Montgomeryshire has a fascinating history and unique prehistoric landscape with thousands of recorded monuments including ritual complexes, stone rows, cairns and standing stones.
During this 30 minute lecture we will explore:
These topics will always be placed in context of the magnificent landscape of Montgomeryshire, as it greatly influenced the movements and culture of ancient inhabitants. Overhead pictures will be presented. A discussion with questions will follow, and my book will be available for sale at the conclusion of the evening.
By 7,000 years ago, people were flourishing in the mountains and valleys of Montgomeryshire. They were excellent providers and craftspeople, always at the forefront of Welsh culture. Their innovative and elegant metalwork was prized throughout Europe. They led Wales in hillfort construction and long distance trade, always with a rich spiritual life. From 4,000 BC, enormous ritual complexes, the first of their kind in Wales, were constructed of timber posts. Within their circular confines, mysterious ceremonies took place involving labyrinthine pathways, celestial alignments and even a human sacrifice. This began a long tradition of ceremonial architecture. They left thousands of stone circles, rows, henges, cairns and standing stones, most on ridges and hilltops commanding spectacular views of the surrounding countryside. These ritual landscapes hold important clues to the beliefs and culture of the prehistoric inhabitants of Montgomeryshire.
Broader Welsh, British and global prehistory are provided as a setting from which to gain perspective into the changes taking place in Montgomeryshire throughout the ages.
Detailed directions to important sites enable the reader to experience firsthand the ritual landscape of Montgomeryshire's splendid past.
Beth McCormack is from the beautiful city of New Orleans. For several years she has conducted independent research on the prehistory of symbolic thought and Neolithic/Bronze Age ceremonial monuments in Britain. Beth's interest in Welsh monuments was piqued during a trip to a writer's colony in Criccieth. Since then, in the interest of scientific research, she has become intimately acquainted with the bogs and sheepfields of Montgomeryshire, as well as several pubs in the region. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing, and has published extensively on her travels to prehistoric sites in Scotland and Wales. She is currently pursuing a PhD in Archaeology at the University of New Mexico.