Hoards, Hillforts and Discovery: Revealing the Iron Age and Roman landscapes of Cader Idris and Cardigan Bay

Dr Toby Driver FSA

On the eve of the Roman conquest of Wales, the west coast of Cardigan Bay was settled by vibrant Iron Age communities in touch with the wider world through maritime trading links. Great hillforts with sophisticated monumental defences commanded the hills and valleys of north Ceredigion and south Meirionnydd. Metals had been mined here since the Bronze Age. There are glimpses of the sacred places in this region from spectacular chance finds: a hoard of shields and chariot fittings discovered on the remote mountain slopes of Cader Idris in the 1960s and rare divination spoons unearthed from a coastal hillfort in Ceredigion.

The Romans arrived on the west coast in the mid-70s AD with an invasion force, rapidly constructing a network of forts and roads in their wake. This lecture will look at the extraordinary legacy of the Iron Age communities of Cardigan Bay; how they lived, worked, and died, and how their world changed following the Roman conquest.

Dr Toby Driver is the Senior Investigator for Aerial Survey at the Royal Commission, Wales, and an investigator on the six-year EU-funded Ireland-Wales CHERISH project examining climate change and coastal heritage in Wales and Ireland. Toby has written and lectured widely about Iron Age hillforts and Welsh archaeology and co-directed excavations at the Abermagwr Roman villa. He is a Trustee of the Cambrian Archaeological Association and a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London. His seventh book, ‘The Hillforts of Cardigan Bay’, was published in 2016 and will be reprinted in 2021.

Twitter: @Toby_Driver1


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