Valley Proves to Be Treasure Chest of Ancient Celtic History as Relics of Court Are Found; ARCHAEOLOGY: Experts Uncover Rich Store of Remains Allowing Them to Build Up a Picture of Way Changing Relationships between People and Landscapes Shape the Environment

Article excerpt

Byline: ROY HANCOCK

A VALLEY has assumed huge historical significance after the discovery of artefacts relating to life in the Middle Ages.

An 18-month survey by archaeologists has revealed what has been described as an historical treasure chest.

The Aber Valley, near Llanfairfechan, was one of the strongholds of the princes of Gwynedd in the 13th century - and the relics of Llywelyn's Court are among the most important archaeological artefacts found.

Celtic hut circles and Iron Age hill forts also put the Aber Valley on the historical map.

John Roberts of Gwynedd Archaeological Trust said, "This has traditionally been an area of natural beauty and it is now a National Nature Reserve. One of the things that is so special is the richness of archaeological remains from a wide timespan of human history, from prehistory to the more recent past relating to settlement, agriculture and ritual.

"This allows us to build up a good picture of the way changing relationships between people and landscapes have shaped the environment of the valley through time.

"There is a remarkable preservation of the sort of sites here which allows us to say something about everyday life in the past and not just about the great individuals who dominate historical accounts."

Duncan Brown, the Countryside Council for Wales warden in the Aber Valley said, "These are very exciting results. …