Introducing Brymbo Man
In August 1958 local workmen including Ron Pritchard were digging a pipe trench near No.79 Cheshire View, Brymbo, near Wrexham, when they found more than they expected: a large capstone about 1ft/30cm below the surface. They had found Brymbo Man.
When archaeologists from the National Museum of Wales arrived to investigate, they excavated a stone lined box or cist beneath the capstone. Inside the cist were the incomplete remains of a skeleton, a small earthenware pot and a flint knife.
His grave and the pot, known to archaeologists as a Beaker, date
Brymbo Man to the early Bronze Age, probably about 1600BC.
Cist is pronounced the same as 'kissed'.
Until recently we knew little about Brymbo Man. Modern scientific techniques and greater knowledge of the distant past mean this is no longer the case. Read on to find out more about Brymbo's oldest known resident.
It comes between the Stone Age and the Iron Age.
It is the first time people use metals for tools and weapons.
It lasts from roughly 2300 to 600BC. This is about the same span of time as from the end of the Roman Empire to today.
It is a time of change with the appearance of new beliefs and customs.
It is the first time personal belongings are buried with the dead; perhaps for use in the afterlife.
But what was life like during Brymbo Man's time...?
He had his home in a farming community and lived off the land.
His community was in contact with the outside world: Bronze Age boats have been discovered in the Humber estuary, grave goods include products not available locally such as amber from Scandinavia and faience from Egypt. Trade also brought new ideas such as metal working.
Perhaps he was keener on new ideas than people further west. In Gwynedd the tradition of communal burials continued into the Bronze Age. In North-East Wales different burial practises existed alongside each other. The new ideas included burying people on their own under stone and earthen mounds, known as barrows.
It is hard to say how many people lived in Early Bronze Age Wales. The estimates range between 10-20,000.
The weather was warm and dry enough for farmers to use the uplands for pasture and growing crops.
Lowland areas were thickly wooded, upland areas were not.
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