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Bryn Celli Ddu Passage Tomb, Anglesey: Alignment, Construction, Date, and Ritual

  • Steve Burrow (a1)
Abstract

Bryn Celli Ddu is one of only two developed passage tombs in Wales, and has occupied a pivotal place in narratives of this region since the publication of excavations in the 1920s by W.J. Hemp. The construction sequence at the site has been at the centre of debate on several occasions with previous models raising important issues about the sequence of major monument types (notably the henge and the passage tomb) and the inter-regional links of the tomb's builders. This paper presents a new interpretation of the site's construction history, drawing on several sources, including: the recent demonstration that the tomb is aligned on the midsummer sunrise; Hemp's unpublished archive; and the results of a radiocarbon dating programme. The result is a two phase model which shows the tomb to have been built between 3074 and 2956 calbc, and which sheds fresh light on the ritual practices of the community which built it.

Bryn Celli Ddu est l'une de seulement deux tombes à couloir développées au Pays de Galles, et occupe une place pivot dans l'histoire de la région depuis la publication des fouilles de W.J. Hemp dans les années 1920. La séquence de construction sur le site s'est trouvée au centre d'un débat à plusieurs reprises, les modèles précédents soulevant d'importantes questions sur la séquence des principaux types de monuments (en particulier l'enceinte à talus et fossé et la tombe à couloir) et les liens inter-régionaux entre les bâtisseurs de tombes. Cette étude présente une nouvelle interprétation de l'histoire de la construction du site, puisant à plusieurs sources, y compris la récente démonstration que la tombe est alignée sur le lever du soleil au solstice d'été, les archives non publiées de Hemp, et les résultats d'un programme de datation au C14. Le résultat en est un modèle à deux phases qui démontre que la tombe a été construite entre 3074 et 2956 av. J.-C. en années calibrées et qui éclaire d'une nouvelle lumière les pratiques rituelles de la communauté qui l'a construite.

Bryn Celli Ddu es una de las dos únicas tumbas de corredor desarrolladas en Gales, y ha ocupado un lugar fundamental en las narrativas de esta región desde la publicación de las excavaciones de W.J. Hemp en los años 20. La secuencia de la construcción del sito ha sido en varias ocasiones el centro del debate, y modelos previos han planteado importantes cuestiones sobre la secuencia de los principales tipos de monumento (notablemente el círculo tipo “henge” y la tumba de corredor) y de las conexiones inter-regionales de los constructores de la tumba. Este trabajo presenta una nueva interpretación de la historia de la construcción del sito, utilizando varias fuentes, que incluyen: la reciente demostración de que la tumba está alineada con la salida del sol en el solsticio de verano; el archivo inédito de Hemp; y los resultados de un programa de datación al carbono-14. El resultado es un modelo en dos fases que demuestra que la tumba fue construida entre 3074 y 2956 cal A.C., y que arroja nuevas luces sobre las prácticas rituales de la comunidad que la construyó.

Bryn Celli Ddu ist eines von nur zwei bekannten entwickelten Ganggräbern in Wales. In der Geschichte dieser Region hat es seit der Veröffentlichung der Ausgrabungen der 1920er durch W. J. Hemp eine entscheidende Rolle eingenommen. Die Abfolge der Konstruktionsschritte an diesem Ort wurde mehrfach diskutiert, wobei frühere Modelle wichtige Fragen aufwarfen, die die Sequenz der Haupttypen der Bauwerke betreffen, insbesondere von Henges und Gangräbern, aber ebenso die interregionalen Beziehungen der Erbauer des Grabes. Dieser Beitrag präsentiert eine neue Interpretation der Baugeschichte des Fundplatzes unter Einbeziehung unterschiedlicher Quellen, darunter der jüngst erfolgte Nachweis, dass das Grab auf den Mittsommersonnenaufgang ausgerichtet ist, Hemps unveröffentlichtes Archiv, sowie die Ergebnisse eines C14 Datierungsprogramms. Das Resultat ist ein Zweiphasenmodell, nach dem das Grab zwischen 3074 und 2956 cal. bc erbaut wurde, und das neues Licht auf die rituellen Handlungen seiner Erbauer wirft.

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References
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