Cardiff people living near hillfort asked to dig up garden

A man digging a small square in turf Image copyright Caer Project
Image caption People in Caerau and Ely, in Cardiff, are asked to dig up a 1 sq m patch of their garden and record what they find

People living near an Iron Age hillfort are being asked to dig up a small section of their garden to contribute to an archaeological project.

A "large-scale community dig" had been due to take place at Trelai Park, near the Caerau hillfort in Cardiff, but it was cancelled due to lockdown.

Instead, people in the area have been asked to dig up a 1 sq m patch of their garden and record what they find.

The results will contribute to research by Cardiff University archaeologists.

Previous studies have focused on the hillfort in Caerau, a deserted medieval village in north Ely and a Roman villa in Trelai Park, but researchers say little is known about other spaces in the area.

Information from these "test pit mini-digs", to take place next week, will help chart how the area evolved from the Stone Age to modern times, according to project co-director Dr Oliver Davis, of Cardiff University.

"We haven't investigated the wider area in this way before," Dr Davis said.

"It's highly possible that there is important new archaeological evidence - from the community's earliest origins to its latest inhabitants - waiting to be uncovered by local people, and literally on their own doorsteps."

Image copyright Caer Project
Image caption A large community dig was cancelled due to the coronavirus lockdown

The Caerau and Ely Rediscovering (Caer) Heritage Project is collaborative research between community development organisation Action in Caerau and Ely, Cardiff University and local schools and residents.

It is free to take part and people who sign up will receive a pack which includes guidance and basic equipment.

People without gardens can also get involved by searching their homes for objects that might have a story to tell about the past.

Any discoveries will contribute towards a digital exhibition of finds.

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