Mathrafal Community Project

A community-based archaeological research excavation focused on Mathrafal prehistoric funerary and ritual landscape.

Project aim

A community-based archaeological research excavation focused on Mathrafal prehistoric funerary and ritual landscape.

About the project

The area around Mathrafal is characterised by several prehistoric monuments, identified by previous research. Mathrafal Ring Ditch I (PRN 3608) Neolithic/Bronze age monument was first thought to be a Bronze Age barrow surrounded by a circular ditch. Gradiometer survey undertaken as part of work experience fortnight with local students in July 2008 showed the site actually comprises 2 concentric ditches and may be a henge. It has at least one entrance, to the NE. Henges are rather enigmatic but date to the Neolithic period (late Stone Age 4000-2200BC).

The Mathrafal Community Archaeology Project is conceived as one where the archaeological gains from the excavation would be matched by the value of involving the community in discovering its past.

This exciting project aims to confirm the results of the geophysical survey while increasing local participation in understanding, managing and interpreting the historic environment in Montgomeryshire . This is intended to have the following main outcomes:

  • increased awareness of the heritage of the unique landscape of Mathrafal area
  • training of volunteers in archaeological and historical research methods and techniques
  • longer-term legacy of greater public engagement with heritage

Through a programme of events, training and excavation, the project will provide opportunities for local youth and adults of to engage with their heritage by discovering and learning more about the origins of the town. Having identified the location of the site using GPS we will excavate 2m wide by 10m long trench across the outer edge to try to identify the ditches. Excavation, recording and post-excavation activities will be conducted following CIfa standards. Together with training, research, publication and dissemination of results are key elements of our project.

Please help us making this project a great project, and become one of our backer! As a backer of the Mathrafal Community Project you will receive a copy of the report, a copy of the excavation video and your name will be acknowledged in the report as well as on information material that will be displayed at several events, including the Eisteddfod 2015.