Archaeology in Wales 2018 Conference


CBA Wales’ Conference 2018: a resounding success!

University of Wales Trinity St David Lampeter hosted CBA Wales’ first ever Archaeology in Wales conference on the weekend of 31st August–2nd September, supported by the Campaign for the Protection of Rural Wales and the Welsh Historic Gardens Trust. Friday’s workshops included an exploration of forensic archaeology with Dr Karl Harrison; ‘how to’ sessions on community archaeology (with Dr Ian Brooks, Ken Murphy, Karen Lowry and Jenny Hall) and Heritage Impact Assessment with Dr Cyllene Griffiths; and an introduction to dendrochronology with Dr Rod Bale in the dendro lab – with a chance to have a go at dating part of a medieval shipwreck!


An evening social in the Student Union was accompanied by the Archaeological Pub Quiz of the year, with the winners awarded CBA Wales’ highly-coveted golden trowel award! Saturday saw a series of talks on current projects and fieldwork in Wales, with an opportunity to browse heritage exhibitions and trade stands. In the morning we heard from Will Davies (Cadw) about new research, recording and emergency conservation works at Ruthin Castle. Ashley Batten (Gwynedd Archaeological Trust) outlined the fascinating new discoveries – including one of Wales’ largest medieval cemeteries – uncovered during the ongoing Wylfa Newydd Project. Dr Toby Driver (Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales) summarised the CHERISH Project (Climate, Heritage and Environments of Reefs, Islands and Headlands) – an exciting five-year cross-border project exploring heritage assets in Welsh and Irish coastal waters – and explained how new research, such as the high resolution LiDAR capture of six Welsh islands, has considerably advanced our understanding of these exposed and at-risk archaeological environments.


After lunch we heard from Alice Day (Dyfed Archaeological Trust) about investigations of past designed landscapes at the National Botanic Gardens of Wales, and how the newly-formed Young Archaeologists Club have been able to contribute to the work. Dr James January-McCann (Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales) discussed his work compiling and maintaining the list of Historic Welsh Place Names. The afternoon was rounded off by Rhys Mwyn who talked about bilingualism and community archaeology. Delegates later had a tour of the heritage on the university campus, before the Conference Dinner with key note address by Professor Carenza Lewis.

On Sunday there was a choice of field trips: either Dolaucothi Gold Mines to experience the Victorian and Roman levels and see areas not normally open to the public, or a visit to the Preseli hills and a hike up to Carn Goedog – contested source of the Stonehenge bluestones – with a chance to explore the evidence and hear the latest developments from leading expert, Professor Mike Parker-Pearson.

Carn Goedog

Despite some drizzle, an enjoyable time was had by all, and the sun reappeared for the concluding part of the Preselis trip: a stop-off at the Bluestone Brewery, followed by a visit to the iconic Pentre Ifan burial chamber. Conference feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, and we hope it will become a regular event in Wales’ archaeological calendar!


The CBA Wales / Cymru committee has just returned from its first annual conference: Archaeology in Wales 2018 held at Lampeter, Ceredigion.

Many thanks to all our families, friends, colleagues, volunteers and peers for making a good weekend REALLY GREAT! Especially thanks to our delegates who created a very special atmosphere, to our conf. partners CPRW, to all of our fabulous speakers and leaders of workshops and tours, to Carenza Lewis for coming all that way to be our keynote speaker and last but certainly not least to the students of UWTSD who did a million and one helpful tasks with happy faces and great sense of humour (you know who you are guys!), we really could not have done it without all of you!!! 

  “I liked the souvenir programme very much” (Delegate feedback)                    Download souvenir programme here.


“I was pleasantly surprised to find no boring or poor speakers or dull subjects (usually there is one!?) (Delegate Feedback)

“Wide variety of interesting and well presented talks” (Delegate feedback)

“Insights into conservation etc., interesting and expansive without being dry and boring” (Delegate feedback)

“I wanted to be entertained and stimulated to think, as a strictly amateur – it met my expectations” (Delegate feedback)

“Quiz great fun even for us on the fringes” (Delegate feedback)

Which was your favourite part of the conference? “The field trip, without a doubt!!” (Delegate feedback)

“Food excellent” (Delegate feedback)

“Enjoyable lectures and sessions and interesting people” (Delegate feedback)


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