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Friday, 18 December 2015

Rhosyfelin and Pengegin



Strange how things come together........  I was clearing out my study today, in preparation for the painter to move in after Christmas, when I happened upon this old OS 6" map which shows part of the Gwaun Valley (around Pontfaen) in great detail. It shows the Pengegin area, close to the small primary school that keeps open against all the odds.  A bit further to the west is Jabes Chapel and Bessie's famous pub, where MPP and all the archaeologists do their drinking when a big dig is going on..........   Maybe next time they are down here they can amble over with their shovels and do a little dig.



What we have at Pengegin is a very complex set of channels cut by glacial meltwater (probably during several phases) and now being modified further by river and slope processes.   The big valley is the Cwm Gwaun subglacial meltwater channel.  Here some of the meltwater has split from the main channel and has flowed through a subsidiary channel on the north side of the Pengegin rocky ridge.  This small channel is now followed by the road, and exits near the school.  Other chutes and channels have carried water in from the north.  I imagine that there must have been many rocky ridges like this within the main Gwaun Channel -- but most of them have been eaten away by the force of meltwater erosion -- attacked from both sides, as it were.

The Pengegin rock ridge is quite spectacular, and is about 10m high and 220m long.  It is tree covered today, as are the slopes of the channels to the north.

The rocky ridge is remarkably similar to that of Craig Rhosyfelin, and I would happily put a little bet down that if a dig was to take place on the northern flank of the ridge we would find not only a set of rockfall and other deposits very similar to those at Rhosyfelin, but also abundant traces of intermittent occupation by Mesolithic, Neolithic and later groups who were hunting and gathering in this rather beautiful valley.  The obvious place for their camp site would be on the northern flank of the ridge, where they would be well protected from the vagaries of the weather, summer or winter.  Note the earthwork and the homestead marked on the map, on the slope above the cottages.  They are lost in the woods, and I don't know anything about them.


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