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Megalithic Monuments

Megalithic Monuments

The Megalithic monuments of Caernarvonshire fall into two main categories:

1. Standing Stones: Many of these are undateable. Elsewhere (notably in Anglesey), some examples have been established as of Neolithic or Early Bronze Age date.

  A pot of indeterminate form - possibly Late Bronze Age - was found at the foot of the Maen L!wyd stone. Other stones, such as the Bwlch y Ddeufaen examples, may be route-markers, while others may be the remains of collapsed chambered tombs

2. Chambered Tombs: Three types of monuments of this type can be distinguished.

(a) Portal Dolmens, with a monumental facade at one end and the entrance blocked by a single large stone

(b) Passage Graves, with an approach pas­sage to a burial chamber.

(c) Undifferentiated types.

The Portal Dolmens have affinities in Ireland and elsewhere in Wales (notably the Ardudwy area of Merioneth) and are commonly regarded as of early Neolithic date (c. 3,000 B.C.). The Passage Grave type is represented by a single example, Coetan Arthur, Llanystumdwy, with parallels in Anglesey and Ireland. It is probably of later date.

None of the Caernarvonshire chambered tombs has been excavated recently. Although they are all presumably funereal monuments, they are held to reflect the pattern of settlement at this time, when the first agricultural communities were penetrating the area. Taken with the evidence of stone axes  they suggest a coastal settlement with penetration into suitable areas, such as the hinter­land of Eifionydd and Llyn and the flanks of the Conwy Valley.

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