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by Sandy Gerrard

Regular readers of the unfolding drama on Mynydd y Betws will not be surprised to learn that the Dyfed Archaeological Trust response to the Cotswold Archaeology Report on the stone alignment is that they “are content with its contents and the interpretation, which better suits the archaeological information.”

The report that “better suits the archaeological information” states that the row was “probably a waymarker between Bryn Mawr and the twentieth-century adit workings.” These workings are described by the Royal Commission as bell pits in a report published in 1917 which states they are likely to be late 18th or early 19th century in date. Cotswold Archaeology and Dyfed Archaeological Trust appear to have ignored this crucial archaeological evidence and I would suggest that this might make their conclusions somewhat unreliable.

After “detailed archaeological investigations” Cotswold Archaeology has concluded that the coal mining pits were dug in 1926  i.e. some nine years after they were first described by the Royal Commission! Cotwold Archaeology also described them inaccurately as adit workings yet Dyfed Archaeological Trust are “content” with this explanation.Why when the quickest of glances at their own records would have indicated that the information used to justify the report’s conclusion is wholly inaccurate?

Furthermore why is the Dyfed Archaeological Trust so eager to accept an interpretation that is completely contradicted by its own records? They claim the conclusion “suits the archaeological information”. It does not. It only suits the subjective view they have selected and is convincingly disproved by the information they have chosen to omit. We are being asked to believe that the Royal Commission recorded the coal workings some nine years before they were created. It would be helpful if someone from the Dyfed Archaeological Trust could explain how this is possible. The only suggestion that I can think of is that the Royal Commission in the early 20th century had access to a time machine.

Can anyone think of a reason why Dyfed Archaeological Trust believe that it is possible to describe and record archaeological remains years before they have been created?

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