Unearthing An Historic Hill Fort Settlement | Time Staff | Timeline

published on July 2, 2020


this slope could once have been part of

an ancient capital in a rather unlikely

place the Ely housing estate here in

South Wales the hill is called Chi Rai

it's pretty mysterious and no one's ever

dug it before but it may well once have

been a vital fortress for the world's

tribes who lived here 2,000 years ago

this mighty fort built on a hill may

have been the center of power for this

entire region and with insightly the

back here Tony untouched by spade or

trowel for centuries will we be the

first to unravel its secrets for I'm

hoping it's down to our team of

archaeologists to solve the mystery of

this hill could this be the long-lost

capital of South Wales and if it is will

we be able to find it in three days see

the thing about long-lost places is you

never quite know what you're gonna find

do you


well here we are builders is our Hill

for this nine quite loca is a walking up

through the entrance of a hill for with

ramparts towering up on leader so to be

absolutely a mensch you know it's a big

hill for is one of the biggest from

South Wales here it's a major centre

yeah but the thing is Neil it's big so

we've got to get cracking

absolutely Oh


also making their way up to the fort our

our geophysics team their task to survey

this vast hilltop in search of an

ancient tribal center that may lie

hidden here oh wow

you wouldn't have thought it was this

open up here when you clambering up the

ramp Oh Jordan

so this is about five hectares that's

ten foot pictures No

Claire I which means forts in Welsh

overlooks Cardiff capital of modern

Wales built atop this massive Hill trees

now cover the spectacular earthworks

that give our site the classic profile

of an Iron Age hill fort but more than

that its size and commanding position

suggest that it could have been the old

capital and busy hub for the Welsh clans

of the area time team site director

Francis Pryor has seen what he believes

could be an Iron Age ditch and it's got

him very excited

I mean look really suits incredibly

clear over there it's really as

mysterious as it's cracked afternoon

well I don't think it's mysterious Tony

so much as unexplored you know it's a


it's a hill form so any design age then

yes it cyanate that gives us a lot of

time to play with you know is it a start

at the beginning you know 600 500 BC or

is it started much later 300 200 it

could be either one

what's the thing we're expecting to find

what we're looking for Tony is where

people actually live I mean that's our

main objective but initially we want to

find the earliest feature on the site

and I think our best bet lies really

just back in that ditch I mean you can

see it just as clear as anything we're

getting to the geophys first no sure we

don't leave Jim Francis 20 years of time

team Ouija Affairs and then we dig the

trench we are going to be doing a trench

here hang on a second you got a cane

here yeah and and one right over there

where you are it was a zonking great


it says are looking great ditch yeah

everything is tourney we've got to get

on and dig it

yeah so would you mind please bring

somewhere else oh yeah blame me around

in the grass


the temptation to dive straight in at

car ID is too much for any red-blooded

archaeologist to resist this huge site

could date back to the beginning of the

Iron Age in Wales as early as eight

hundred years BC if this was an Iron Age

capital our ancestors would have lived

here in large numbers and left evidence

behind ditches are a good place to look

for artifacts that have wronged in have

been thrown away

Francis is convinced the curving ditch

he's digging is Iron Age the turfs

barely off and it looks like he could be


very often what happens with Iron Age

ditches you have collapse over the years

coming in and and so I mean your actual

age of that ditch is what twice as far

back as we recommend yeah very


you know nice wide ditch

natural-appearing over there bank

it's just what we expected clues to the

importance of this site lie all around

us ramparts




the massive banks and ditches that

surround this hill they're part of

what's always drawn iron-age specialists

Neil Sharples to Cairo for years he's

been dying to dig here we've been

talking blithely about this place being

a hill form but I'm actually several the

hill fort is only know it's well it's a

difficult question that's why we're

probably in avoiding it well it's a hill

and it's a fall right now maybe it's

definitely on a Oh what do you mean by

fort well somewhere where there are

soldiers somewhere where there are

defensive structures we can see that

there are ramparts here can't we

so what were these ramparts for well I

think at a simple level they're creating

a an enclosure that defines and gives

identity to the people who live within


defining of community seems that a bit

hippie dippie to me

well no it's you could you were people

in the period before this in the Bronze

Age people were living in small farm

stairs in the fields in the landscape

the end of the Bronze Age there's a

major transformation and people gather

together at these places probably quite

special places and then they surround

themselves in these ramparts and ditches

why would you define yourself in such an

incredibly military way well list it

it's not necessarily a military way

that's the way you look at it that'd be

very very surprised if we found a spear

inside this hill for any weapon you're

making it sound like something built my

social services that's just because it

took a lot of people to build it it

doesn't mean that it was a community

project does it it's a big statement a

sense of belonging and it's a sense of

pride community pride we are a community

with strong vibrant we've got lots of

resources we've got lots of manpower you

know we can build a major impressive

monument that's gonna really put all our

neighbors into the shade they're gonna

look at our our ramparts to say gosh

that's impressive I don't want to tangle

with them they are a really important

group of people

the geophysics team is using

magnetometry to survey Cairo

it's a technique that uses magnetic

waves to locate disturbances deep in the

soil we're looking for circular features

traces of Iron Age round houses that may

have lain buried for more than 2,000

years Francis has asked the team to

survey a strip running across the middle

of the hill fort if there really were

lots of people living here in the Iron

Age there should be evidence in the GF

is the first set of results are already

in this is what we've got now we did

have a bit of a wish list this morning

which was going to be lots of

archaeology possibly some ring ditches

yep so how many of your wishes have you

fulfilled um not quite as many as you'd

hoped I'm afraid like none

yeah we're verging on that Francis you

wanted rain gauges yes yeah it's it's

not exactly Iron Age London is it not

really I mean am i imagining something

or is that something there tell me there

is alright yes there is something

curving through there well can you drop

a set on that I think I can manage it

yeah it's not much to go on but then

Iron Age archaeology isn't for the

faint-hearted or the short sighted round

houses the typical homes of the period

were made of wood mud and thatch and

after long centuries rotting in the

ground there's not much left to see


while Phil's opening up trench to back

at our first trench Francis is hoping

his archaeologists gut instinct has been

proved right if this really turns out to

be an Iron Age ditch it'll help us today

to the hill fort yes we've got a ditch

there yep no problem

so that's your ditch Matt it's not

exactly defensive visit no this the gray

silt that we thought was the ditch field

at Delhi is the top of this natural

boulder clay here so he carried on back

this way and you can see the dark ditch

fill there oh it's really clear yeah

lovely edge there it goes all the way to

here how deep do you think it's going to

be I mean I've been nibbling away at the

edge along here and it's going it about

45 degrees so you may be talking maybe

half a meter deep follows that I know

fine so anything that absolutely nothing

I mean the fill of this ditch is really

solid it's almost the same as the clay

there so I think it is very compacted

and very old

the proof is really going to be in the

excavation isn't it yeah well at the

base of this hill fort is Ely the

biggest housing estate in Cardiff

unaware that an ancient capital might be

in their backyard some of the Ely

residents have turned up hoping to find

out something about this place so what's

it like I mean this fantastic ancient

irony does

I know it was like like hidden his not

like not many people knew about it being

here and like after all this know by now

over the next few days we're hoping to

tell the local people if and when Kyra

was occupied and exactly what was going

on up here so we better hurry up and

find something when the archaeologists

just called me over and said there's a

house in trench to a house in trench too

so I came over here and look this swathe

of brown soil and a few stones dotted

around what your flippin housemates

actually I couldn't have put it better

myself Tony there are sways of brown so

but it really takes the the eyes of a

skilled archaeologist to actually pick

out what's in the trench

well it only got you here well I'm gonna

have to do then I know look if you

remember that when you looked at the

geophysics remember there was that curve

in thing which we thought was probably

the wall line of the round house well we

think we've actually located that in

this trench the giveaway is you've got

one edge coming along there you can see

on this side it's somewhat grittier and

then it in here it's Claire and you've

got the other edge coming around here

and swinging around in this direction

and we think that that is either the

foundation of a round house or maybe a

drip gully we're looking for a huge

community over yes but huge communities

live in houses if we're right in

thinking that this is our house

we are beginning to actually get a grip

of that community but it's all a bit

tenuous it is not tenuous do you always


if this was a capital packed with people

we really need to find their houses and

date them Francis thinks that dwellings

next to the ramparts could be better

preserved because over time soil tumbles

down onto the houses protecting them

from later plowing Jim afternoon

got any more results for us certainly

have you'll remember Francis that after

this morning's efforts we were sort of

grasping at straws

hopefully whoa that more what you're


oh I can't believe it we got one one two

three four five what six round houses I

guess they're optimistic but I'm with

thee yeah yeah I mean I can't tell you

Jimmy I think you may change your mind

overnight but at the first glance where

do you reckon you'd want to take someone

well obviously

go for that round house it's it's

obviously in such good condition ten

minutes ago we had drip tray and now

we've got practically a whole

civilization well we'll have to prove it

to find out when weird that means

digging tomorrow


beginning of day two here in South Wales

and yesterday we spent the whole day

searching for some signs of Iron Age

life in this empty field and found

virtually nothing at all until round

about 5:30 pm Jimmy from geophys came

up with that

isn't that beautiful lots of interesting

Lin ears and circles and mysterious

shapes for an archaeologist this is just

about as much fun as you can have with

your clothes on so how are you gonna

start your fun-filled day mate well

we've got a green site here Tony look

the geophys has shown up a row of houses

snuggled up against the back of the

ramparts which is what you often find on

Hill Falls and then look at that one

that's the best preserved of them all so

we're putting a trench in that from the

front door which is here so we're gonna

do that half there but you think these

aren't the only round houses here don't

you yeah I think there's another rule

running along here and there's certainly

one there there's another one in there

another one there another one yeah I'm

quite happy I think that's a rule

it's so funny because yesterday I was

really taking the mickey out of you for

this idea that this was an Iron Age

community rather than an actual military

fort but if you've got two rows of

houses like that that is the beginning

of the community and the commands happy

I think this proves for I was she was


I am you know we've got a community here

I mean if you count them up I mean we've

got at least five on this rule five or

six in this room you know we've got at

least ten houses eight to ten people in

a family yep

so you know that's 800 people yeah you

know I'm really happy I think that's

what we've got to find something Tony we

haven't found what anything done

birdlime gone yeah okay yeah we're quite

excited required only an archaeologist

to get that excited about this amount of


the bird limestone together with our

stunning geophys results have convinced

Francis that he's found an area that was

very densely populated by iron age

standards it could be the first step to

proving that Kyra was a very important

site but the minute the top soils off

disagreement follows geophysics hedge on

Gator thinks he can see the marks of the

round house in the ground but Francis is

convinced that the jagged edges they're

seeing were caused by Ice Age glaciers

10,000 years ago for the future they're

at the very end that's showing up

Meissen clearly that's a proper feature

it's got pottery on it

there's nothing in there which is

archaeological honest look at the edge

of that John see that the way wavers

yeah like that that's cut my eyes I

think that is the ditch of the round

house and that's the break that's the

entrance there so the green is the edge

of the trench where we're standing

yeah and that anomaly there yeah

is that anomaly and you're saying that's

glacial yeah and so it's pure

coincidence of that is at the end of

that ring yeah well I don't believe it

you know well I'll take the hat off to

you it is it is there is no archaeology

there take my word for it so we'll have

to come back here then and then once

we've found it we can follow it if we

want but I think the key thing now is to

find it because we're we're we're lost

until we do

if Francis is right we haven't got our

round house yet but he's not giving up

he's now extending the trench to try and

find it



we know next to nothing about this site

and very little about the Iron Age in

this part of Wales except that it lasted

for 800 years but there are clues about

the nature of the people who lived in

the area and perhaps on our hill fort


it's a beautiful map isn't it looks like

middle-earth it's a cracker in it

doesn't it doesn't it what does it


but what it's showing us is the Iron Age

tribes of Wales or at least it shows us

how the Romans described the Iron Age

tribes of South Wales we have wonderful

account from the Roman historian Tacitus

and he he gives us this picture and this

is a nice sort of representation of that

where are we we're just here

this is Cairo so we're deep in the heart

of these people the Seiler is absolutely

in the heart line with this alien is

that's right what do we know about the

Solaris the Lawrence tells quite a bit

about them in some detail about the

ferocious resistance that the Tyler is

mounted to the the Roman advance a 25

year guerrilla war what do you think is

the relationship between our hill fort

and the salary's defense of their own

territory generally well it could be

quite important because it's big in the

scheme of things and in the terms of

South Wales it's one of the bigger hill

forts and I think that we really should

be thinking of this idea is is it sort

of a clan based tribal confederation so

you would have had important regional

centres and it may well be that we stood

in the middle of one of them here in


we've now got three trenches up and

running in our search for houses and

finds so far maps ditch trench has given

us nothing but help is now at hand the

kids from Ely are coming to dig in our

trenches maybe they'll bring us good

luck there's still a bit of cleaning to

do in there all that muddy clay and then

we'll get into the features and see if

we can find really good stuff you are

gonna get get stuck in there Metin

Raksha don't have any trouble putting

them all to work nothing like a bit of

slave labor to move this excavation


yeah what'd you do but who were these

ancestors that our kids are digging for

we know they spoke an ancient Celtic

language and we know that this language

became modern Welsh and they've left

behind colorful everyday objects some of

which were kept in the National Museum

of wares


hi Ashley and kaya

we're taking two of our diggers Ashley

and kaya both Ely born and bred to see

them Cariah hasn't given us any fines

yet but some of these Iron Age artifacts

were found close to our fort these

objects here are all from one hoard they

were all found together people have

actually brought things together

deposited them put them into the ground

maybe as a sort of oil or ritual act

giving them to the gods and a lot of

these words from from this part of the

world they relate to horses so I think

we can say horses were really important

to these people and if you can imagine

you know because chariots with those

things mounted in the horse trapping you

know would have been really colorful in

that really does say something about how

sophisticated they were and I think

that's important for us to remember can

you see this over here can what's this

Iron Age pie in it

big mug isn't it can Katie it's the

right idea yeah I think it's a little

bit more than a point

yeah but four pints four pints that's a

lot and they I think the idea is isn't

it right that they used to share these I

think I think you'd want to to share

that round a bit a bit much otherwise


these precious objects tell us that the

Iron Age people from this area lived

lives full of ritual and color

to give a sense of how challenging it

was to make objects like this we're

going to make our own communal drinking

cup to discover a bit more about Iron

Age technology cassie is going to help

metalwork at Dave Chapman make a bronze

handle for the cup and the process

starts by getting metal from stone this

is gonna sound a bit of a stupid

question but this is the Iron Age

so why bowls well they're using the

bronzer quite extensively as a

decorative metal there's a really

beautiful metal that takes lovely shapes

and you can cast bronze well as you can

cast I am making it really nice

decorative shapes so any any shape you

can make in wax you can then cast that

casting into bronze bronze is an alloy

of copper and tin locally mined

malachite is a good source of copper ore

but to extract or smelt the pure copper

we need more than just heat it's

actually about creating carbon monoxide

which is bonding with the copper in the

with the carbon in the stone to creating

carbon dioxide and copper metals so

we're forcing a chemical reaction to

take place whether you're smelting now

or 2,000 years ago extracting metals

from ore is a complex process

Dave's using raw material from the local

environment in this case turf from our

trenches to control the gases inside the

furnace the carbon monoxide reacts with

the or separating it into pure copper

and the waste product slag

it's all we do drop put in the water at

this stage the copper is still attached

to the slag

Oh lovely after cooling the copper can

be knocked out it's a big effort for a

small amount of copper we've got a lot

of work to do before we're ready to cast

our bronze handle

the cap is under way but it would be

great to find a real Iron Age artifact

and it looks like Francis's first hunch

about where to dig was a good call

Frances the whole field is abuzz with

archaeologists saying that one last

we've got a significant fine this is it

is Tony and it is a crap I am really

excited about it it looks just like a

piece of rock to me well it is a piece

of rock dang it would have been a much

larger piece of one this is AK worm it's

a corn grinding stone one of the things

about these querns right is they were

quite sophisticated bits of kitchen

equipment go on this would have been

part of a much larger thing this is a

pop stone I mean there being another one

at the bottom line which it would have

rested like that when you pour this

grain through that groove there which is

actually a hole oh you can really see

that curved shape in there yeah so that

goes in there

and he goes could meets the bottom stone

of any BC look there's another groove

there and then that distributes the

grain as it grinds and that after after

added a couple of generations of use

planes of weakness development and

eventually the thing cracks and they say

something rude in our age and throw it

into the ditch but why are you so

excited about this I mean it is frankly

just a broken thing in the bottom of a

ditch I'll tell you why this tells us

that there were people actually living

here they were making flour in the

houses which were probably just over

there so it's very very important not

mat where exactly did you find it that's

important to get this right it was just

on the bottom the ditch just about there

and why is that so significant well as

you can see it's a big thing and it was

found right at the bottom of the ditch

so I don't think it was something that

was lying around but accidentally

slipped in I think this was thrown in

there with rubbish so it has to date the

dish Matt you know why he's so

triumphant this is his trench that he's

stuck in before GF is and it's turned up

trumps you'll bang on the money yeah

it's really been good Tony I'm really

excited about it this brilliant late

Iron Age find dates are

and it's proof that Iron Age people were

grinding corn here at Chiron and where

people were grinding corn

they were very likely to be living and

even farming in the surrounding

landscape but to prove that this place

was some sort of Iron Age capital we

need evidence of large numbers of people

living here and that means finding

plenty of round houses yet halfway

through our time here there's still no

definitive evidence of a single one the

pressures on

we're at kirai hill fort in south wales

a massive and explored site we're

looking for evidence that this place was

once some sort of Iron Age capital we're

halfway through day two and even though

we've got this fantastic geophys quite

frankly what's been coming out of some

of our trenches has been less than

inspiring so we're putting in trench

four here over the oval enclosure which

you could see on the geophys and that is

right at the entrance to the whole Iron

Age hill fort so hopefully we'll get

something here that's pretty exciting


we've already put in three trenches to

try and give a sense of how many people

may have lived here and when with the

help of the local kids from Ely we found

a single late iron age corn grinding

fern which points to it being a domestic

site that so far on this giant hilltop

we found no houses

it's been a while since I've caught up

with Phil he's always firmly believed

he's got a round house at his trench but

is he any closer to proving it okay

clear up Ellucian we'll have a cup of

tea give me some good news mate I've

been looking around the other trenches

you can't see a thing you're so negative

you want something positive yes please

well I can positively tell you that that

ring ditch that foundation gully or

whatever it was is not foundation gully

or a ring ditch I'm gonna be really

really positive I can think I can say

positively that we do have a building in

this trench and where is the build well

is it actually in front of you where

Kelly is you see she's got digging a

post hole there yeah now about a foot

behind her feet there is a gray patches

another post hole there we've got

another one look there's a gray patch

there with another post hole and that

all ties in with this feature that I'm

digging here now I've measured them up

the distances between them are the same

the distance is that way are the same

they form a regular rectangle now

whether or not that's a rectangular

building or part of something round

I don't really know is that positive

enough we've got we've got a building

here really is a struggle finding

anything here it is incredibly difficult

to see any forms of features in this in

this brown soil well that's not to be

wondered that the thing is for 10,000

years ago this was an emaciated wood

gracias that frozen and every time the

ice froze it would open up wedges in the

ground and it would bring the clay up

from below and it would mess around with

the natural and that's why it's a dog's

breakfast all right don't give us a

lecture just three years drink your tea

but where is my never mind Gordon

Bennett where's Murray Jase your tea

please Oh

positive thinking is all very well but

the reality is that fills trench remains

inconclusive our building could be round

could be rectangular could be Iron Age

but we've got no fines and no date it's

game over a trench – but it's not time

to give up on Chi ride just yet and

we've also got a replica Iron Age

drinking cup to make

dave has added a small amount of tin to

the copper we smelted earlier and is

melting them in a crucible to make

bronze it's almost ready to pour into

molds which contain wax replicas of the

handles of the Cardiff Museum is it

ready Dave getting there now yeah it's

good and hot from over here I think this

is a very magical process I must have

seen so there must nose to them as well

even after thousands of years you still

get to excited by it you can imagine

that the people who did it must have had

really high status in the community I

should think so yeah

our bronze is now ready to pour into the

molds to create classic Iron Age style


fantastic colors

how long with or it'll cool down about

10 minutes sinara you can see that the

bronze has a consistency of chocolate

admit sir this temperature good good

note I'd like to do the honors I'm okay

with this side gently yeah oh yeah this

fragile isn't it

that's our casting yeah do you see the

edge of the casting examples yeah yeah

a quick wash and brush-up and the

handles are very nearly there

here we are probably around 2000 years

and something like this was made on this


two thousand years ago Kyra would have

looked very different tree cover is

hiding its most dramatic features its

ramparts can only be seen using modern

lidar techniques which involve firing

laser pulses from a plane at the site

these allow us to see through the trees

and reveal the giant banks and ditches

whether as neil has always believed they

were for showing off while we're

defensive the one thing these ramparts

definitely do is ensure people enter

through the front door Francis put

trench four over the feature at the

entrance to see if it's a part of our

Iron Age story oh yeah yeah

what I've got I've got the sides now

yeah and these stones along the site and

the bottoms probably underneath these

stones down here fantastic I mean those

stones strike me very much as if they're

there in citria they're placed there

almost oh yeah they're not tumbled in I

mean these are definitely being placed

on the sides of the ditch all the way

around there's one behind me as well and

what sort of date is this well we've got

two bits of pot out of this we've got

one which is almost certainly Roman that

one there that's out the top yeah this

is romanovna it's fairly fairly hard and

fairly fresh and then we got this very

delicate handmade piece yeah and the

Roman ones nice and fresh and this is

fairly weather that's been lying around

on the surface it's almost almost


yeah well that leads me to think that

this is almost certainly wearable the

new group it's looking that way and

interestingly I mean we've got also what

like to post holes here either side of

the entrance so they could be gate posts

can be gate posts or maybe fence posts

yep now it's looking more more like a

Roman farm but because when we say Roman

we actually mean the Romans would be

actually the plain people as we're here

in the in the Iron Age das wearing Roman

clothes romano welsh romano welsh yeah

smashing a romano british cattle

enclosure at the entrance to our fort is

not what we want

when we say romano-british we mean the

period that follows the Iron Age when

the Romans occupied Britain and our

Welsh tribes had started to absorb roman

ways but at least we found more evidence

that this site was primarily domestic to

be honest we've all been a bit

disappointed today the lack of fines got

to have been son and what they've done

is to prove that this is definitely a

late Iron Age site but that's about it

really the truth is that from this huge

site this massive hill Falls that

closest we've got to the dense

population hinted at by geophys are a

few undateable postholes

have we been digging in the wrong place

the last two days we've been searching

for an Iron Age capital up here on this

hill but we've been thwarted by the

geology and the thick brown sticky clay

the geophys has been absolutely

fantastic although it's offered us what

seems like a a whole Mirage of little

hearts and settlements and we've got a

few files which are pretty good too but

what we haven't got is a date for the

time when this place was at its heyday

and that's what we're gonna try and nail

down today


if there were large numbers of people

living on this fort they would surely

have left evidence of their daily lives

but we're simply not finding it so

Frances has come up with a new plan that

involves looking from iron age ovens


I don't understand if we want to nail

down the dating why is our last throw of

the dice gonna be looking at another ah

because Tony we've done that end of a

site we've done this side of a site what

we haven't done is this huge area over

here the middle the middle yeah and that

is covered as you can see on the GF is

by these oven kill me things all right

do you think that by the end of the day

you can give us some robust dating we

are employing the right techniques to do

it that's not an answer really yes it is

very political answer


whether they're ovens or kilns these

features showing up on the magnetometry

could be a sign of a busy occupied part

of the site so it's our last-ditch

effort to find more evidence of

occupation at Cairo and an exact date


but when Matt actually dig some of these

hotspots the anomalies turn out to be

Rome are no British slag proving that

lots of people were working up here

during the Roman period but it doesn't

help us in our search for our Iron Age

people yet just when all seems lost

Kairi surprises us we think we may have

finally found some promising features in

the Roundhouse trench ditch ends

features which would have formed the

front door to around house


Frances extended this trench yesterday

and it seems to have paid off it's a

real breakthrough and that's not all if

we've got solid proof of one round house

or the other circular shapes that showed

up on the Geo fees are almost certainly

round houses too

but we still need dating evidence


with time running out even site director

Francis has picked up his trail

he's got a posthole a feature you'd

expect to find in a round house and even

better there's pottery in it but is it

enough to date the house look what we're

getting out of it right on the door yeah

I mean it's only body shows but I&H

they've got to be on edge so if this

pottery matches the stuff that mammy is

getting that's fantastic because it's a

straight line going through the front

door isn't it pretty much yeah I mean

it's ya know that way so I mean that

would sort of indicate that these two

features probably are part of the house

right okay and you'll do a bit more

digging but I want to make most of this

but Francis reasons that his posthole

and a pit outside the door that name is

digging line up with each other

putting him right in the heart of our

round house


the pot shirts he's finding have grit in

them which means they're iron-age but to

give us an accurate date we need bigger

pieces if we know the shape of the pot

we can date it and date our round house

our Iron Age communal carp is almost

finished we've made a wooden vessel the

same size as the one in the Museum of

Wales and we're now fitting the bronze

handle smelted from scratch on this hill

if you're off would you reckon right

I think it's cracking it's wonderful

object congratulations to both of you it

tells us something about these people

doesn't it you know talked about

communal activities and feasts did hope

it was communion because if you have

back to yourself it might be tempting to

try but I think you're probably want to

come back at our round house the fines

are coming thick and fast and in the

nick of time naomi has found something

we hope poor bling horn our fines expert

can date pottery the rumours are true

and it's not just any old pottery I

think it's the pottery that we're

looking for so yeah

yeah so those are Stephanie inhc the

angle s it's gonna come around something

like that's that's a big pot my basic

Astoria or something and it's in good

Nick and there's more obvious so that's

that's not stuff that is in the future

yeah yeah I'm excavating this post hole

here and we have got another large piece

here in situ is almost ready to come out

oh great stuff on their own

naomi has found a large section of parts

from a post hole at the entrance to the

Roundhouse time in it yeah it's

different part I think almost certainly

I think you've got a full profile it's

all the way up to the rim here you got

something interesting below your finger

like this nail hey what we present got

name is Noam he's got a post hell down

there and so far we've had a little

piece of a place of what looks like a

big storage oh that's a big metal Bible

look at it but we've also got this let

me assume it's doing the guy it's funny

little cut gorgeous isn't it I don't

think that's middle to late you think

that might be early I think that's early

this is probably the only complete

profile of an earthly net so that Ivor

was in the South Wales no joke very many

of them know what struck me about it

this interest as well you've got this

big shirt of a big jar on this little

cup with it it's almost like a

representation of a drinking kit you've

got your big pot with your beer or

whatever in and they've got your little

cup for scooping out and it's right in

the top let me have a look it's right in

the top of a post more of its due in

there yeah yeah

so this unassuming piece of pottery this

tiny cup with its distinctive profile

from bottom to top turns out to be the

key to the whole dig it's the most

complete early Iron Age cup ever found

in South Wales not only is it a truly

spectacular find in its own right it

conclusively dates our site to the

earliest part of the Iron Age a job well


we came here looking for an Iron Age

capital in one tiny area of our site we

found a terrace of round houses from the

very early iron age around 800 BC that

could have housed a hundred people glass

ears later industry and plowing make

karai difficult to read but if the rest

of the site was as heavily populated as

this one little corner we could be

looking at hundreds or even thousands of

people living here at its height

looks like our hill fort could be the

ancient building co-op of meals dreams

it's a place where people had kitchen

accidents and performed drinking rituals

in the home ah romano-british farmstead

proves that this hill continued to be

occupied on into the roman period before

being abandoned


it's time to celebrate the community of

Kyrie past and present what has amazed

me is the sheer length of time that this

place has been occupied how long do you

think thousand years so for me it's it's

the sheer fact that we've been able to

find buildings we all need somewhere to

live you're only got to look down there

and see the homes of so many people that

to me is the important thing that there

is a real live settlement on the hill

all those thousands of years ago


drinking from it we will bond together

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