Almost every time I take students to Castell Dinas Brân, the ruins of a late 13th-century castle on a dramatic hilltop overlooking Llangollen, Denbigshire, I find traces of ash-scattering, as discussed here. 

However, visiting recently with students studying on the MA Archaeology of Death and Memory, we not only got to enjoy the superb ruins and views over the Vale of Llangollen and discuss the long-term history of the site: Iron Age hillfort, medieval castle, its folklore and role as a romantic ruin, and whether there might be other, as yet undiscovered, phases in the life-history of the site. In addition, we encountered two very different deposits.

First, perched on the ruins, was a fork. Could it be simply a lost picnic item, or some kind of weird votive deposit to placate the god of forks?IMG_9646

Second, someone had strewn daffs in a clear pattern on the west-facing side of one of the ruined walls, creating a kind of shrine out of the space. Is this a memorial deposit to commemorate a dead loved-one? Or it is for some other purpose?

 

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