer Iron Age hillfort.

A tour of Mynydd-y-Glog on the 16th July was an archaeology/geology collaboration; Alan Bowring, the Fforest Fawr Geopark geologist teamed up with Edith Evans from Glamorgan-Gwent Archaeological Trust (GGAT) to deliver and lead a vast time spanning walk over the mountain. From approximately 350 million year old rocks to 3000 year old Bronze Age burial cairns we explored the hilltops’ earthly and cultural heritage on what turned out to be another very hot day.

©HollyMae Steane Price

‘It’s behind you!!’ – exploring rocks on Mynydd-y-Glog

©HollyMae Steane Price

Two BA burial cairns on Mynydd-y-Glog

Both these walks seemed to be enjoyed by tour leaders and attendees alike and the weather couldn’t have been better!

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