Origins and Prehistory of Wales

Bryn Celli Ddu Burial Chamber

Bryn Celli Ddu Burial Chamber

Title: An Interpretation Framework for the Origins and Prehistory of Wales 250,000 BC to AD 47/78
Date: May 2011
Creator: C Lloyd Brown and D Patrick

The plan provides a framework for delivering “a more cohesive and compelling” approach for interpreting Wales’ prehistory to visitors and adopts the time frame from the first Neanderthal settlers to the eventual Roman occupation. Amongst the sites associated with this period are Castell Henllys (Iron Age hillfort and reconstructed village), Din Lligwy (Romano-British settlement), Paviland Cave (oldest human burial), Pentre Ifan (chambered tomb), and the Origins Gallery at the National Museum Wales. This plan fits into the broader story strand of the ‘Origins, prehistory and Roman invasion and settlement’. In particular it has close links to the ‘Roman Conquest, Occupation and Settlement of Wales AD 47 – 410’ interpretation plan.

The approach
The plan seeks to create a ‘sense of wonder’ at prehistoric sites which will also engender a sense of ‘respect for the ancient past’.  It suggests that activity should be organised around geographic and thematic clusters of sites, and that each cluster would have a ‘gateway’ (e.g. in Pembrokeshire it could be Castell Henllys). It also identifies the role of the Origins Gallery at National Museum Wales as a national gateway for contextualising this story.

It uses the concept of ancestors and their roles (e.g. hunters, toolmakers, artists, spirit seekers etc.) and aims to use these: “…to create a picture of individuals little different in their physical and social needs perhaps to visitors of the 21st century”.