The Burnt mounds

Two burnt mounds have been located within a wet area of ground where the slope levels off to a wide natural terrace before falling again to the river below. One of the mounds has been fully excavated. It was composed of a roughly horseshoe shaped spread of burnt stone and charcoal, surrounding and partially overlapping an oval trough.

Gwynedd Archaeological Trust trustees view the the burnt mound trough. Jane Kenney (in the yellow hat) is directing the excavations on-site.

Water would have been heated in the trough using stones heated on a fire. The stones were added to the water and, after cooling, were then thrown aside, resulting in a mound of discarded, reddened, cracked stone. Whether food was cooked in the trough or, as some have imaginatively suggested, used for bathing has not yet been firmly established.

In general the mounds date to the middle to later Bronze Age (c. 1200 – 800 BC). This feature has, so far, produced no artefacts but samples of charcoal have been collected, which will provide radiocarbon dates. The second burnt mound has yet to be fully excavated.

The drawing is an imaginative reconstruction by John Hodgson of the burnt mound in use
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The Neolithic House
The Round House
Dig Diary August 1