Residents are digging for clues into what archaeologists believe could be an Iron Age settlement, located underneath their local park.
The Caerau and Ely Rediscovering (CAER) Heritage Project, a partnership between Cardiff University, Action in Caerau and Ely (ACE), local schools, residents and heritage partners, has turned its attention to Trelai Park, half a mile from Caerau Hillfort, a heritage site of national significance where Cardiff University archaeologists and community members have previously discovered Neolithic, Iron Age, Roman and medieval origins.
This dig will be focusing on an area of the park 200m south of Ely Roman Villa, a structure which was excavated 100 years ago by Sir Mortimer Wheeler, the first lecturer in Archaeology at Cardiff University. A villa is a lavish house and the occupant of Ely villa could have been an incoming Roman. Sir Mortimer showed that the villa was built around AD130, approximately 60 years after the Roman conquest and at least 100 years after the hillfort was abandoned.
Geophysical surveys by the CAER Team and Dr Tim Young of GeoArch in April this year revealed the additional enclosed settlement, containing a roundhouse rather than a Roman building. This latest dig is the first time this newly discovered “Trelai Enclosure” has been investigated.
As well as the dig, which goes on until July 15, a community open day with activities for children is taking place on Saturday July 2, between 11am and 3pm.