AHNE Bryniau Clwyd / Clwydian Range AONB

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Recent research

One of Britain’s most stunning landscapes and thousands of years of heritage combine to create fertile ground for archaeologists, naturalists and scientists.

Their research is constantly throwing up new information and pushing back the frontiers of what we know about the Clwydian Range and Dee Valley AONB.

Here are some recent highlights:

Peat core from Moel Llys y Coed

Recent Palaeobotanical work on a core of peat from Moel Llys y Coed highlights the impact people have had on the landscape and character of the Clwydian Range for thousands of years. This 1.2m depth of peat dates from around 8000 BC at its base through to the present day and records the changing vegetation associated with human influence on the Range. In 8000 BC this area was wooded mostly with hazel but also birch, pine and juniper. There’s evidence of burning in these early woodlands which may indicate hunter-gatherers encouraging animals to clearings. Pollen from the peat core illustrates three broad phases of vegetation change from woodland through alder carr and grassland in the later prehistoric and historic periods to heather domination from about 600 AD. There are cereal pollens dating from the Bronze Age about 4000 years ago.

Moel y Gaer Llanbedr Dyffryn Clwyd excavations

A preliminary report from summer 2009 of excavations by Bangor University funded by the University of Wales’ Publications and Collaborative Research Committee.

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Archaeological survey on Moel y Gaer, Llantysilio

Archaeological survey on Moel y Gaer, Llantysilio

Engineering Archaeological Services carried out a topographical survey of the hillfort at Moel y Gaer, Llantysilio, to record the physical remains on site.

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Penycloddiau hillfort cairn excavation

Penycloddiau hillfort cairn excavation

In 2009 Clwyd-Powys Archaeological Trust (CPAT) was invited by Denbighshire Countryside Service to undertake the archaeological excavation of a small cairn within Penycloddiau hillfort.

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Penycloddiau hillfort topographical survey

Penycloddiau hillfort topographical survey

In May 2006 the Clwyd-Powys Archaeological Trust (CPAT) was invited by Denbighshire Countryside Service to produce a topographical survey of Penycloddiau hillfort.

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Moel Fenlli and Caer Drewyn hillforts archaeological survey

Moel Fenlli and Caer Drewyn hillforts archaeological survey

Engineering Archaeological Services Ltd were commissioned to carry out topographical and geophysical surveys on Caer Drewyn and Moel Fenlli hillforts. 

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Moel y Gaer Hillfort, Llanbedr, archaeological survey

Moel y Gaer Hillfort, Llanbedr, archaeological survey

In May 2008, this survey aimed to record the line and extent of the bank leading from the eastern gateway into the previously unrecorded area, investigate the extent of the burnt area on the inner rampart together with the potential level of occupation within the hillfort and potential use of the annex, and provide training in archaeological survey techniques.

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Hillfort glow experiment

Hillfort glow experiment

An experiment to explore the intervisibility between 10 hillforts across north-east Wales and Cheshire and their connection with their local communities.


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Moel y Gaer hillfort, Llantysilio, geophysical survey 2009

Moel y Gaer hillfort, Llantysilio, geophysical survey 2009

In 2009 this survey aimed to establish the location and extent of any archaeological features within the hillfort and, if possible, to characterise them.

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