Image Credit: A. Brookes (4.9.2010)
Posted by thesweetcheat
25th September 2010ce
Edited 26th January 2012ce
NB: Unless otherwise stated, this image is protected under the copyright of the original poster and may not be re-used without permission.
Have just stumbled across your pictures of Welsh stone accumulations. Have been studying similar structures in south east Ireland for the past ten years. What you have appears to be identical, and tallies with what i've found over here. Was in the Prescelli's in November last year and spotted similar, but your pictures are remarkable. They are almost identical to stuff over here. The first photo of the cairn with a u shaped profile almost took my breath away. There are many similar cairns over here, which are not random heaps of stone, but carefully constructed monuments which had a purpose. There were another couple of photos which also replicated stuff I've seen in S.E. Ireland, confirming a belief I've had for a long time that Bronze/Iron age connections between Britain and Ireland were strong. Such is the similarity of these stone constructions, that it is becoming increasingly difficult to disassociate them, leading me to the conclusion that the two islands were once under the same leadership, or at least, religious belief. See "upland landscape alteration in south east Ireland" on this site, or contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks, mark.
This is very interesting. It does seem credible that there were close links between S.E. Ireland and Wales, almost to the extent of being the same 'nation'. I believe this was the case with Northern Ireland and the Western Isles of Scotland (and west coast). Thanks for your posts - food for thought.
Certainly is food for thought..... I would (before now, anyway) generally view low, drystone rings such as those upon Cefn yr Ystrad as being the remnants of domestic enclosures - for lack of alternative definitions - but of course without internal excavation to prove it this need not necessarily be the case. Looks like there may be other possibilities now. Ritual enclosures formed through altering scree? Why not?
The function of the great Welsh upland cairns would appear to me more solid, however. Unfortunately the internal arrangements of the vast majority have been lost for ever through deliberate - albeit well meaning but ill informed - vandalism by 'walkers' to form storm shelters. However those that have been scientifically excavated - as opposed to trashed - reveal Bronze Age cist burial... e.g:
There are numerous other examples with remnants of cists in situ, but the internal arrangements of the majority have been lost for ever. One of the great archaelogical scandals of the past century in my opinion, but there you are....
A further complication is of course the construction of sheep folds by the Welsh hillfarmers. And to think walking the hills used to be such a straight forward business before this archaeological lark!
I had hesitated to add anything for lack of knowledge, but it does seem that in respect of the cairns at any rate the construction may simply reflect use of readily available local material. And I had assumed the same of enclosure walls, etc.
Another example on a later, larger scale would be the incorporation of scree into hillfort ramparts, eg Titterstone Clee (Shrops) and Craig yr Aderyn.
Incidentally 'use of readily available material' was strikingly obvious when I took the Mam C up Garreg Las on Friday.... the summit ridge is a shattered mass of rock - as you will know, unlike the majority of Mynydd Du - except for the immediate environs of the two massive cairns, which are mainly all grass. Wonder where that rock went, then?