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Title: Ysbryd y Mwynwyr - Spirit of the Miners
Ystrad EinionWheelhouse, Bryn yr ArianCwm Ystwyth

Bronze Age Mining Weekend

A reconstruction of Bronze Age mining techniques proved to be of great interest recently. The reconstruction, held over the weekend of the 15th & 16th of July at Dolebolion Farm, Pontrhydfendigaid, as part of the “Ysbryd y Mwynwyr- Spirit of the Miners” initiative attracted around 100 visitors of all ages, over the weekend.

Simon Timberlake during firesetting demonstration

Simon Timberlake and Brenda Craddock, members of the Early Mines Research Group, led the demonstrations and workshops.

Simon Timberlake demonstrating using the hammers

Highlights of the event included workshops on Saturday to make Bronze Age hammers using authentic materials and a demonstration of fire setting, on Sunday there was a demonstration of bellows making and the opportunity to watch a reconstruction of early smelting techniques.

Brenda Craddock making bellows

Simon Timberlake said “The weekend was a great success. It is reassuring to see so many people interested in early mining. Ceredigion is home to one of the earliest Bronze Age mines in Britain, at Copa Hill, Cwmystwyth, which is some 4,000 years old. Many people are unaware of this significant site and its international importance. Some seven sites with evidence of prehistoric metal mining and prospecting have now been identified and dated within the county”

Simon Timberlake during smelting demonstration

Simon Timberlake added ”The smelting demonstration was a particular success with the experiment producing 445 grammes of Copper from a Kilogram of malachite ore. A very acceptable result for early smelting techniques.”

Prof. David Austin giving a guided walk

A guided walk around the nearby Bron y Berllan mine workings was led by David Austin, Head of Archaeology at Lampeter University on Sunday.

The Spirit of the Miners project would like to thank those that attended the event, The Early Mines Research Group and especially Non and Eleri Jones, the owners of Dolebolion Farm for their assistance.

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