Dyffryn Ardudwy – burial chamber

History

In the village of Dyffryn Ardudwy there are the remains of a double burial chamber from the Neolithic period. It was erected between 3000 and 1900 BC, probably as a common burial place of the early-agricultural community. Excavation studies proved that the construction was carried out in two stages. First, a smaller western chamber was created, then a larger, eastern one.

Architecture

The tomb was composed of two chambers erected on a flat hillside. Each was made of side and rear stones, on which a capstone slab was laid, as a ceiling. The older western chamber had a shape similar to an oval with a length of 2.7 meters and a height of 2 meters and was blocked by two portal stones. The ceiling was a flat, large capstone and the entire chamber was covered with a mound (cairn) of small stones – cobbles, probably round or kidney shaped, at least 3 meters in diameter. In front of the entrance, a pit was dug where several smaller flat stones were set up and pottery fragments from at least four pots, charcoal and earth were found. The eastern, younger chamber was larger (3.6 x 2.4 meters and 1.5 meters high) and had a shape similar to a regular quadrilateral. The entrance opening was from the east side. The whole was covered with a trapezoidal mound of earth and stones with an edge enclosed with smaller stones.

Current state

Elements of the monument, which have survived to this day, are an earlier, small dolmen on the west side, consisting of six vertical stones and a capstone slab placed on top, and a second, larger tomb built in the east with six visible stones and one on the top, protected against collapse by embedded stones on the one side.

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bibliography:
Castleden R., Neolithic Britain: New Stone Age sites of England, Scotland and Wales, London 1992.

Website coflein.gov.uk, Dyffryn burial chamber, Dyffryn Ardudwy.
Website thejournalofantiquities.com, Dyffryn Ardudwy Burial Chamber, Gwynedd, North Wales.
Website wikipedia.org, Dyffryn Ardudwy.