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Pantgwy,” not far from Newcastle Emlyn, and close to Henfeddau, where a number of bronze implements were found in 1859; see Arch. Camb., 1864, p. 221, 1907, p. 384.
Charcoal.--Only small fragments of charcoal have been seen, the largest barely measuring one square inch, showing how careful was the burning; whereas at Kilburn, Yorkshire, and at Swansea, urns have been found packed round with large lumps of charred wood; while elsewhere partially-burnt logs have been unearthed ; see Greenwell, British Barrows, p. 339.
Apparently the Gors Goch folk did not waste their fuel, or else were short of it, as in one case they left unconsumed fragments of bone 3 in. and 4 in. long.
Flints:—Three flints have been discovered at Gors Goch underground, one with a plain edge, close by the small vessel, the other two, both serrated, were embedded in the greasy mould of two excavated holes ; see Arch. Camb., 1910, p. 376. Sir Edward Anwyl remarks that there are " but the scantiest of records of Hint implements in Cardiganshire”; see Arch. Camb., 1906, p. 103.
. It is true that there are no natural flints in the county, but they can be obtained along the coast, washed up from glacial deposits in Cardigan Bay. An ancient flint factory has recently been discovered near Aberystwyth ; see Arch. Camb., 1912, p. 211. The only other known Cardiganshire flint implement is a scraper, found by a child at Gogerddan in a brook. There is an interesting reference (in a note, p. 24, Hanes Plwyfi Llangeler a Phenboyr, by Mr. D. E. Jones) to a collection of flints, taken from ancient burial-places near Eglwys y Cymun, in Carmarthenshire, once in the possession of the rector, the Rev. J. Lloyd Jones. No flint chippings or flakes, burnt or otherwise, no cupmarked stones (except in one doubtful case on the under side of a capstone), and only two small fragments of a potsherd have been discovered at Gors Goch.
Calcined Bones.-A very large quantity has been obtained here and examined by three medical men,
who pronounce all to be human bones. No animal bones, so often met with elsewhere, have been picked up. It would appear that the melancholy of a prehistoric funeral at Gors Goch was not mitigated, as in other places, by a substantial meal.
White Stones. - An abundance of small white quartz stones mark out the burial-places round the vanished lake. These are apparently absent in Yorkshire and, if present at all at Craig Du, they are not mentioned by the Rev. John Davies ; see Arch. Camb., 1905. They reappear in connection with burials in Scotland, where they seem to have been arranged in rows and in definite numbers (Rhys, Celtic Folk-Lore, i, 344). Their presence in such profusion over the area of interments at Gors Goch is suggestive of ceremonial or superstitious use : this becomes almost certain when regarded in connection with their appearance in Scotch cairns. Professor Boyd Dawkins, in a letter to the Silurian Society of Lampeter, points out that fishermen of the Isle of Man will on no account allow white stones as ballast for their boats. White stones are still collected to ornament the fronts of houses, both in North and South Wales. That white quartz was a prominent feature of prehistoric interments is shown in the many place-names compounded with [g]wen, “ White," in Cardiganshire, Carmarthenshire, and elsewhere. An urn was found at Carnwen, in the parish of Llandyssul (W. J. Davies, Hanes Plwyf Llandyssul, p. 13). There is a Gaerwen in Penboyr parish, and a Garnwen in Llangeler, consisting of a circle, 32 ft. in diameter, of huge white stones, each weighing a ton or more (Hanes
( Plwyfi Llangeler a Phenboyr, pp. 25, 26). There is a Waun Wen near Cellan, a Garnwen at Llansadwrn near Llanwrda, another on Craig Twrch, another near Capel Cynon, besides other “White Cairns" in these two counties. It is a curious fact that within a mile of Gors Goch stand the Meini Gwynion, two huge white quartz boulders, marking the boundary of three parishes, Llanwenog, Llandyssul and Llanarth. The
third boulder was blasted by a farmer about forty years ago.
The white stones at Gors Goch range in size from that of a tennis ball to a pin's head, the prevailing size being that of a small nut. An occasional white stone may be seen anywhere in the fields, but a quantity together, with charcoal, has hitherto been a sure sign that an interment lies beneath. Their exact location with reference to any burial is hopelessly lost, as all the spots, where urns or deposits have been found, are in fields which have been ploughed. As a general rule, the deeper the digging, the fewer the white stones. This would seem to show that they decorated the top rather than any other part of an interment. They have never been found underneath an urn or deposit of burnt débris or under a pile of these deposits, but every urn and interment has contained white stones, some fire-marked and some not. They are never quite as numerous as the small water-worn or fire-cracked grit-stones found mingled with them, and are sometimes much rarer. In half-a-barrowful of cremation débris, taken from three separate cavities for examination, only sixteen white stones were seen, the largest the size of a walnut, while the other stones numbered nearly 240. In another hole only a single white stone was picked out.
In the small vessel described in Arch. Camb., 1910, p. 377, there were four white stones, one a quartz crystal with a sharp point, and one grit-stone. An X-ray photograph of this urn, while intact, showed these five stones grouped about its centre, but nothing else of high specific gravity. As the vessel was only the size of a man's fist, they would seem to have been inserted intentionally. Possibly arrows and other weapons of a warrior were occasionally burnt apart from his body and their ashes enclosed in a small urn or excavated hole.
F. Circular Cavities. - In the patch of ground described in Arch. Camb., 1910, p. 374, no less than twelve
separate burials and one urn have been discovered either on or in the original surface. These have all been found in the upper half of the patch. In the lower half—the north end-nothing has come to light beyond slight fire-stains in the ochreous loam of the subsoil. In addition to these twelve interments, all of which contained calcined bones, five circular cavities have been opened, of which two contained dark earth with white and other stones; two others contained the serrated flints, and in the fifth, at its sides, were found two sherds, thickly mixed in the baking with minute quartz fragments, and so differing from the cinerary urns, which are of unalloyed clay. As none of these five hollows contained a vestige of bone fragments, so conspicuous in all the other deposits, and as cremated bones, according to Canon Greenwell, are practically indestructible by the ordinary agents at work in the soil, it seems likely that these hollows were food-receptacles, the food having been burnt as in the case of the human remains, for charcoal was evident in four of the five hollows.
Similar holes have been met with in Yorkshire, containing nothing but earth and chalk and occasionally some burnt matter, but they are confessedly a mystery at present. A chemical analysis of greasy earth from one of these hollows showed
Moisture. . 36.50
CA, (PO.), 5.97
Iron oxide Alu100.00
mina, etc. 9.37
56.44 The sample contained only 0.004 per cent. of oil, too small an amount to recognise its source.
Grit-stones.--A remarkable number of grit-stones of peculiar shape have appeared in the Gors Goch crematorium-sharp-edged, pointed, angular, circular,
1 By Mr. John Evans, Public Analyst for Hull, etc.
or flaked. These were found embedded in the dark earth and bone-débris of the cremations. Some are thoroughly baked, and consequently friable and discoloured brick-red; others are merely stained through long contact with damp charcoal grains. The largest found was a thin flake, 7 in. in circumference, the edge of which was as sharp as an ordinary stone can become. Although it is quite possible that the shape of these stones is merely the result of splitting and splintering under the action of fire, yet it is curious that so many should appear in the actual remains of a cremation ; and we are almost warranted by their number and location to suppose that they were intended for the use of departed friends, and that, where flints were so scarce, these were the substitutes. In the half-barrowful of earth, mentioned above, these peculiar stones actually outnumbered all the other stones put together.
The urn found in 1911 contained five of these sharpedged stones, two small white stones, ten bone splinters, all over 2 in. long, besides innumerable smaller bone fragments, and about forty small stones mixed with small pieces of charcoal.