The excavations at Parc Bryn Cegin, Llandygai, Wales (Kenney 2009), have produced a large assemblage of Graig Lwyd lithic material, which is associated with domestic settlement, and ritual pits that date from the early to the late Neolithic. The material enlarges the assemblage excavated in the 1960-61 ceremonial henge complex at Llandygai (Lynch and Musson 2001) and confirms the importance of Graig Lwyd axe debitage at these two adjoining sites. The area excavated covers the north-western-facing slope of a hill that overlooks the henge complex on its north-western perimeter and affords extensive views of Anglesey and the Menai Strait to the north, Penmaenmawr and the adjoining Graig Lwyd outcrops to the east and the mountains of Snowdonia to the south (Fig. 1).
On the north-western slope of the hill, a large early Neolithic timber structure and an adjoining pit were excavated and these features contained an important assemblage of Graig Lwyd lithics. Along the crest of the ridge demarcating the eastern side of the site a series of pit groups, dated by radiocarbon assays to later stages in the Neolithic, were located, and a smaller group, of equal interest, was excavated in close proximity to the timber structure. The location of these features is shown in Figure 2. The seven principal pit groups (I-VI and VIII) consist of a complex of small sub-pits, each containing insertions of pottery sherds, flint debitage, quartz fragments, bone, charcoal, organic debris, mostly in the form of hazelnuts and, finally, in five of the pits, Graig Lwyd lithics. A detailed description of the assemblages associated with the above features, and the series of radiocarbon dates that provide the chronological framework for Parc Bryn Cegin, are published in the excavation report (Kenney 2008) and this information is summarised in Table 1. The present article will, first, present the material evidence within the contexts they were discovered in; second, it will question whether the lithics form part of a utilitarian assemblage; third, it will examine their significance as a destructive phenomenon within a wider spatial and chronological context.
Figure 2: Plan of excavations at Parc Bryn Cegin showing location of Neolithic timber structure and pit group
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Last updated: Wed Jul 29 2009