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Iron Age  Economy

Sheep runs on the mountains appear to be more widely used than the pastures of the Clwyd Valley, and at Dinorbin sheep appear to be more common than cattle, although unfortunately no % of distribution has been recorded. The mountains are naturally more conducive to sheep than cattle,

The multi enclosure type of forts that are found in the south-west are rare in north Wales although several are known on the Llyn, as sheep do not need the same type of corralling as cattle. Spindle whorls are also more common in the North occupancy sites, indicating a wider activity in wool spinning and weaving.

Grain production as part of the economy is difficult to assess but saddle querns are not uncommon at Dinorbin, Castell Odo and Conwy although apparently absent from at other sites. the ability of the region to produce reasonably high grain yields is evident in the granaries (horea) at Pen Lystyn and Segontiun (Caernaron) and Kanovium probable from arable Farms which continued on established sites such as Greanog. No villa sites have been identified in the area (a good contender is at Llantair Anglesey)

We now nave a paradox as the region was reputedly so decimated of its population by Agricola that it is claimed that the people were near extinction and it took three generations to recover. That being so, just who was producing the Grain for the Roman Granaries. ( it is also claimed that a whole tribe was relocated from the north west of Britain, the Gwynedd dynasty is said to start along these lines although a later date is proposed)

Grain and sheep rearing give similar economies as that found in the South east or Britain and the hill-forts suggest a Parallel in the possible centralisation of complex social organisations and disparate views are held as to whether its imply permanent occupation or transhumanence of summer /winter pasture and their absence of lowland farmsteads is not altogether an indication in itself as much of the evidence is missing due to its inability to survive there has always been a strong tradition in the area for Hafod/Uchaf / summer farms and when moving to higher ground the trend is to disperse rather than to stay in centralised groups. With a lack of published data on flock sizes age and type and precise evidence being difficult to find, making value judgements is very difficult.


Iron Age Economy