Graig Lwyd (Group VII) Lithic Assemblages from the Excavations at Parc Bryn Cegin, Llandygai, Gwynedd, Wales – Analysis and Interpretation

J. Ll. W. Williams1 and Jane Kenney2

1. Meifod, Ffordd Bangor, Bethesda, Gwynedd LL57 3LU
2. Gwynedd Archaeological Trust, Craig Beuno, Garth Road, Bangor, Gwynedd LL57 2RT


This article draws attention to a unique sequence of flaked debitage at Bryn Cegin and describes the conscious exfoliation of carefully and laboriously executed ground and polished axes of Graig Lwyd source rock over a protracted time-span, covering the whole of the Neolithic period in Wales. It also draws attention to the same phenomenon being practised in other parts of Britain, establishing it as one of a number of specialised acts involving the burial of stone and flint axes. It is argued that Graig Lwyd polished axes, unflaked nuclei, and axe-making debitage were brought from the source area to Bryn Cegin, where they were systematically disaggregated and the resultant flaked assemblage buried in a series of pits. The act of disaggregation appears not to have been undertaken for any domestic/utilitarian purpose, but may be considered as an example of the ritual fragmentation of a highly valued commodity, a phenomenon that has been identified elsewhere in the Neolithic of Britain.

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