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THE DRAWINGS ON THE WALL
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Sunday 3 March, 14.45 - 15.00
Programme Five: The Architecture of Death

George Nash, Cadw officer Mike Yates and rock art photographer Adam Stanford visit Barclodiady-Gawres Neolithic burial chamber in Anglesey, North Wales.

Barclodiad y Gawres passage grave on Anglesey

They record the etchings on acetate sheets, using sharp directional light to pick out the finely decorated stones at the burial chamber.

The chevron, diamond and zigzags were accidentally discovered by students with a simple video camera in 2004.

The rock art at the Barclodiad y Gawres passage grave on Anglesey has similar traits to that found in Ireland in the Boyne Valley, suggesting that there was some form of contact and exchange across the Irish Sea during the late Neolithic c.2500 BC.

There appears to be a generic language expressed through this alphabet of symbols. They comprise an intriguing array of zigzags and concentric circles. No one knows what they mean, but because of their association with death and burial it is more than likely they represent an epitaph to the dead.

This art appears to have been restricted from public view, available only to the elite.


Tracing of carvings from Barclodiad y Gawres passage grave on Anglesey

Like the clergy of medieval times and the graffiti artist of today, ‘knowledge is power’.

And, on a dark stormy night on the Welsh coast near Harlech, another ‘new’ prehistoric discovery is made!

Images courtesy of George Nash.
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