In late June, Jessica made a return trip over the Irish Sea to sample some of the stunning later Neolithic pottery from sites in North Wales. Many of these assemblages have only been uncovered in recent years due to developer-led activity on the island of Anglesey and adjacent areas. Beautiful examples of the potter’s craft in their own right, they will also yield new information on diet and farming strategies in the Neolithic, thanks to microscopic lipid molecules trapped in the clay matrix of the pot. On an island like Anglesey, with a lot of granitic geology and resulting acidic soils, this data is especially important, as it provides information on animal products (milk and meat fats, for example) when the animal bone itself does not survive.
Jessica’s visit also coincided with the summer solstice and a wonderful programme of outreach and discovery at the famous Bryn Celli Ddu passage tomb. A team from the University of Central Lancashire, Manchester Metropolitan University and Cadw are currently investigating an Early Bronze Age cairn in the field next door and PTP were delighted to get involved in a couple days of excavation! You can read about the Bryn Celli Ddu research project here