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Bryn Celli Ddu chamber
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Bryn Celli Ddu is a prehistoric site on the Welsh island of Anglesey located near Llanddaniel Fab. Its name is difficult to translate directly but means either 'the mound in the dark grove' or possibly 'the mound in the grove of the deity'. It was plundered in 1699 and archaeologically excavated between 1928 and 1929.
During the Neolithic period a stone circle and henge stood at the site. An area of burnt material containing a small human bone from the ear, covered with a flat stone, was recovered.
The stones were removed in the early Bronze Age when an archetypal passage grave was built over the top of the centre of the henge. A carved stone with a twisting, serpentine design stood in the burial chamber. It has since been moved to the National Museum of Wales and replaced with a replica standing outside. An earth barrow covering the grave is a twentieth century restoration; the original was probably much bigger.
Norman Lockyer, who in 1906 published the first systematic study of megalithic astronomy, had argued that Bryn Celli Ddu marked the summer solstice. This was ridiculed at the time, but recent research by Steve Burrow, curator of Neolithic archaeology at Amgueddfa Cymru (National Museum of Wales) has proven his theory to be true. This alignment links Bryn Celli Ddu to a handful of other sites, including Maes Howe and Newgrange, both of which point to the midwinter solstice. It has also been suggested that a feature similar to the 'lightbox' at Newgrange may be matched at Bryn Celli Ddu (Pitts, 2006).
A row of five postholes previously thought to have been contemporary with the tomb (c. 3000 BC) have recently been proven to be much earlier. Early results from a radiocarbon programme date pine charcoal from two of the pits to the Mesolithic (Pitts, 2006).



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L

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RE: Bryn Celli Ddu Solstice
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The summer solstice sun beaming through a north Wales burial chamber has been recorded by experts.

The 20-minute alignment of the sun will occur on only a few days this week at the Bryn Celli Ddu chamber on Anglesey.
The video of the summer solstice at the 5,000-year-old chamber will form part of a museum exhibition in Cardiff.

View video (Realplayer stream)

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Bryn Celli Ddu chamber
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An archaeologist has discovered that the passage into a burial mound on Anglesey (Wales) was built to catch the rising sun on the summer solstice.
Steve Burrow said he was 'elated' when the sun filtered in through trees as he sat in the Bryn Celli Ddu chamber. He made the discovery as he researched a book about burial tombs in Wales from 4,000-3,000 BCE. Carbon dating on the site has also revealed it may contain the oldest building in Wales.
Mr Burrow, the curator of Neolithic archaeology at the National Museum of Wales, said he had to visit the site twice before his discovery. On the last day of his second visit he said he was 'absolutely elated' when the sun filtered through nearby trees and entered the chamber along the five metre-long entrance passage.

"The emotion of seeing something that was put there deliberately 5,000 years ago was amazing. I was the first person to be recording the event so I was trying to record it with stills and digital cameras as well as on a video camera, but I was jumping up and down" - Steve Burrow.

4.23633W_53.20770N
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Bryn Celli Ddu - the Mound in the Dark Grove, is a chamber concealing a single large almost cylindrical stone within. It started life as a henge, with a stone circle with a bank outside and a ditch within the circle.
The ditch is still visible, and was partially backfilled when the mound was constructed. The restored mound seen today is somewhat smaller than when first constructed. Small stones are visible today and are the kerbstones of the original mound
A replica patterned stone is at the entrance, but it did not exist in the original design.
The white stone replica of the original stone was originally located at the back of the chamber. The original carved stone is located in the National Museum of Wales.
The main entrance is located at the north-east of the mound, and a passageway leads from the chamber to the outside. A low shelf runs along the northern side of the passage.

Latitude: 53.208427 Longitude: -4.238844

The site is owned by heritage body Cadw, which has part-funded a radio carbon dating programme at the site. Testing has discovered that post holes outside the entrance to the chamber are 3,000 years older than the tomb itself. This could point to the site having the remains of the oldest building in Wales, added Mr Burrow.
A video of the sun rising and entering the Bryn Celli Ddu chamber can be viewed as part of an exhibition called Death in Wales 3,000-4,000 BCE, at the National Museum of Wales in Cardiff until 24 September.

Source: BBC News

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