The Modern Antiquarian. Stone Circles, Ancient Sites, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic MysteriesThe Modern Antiquarian

Bryn Celli Ddu

Chambered Cairn


A magical site despite its renovation that receives too little attention in the MA in my opinion. I visited it last some five years ago with my 13 month old son and Helen my partner. We were both fascinated by its situation in geographical terms (Meni Straits and Snowdonia close by) and continuing social terms (the local primary school is very close and the children were coming out as we arrived giving the site a very active living atmosphere for some reason). The most significant discovery we made that I have not seen mentioned anywhere else is the stone pillar that stands in(side) the centre of the barrow. Presumably re-placed there in the restoration, it has a finished surface and one spectacular property. When struck this stone emitted a bell like tone, and as a musician I would say it was close to an e natural but this is really a guess. It reminded me of a Tibetan singing bowl that I own having a similar long "clean" resonance. I have seen a similar stone deep within in an obscure and difficult to access sacred cave in Northern Thailand. This however, is a stalagmite that rings like a bell when struck but was a similar shape and close to prehistoric (according to our guide) funeral remains (some stone coffins, there was also a small old Buddha in the darkness). The use of sound in ritual and consciousness expansion of course is commonplace and it seems likely that this was the function of both stones. I read a report of an article in antiquity by Paul Deveraux about the acoustics of the Carn Euny fougou suggesting that it resonated at the same frequency as the chanting of the male voice. The use of these spaces has been open to debate but the ritual function is by far the most likely of course and the modern investigator must try to envisage the range of techniques used to instigate trance and higher consciousness ecstatic states. All in all the area of acoustic research in mother holes and elsewhere is an avenue of enquiry that needs further investigation. I for one will be taking my Tibetan bowl with me to sites in the future and politely tapping any likely looking stones. Posted by Porkbeast
12th July 2000ce

Comments (0)

You must be logged in to add a comment