Amgueddfa Blog: Amgueddfeydd, Arddangosfeydd a Digwyddiadau

As we are sure you are aware, there's a lot that goes on behind the scenes at the National Museum of Wales, including research, conservation and work experience. This week is Student Volunteering Week and in honor of this, we have taken the time to find out a little bit more about one of our interns, Eirini...


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Name: Eirini Anagnostou

Job title/ Role: Intern

Department: History and Archaeology, National Museum Cardiff


Where you are you from?

Greece

What are you studying?

I am a student of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, studying Archaeology and History of Art

Why did you choose to study Archaeology and History of Art?

I've been interested in Art since high school, particularly Contemporary but also Renaissance and Byzantine art and I am also interested in cultural history and civilisations.

What are you doing here?

Erasmus+ placement programme, working as an intern updating the Portable Antiquities Scheme Cymru database – I’ve worked here for 2 months so far!

What are your main duties?

Using the Photoshop programme and processing images of artefacts found by mainly metal detectorists to go on the PAS database.

Next week I will be doing some photography, and working on developing stories on a collection of Ancient Greek coins. I am also hoping to have input into the development of an exhibition concept.

Why did you come to Cardiff?

I visited Cardiff three years ago and I liked the city. I chose the National Museum because it is one of the biggest museums in the UK. I think it’s a good experience for my personal development and future aspirations.

Are you enjoying your time in Cardiff?

Yes, Cardiff is a lovely city with friendly people. There are many things to do and a beautiful castle!

What have you enjoyed the most about working at NMW?

The working environment here is very friendly and helpful. I’ve learnt a lot and I’ve had the opportunity to see the galleries – I was amazed at the extensive collection of Impressionist paintings!

Have you seen anything that’s not currently on display that particularly interested you?

I’ve never seen so many artefacts before – I’ve never seen bones and prehistoric artefacts like those collected in the museum’s stores, and I enjoyed having the opportunity to see them.

What do you hope to learn from this experience?

I hope to learn how a museum works because I’d like to do a Masters in Museum Studies and possibly become a curator. I am still deciding where to study for my Masters degree. I also am enjoying experiencing living abroad and I hope to continue travelling for a couple more years.

To see more content related to the Portable Antiquites Scheme and the Saving Treasures; Telling Stories Project, a project currently working with PAS and local metal detectorists and communities to record all archaeological findings, click here.

Rydyn ni'n barod ar gyfer tymor wyna arall yn Sain Ffagan ac rydyn ni'n gwybod eich bod chi'n edrych ymlaen at y #sgrinwyna.  Felly, rydyn ni wedi casglu atebion i rai o'r cwestiynau mwyaf cyffredin a gododd dros y tair blynedd diwethaf. Cofiwch y canlynol pan fydd pethau'n poethi yn y sied wyna:

Oes unrhyw un yn gofalu am y defaid?

Mae tîm bychan a diwyd yn gofalu am y sgrinwyna. Pan fydd pethau'n prysuro bydd staff profiadol wrth law ddydd a nos.  

Yw'r defaid mewn poen? 

Ydyn - mae nhw'n rhoi genedigaeth, a gall esgor fod yn broses hir a phoenus! 

Rydw i wedi bod yn gwylio dafad mewn trafferthion - pam nad oes neb yn mynd i'w helpu hi?

Mae defaid yn anifeiliaid nerfus sydd ddim yn ymlacio o gwmpas pobl. Eu greddf yw rhedeg i ffwrdd (fel y gwelwch chi pan fydd aelodau'r tîm yn mynd i mewn). Mae rhedeg o gwmpas y sied yn rhoi straen ar y defaid ac yn arafu'r enedigaeth. Mae'r bugeiliaid yn gwylio'n dawel o bell ac yn ymyrryd cyn lleied â phosibl. Mae sied dawel, ddigynnwrf yn golygu genedigaeth gynt i bawb.

Ond mae hi wedi bod mewn trafferthion ers oes a does neb wedi'i helpu hi!

Yn ogystal â'r sied ar y camera, mae siediau meithrin ar gyfer y defaid a'r wyn. Bydd y tîm yn asesu anghenion y praidd i gyd ac yn blaenoriaethu'r defaid gwannaf. Bydd oen sâl sydd angen cael ei fwydo drwy diwb yn cael blaenoriaeth dros ddafad sy'n esgor. Cofiwch, efallai bod aelod staff yn gwylio gerllaw ond ddim ar y sgrin.

Pam ydych chi'n gadael iddo barhau mor hir?

Rhaid gadael y broses esgor tan bod ceg y groth wedi lledu digon i'r oen gael ei eni. Gall hyn bara 30 munud, neu sawl awr. Yn aml, y rhai sy'n gwneud y mwyaf o ffys yw'r defaid blwydd sy'n rhoi genedigaeth am y tro cyntaf. Y defaid yma sy'n gorfod gweithio galetaf i agor ceg y groth. Genedigaeth caesarian fyddai'r dewis olaf un, ac nid yw'r rhagolygon ar gyfer y ddafad yn dda iawn. Mae esgoriad hir yn ddewis llawer gwell bob tro - sori ferched!

Mae dafad yn y sied yn sgrechian mewn poen...

Mae defaid fel arfer yn hollol dawel wrth roi genedigaeth (yn wahanol i amser bwydo!). Bydd anifeiliaid gwyllt yn rhoi genedigaeth mor dawel â phosib er mwyn osgoi denu sylw ysglyfaethwyr ar foment mor fregus. Pan fydd dafad gyda'i llygaid led y pen, yn taflu ei phen yn ôl ac yn dangos ei gweflau, mae'n arwydd o gryfder y cyfangiadau. Mae hyn yn beth da ac yn golygu ei bod hi yn ymroi ac y bydd hi'n rhoi genedigaeth yn fuan.

Rydw i newydd weld y bugail yn rhoi pigiad i'r ddafad - pigiad o beth?

Gall pigiad calsiwm gyflymu'r broses os yw dafad wedi bod yn esgor am amser hir ond nad yw ceg y groth yn agor yn rhwydd.

Pam fyddan nhw weithiau'n siglo'r oen gerfydd ei draed?

Mae'n hanfodol bod yr oen yn dechrau anadlu ar ei ben ei hun yn syth wedi cael ei eni. Weithiau mae'r gwddf a'r trwyn yn llawn hylif. Weithiau bydd y bugail yn gwthio gwelltyn i drwyn yr oen i'w helpu i beswch neu disian. Os na fydd hyn yn gweithio byddan nhw weithiau'n siglo'r oen gerfydd ei goesau ôl. Mae'n olygfa ddramatig, ond dyma'r dull gorau o glirio'r hylif. Mae grym allgyrchol yn helpu'r oen i beswch yr hylif allan.

Beth mae nhw'n ei wneud wrth roi eu dwylo y tu fewn i'r ddafad?

Darllenwch y blog yma o 2016 am esboniad llawn o beth sy'n digwydd.

Swansea has a whole host of treasures just lying within its midst, from the Red Lady of Paviland to the 4200 year old flint dagger that formed the basis for Saving Treasures; Telling Stories first Community Archaeology project, ‘The Lost Treasures of Swansea Bay’. With the rip roaring tides, miles of beaches and hidden caves waiting to be discovered, you’d expect the sea (for which the city is named) to occasionally stir up something significant; but what about an unassuming Welsh livestock farm? Doesn’t sound like the setting for a major archaeological discovery, does it? Suprisingly, that’s exactly where local man, Geoff Archer, picked up one half of a Middle Bronze Age copper-alloy palstave axe mould dating somewhere between 1400-1200 BC.

It was over two decades ago when Geoff first picked up a metal detector, having first taken it up as a hobby after he got married. But it wasn’t until he retired last year that he was able to really get out into the field, and armed with a pair of wellies and a brand spanking new detector, he decided to venture to one of his old jaunts – a farm not far from his home.

“Over the last few nights I’d been thinking about going to the farm and something was telling me to go to the right hand side of it, just to walk the fields,” he explains, “so that’s what I did.” After traipsing around in the mud for a few hours, Geoff stumbled upon a patch of uneven terrace he couldn’t help but investigate.

Unearthing History

“I got to the lumpy, bumpy parts, had a couple of signals – nothing much.” But then Geoff had another signal, “a cracking signal” and realised it was time to dig around in the dirt to find out what it was. Figuring it would just be another case of random odds and sods, or a coke bottle lid (they find an abundance of litter!) he was surprised to hear a clunk.

“I hit this bloomin’ great big stone, so I dug around it, lifted up a clod of earth” and underneath yet another stone he noticed something interesting inside the muddy cave, something not made of rock. “What the heck’s that?” he thought, picking up the oddity with care. 

“I pulled it out and on the back end of the mould there’s, like, ribs.” This prompted Geoff to recall a discovery he made about 15 years ago, when he wasn’t so rehearsed in Bronze Age metalwork.

“Going back, must be about 15 years ago, I found an item - I didn’t know what it was. I wasn’t experienced enough then. So this item, I took it home and I put it in the garage, as most detectorists do!” He had a feeling it was important but wasn’t sure why.

After a few years of picking the item up off his work bench and trying to decipher its meaning, Geoff decided to take it up to the kitchen and do some research. “So I started buying books to research Roman, believe it or not, alright? So, I bought this book and I was looking through it. I got to the part for the Stone Age, read that. Then I got to the Bronze Age, and I turned a couple of pages and there was the item I’d found! Bronze Age Axe Head. My jaw just dropped, right? And the Bronze Age Axe Head had ribs on the outside.”

Devastatingly, Geoff has misplaced the axe head, which he is now, more than ever, desperate to locate – and even more upsetting still, it’s the same type of axe as the mould he discovered 15 years later would have been built to make. “It’s what they call a loop, I think it’s got two loops on this one, each side, where they used to put, if you can imagine, the Bronze Age axe head. It’s flat, but this part at the back, its round and they put it over the wood and then they loop it, they tie it onto the wood to secure it.”

Monumental findings

When Geoff uncovered the mould, he immediately realised its importance thanks to his previous finding – but he still wasn’t entirely certain of what it was he’d discovered. “On the inside of the mould, there’s like a round piece, like in the middle part. I honestly thought at that time that it was a bit off a tractor, because it was so… the engineering of it, the precision engineering of it! But in the back of my mind I was thinking it can’t be off a tractor because it’s got these ribs at the back from this Bronze Age axe that I found.”

After digging out some modelling clay and experimenting, he came to the realisation that what he’d found was an axe head mould. Geoff phoned up one of his buddies at Swansea Metal Detectorist Club for a second opinion and after a positive diagnosis by them both, he took it along to a club meeting.

“As it so happened, it was our ‘Find of the Month’ meeting!” Geoff explains. “So I won find of the month for the artefact and Steve, our Finds Liaison Officer, said ‘you’d better show this to someone in Cardiff because they are going to be interested.’ So, photographs were sent to Cardiff [National Museum of Wales] and they wanted to see it. I went with Steve to Cardiff and the mould’s been there ever since!”

Mark Lodwick, the Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS) Cymru Co-Ordinator at The National Museum of Wales in Cardiff confirmed Geoff’s identification and has recorded the item so it can be used in further research and study.

Under the Treasure Act, the mould isn’t classed as ‘treasure’, so why is it so special? “It’s the only one that’s been found in South West Wales,” Geoff enthuses, “and it’s the second one that’s been found in Wales. The other one was found in a hoard of axes in Bangor in the 1950’s, so this is the first one that’s been found since then!”

Preserving the past

Geoff is in utter disbelief that he was the one to stumble across the important artefact, which has been conserved at the National Museum of Wales, Cardiff, but, eventually he’d like it to end up back home at Swansea Museum.

Having reported the axe mould to the museum, Geoff sees this as an important part of his role as a treasure hunter. Letting other people view the item, he says, “gives other people a chance to understand about their locality, of what’s been going on.”

“I think it opens up a new chapter in [Swansea’s history]. There’s a bit of history regarding the Bronze Age but to find something like an axe making product in Swansea, which has never been found before - it opens up a new chapter of where these people were living and how far were they living on the fields of that farm,” explains Geoff. “That’s my quest now I suppose, is to try and find out – keep walking the fields and I might find the other half, I don’t know.”

With hopes of the axe mould ending up in Swansea Museum, Geoff is keen that people will be interested in viewing his remarkable find. “The more publicity it gets the better!” he says. “The more people who know about this the better as far as I am concerned, because it’s the first one to be found in South West Wales and the second one to ever be found in Wales – so don’t tell me that’s not important.”

To discover more about Swansea’s Bronze Age history and see some fascinating Neolithic archaeological artefacts visit Swansea Museum, entry is free!

Words: Alice Pattillo

Dangosodd ddarganfyddiad y deinosor Cymreig, Dracoraptor, bod deinosoriaid yn byw yn ne Cymru 200 miliwn o flynyddoedd yn ôl. Petaech chi'n teithio 'nôl i'r cyfnod hwnnw, fe fyddech chi hefyd wedi gweld ambell i famal bychan, tebyg i lygoden goch, yn cuddio yn y tyfiant. Rhain yw rhai o'r mamaliaid cynharaf yn y byd.

 

Gellir darganfod esgyrn a dannedd y creaduriaid bach blewog yma mewn ogofau a mewn craciau mewn cerrig - efallai am fod rhain yn cynnig lloches, neu le i aeafgysgu. Darganfyddwyd y ffosilau cyntaf ohonynt mewn chwarel yn ne Cymru rhyw saith deg mlynedd yn ôl. Mae Palaeontologwyr wedi bod yn dadansoddi'r ffosilau, er mwyn creu darlun fwy cyflawn o sut greaduriaid oedden nhw. Enw un o'r mamaliaid cynnar yma yw 'Morganucodon', sy'n golygu 'Dant Morgannwg'.

 

Mewn prosiect ymchwil newydd wedi'i gefnogi gan Y Cyngor Ymchwil Amgylcheddol, defnyddiodd wyddonwyr o Brifysgol Bryste belydr-X pwerus i sganio'r esgyrn bychain, i greu darlun digidol o'r creaduriaid. Cymharwyd y darluniau digidol yma gyda mamaliaid modern, er mwyn ail-greu strwythr cyhyrau'r anifail. Ychwanegwyd rheiny i'r darlun digidol. Wedi hynny, defnyddiwyd rhaglen arbennig i asesu sut y byddai'r esgyrn a'r cyhyrau'n symud. Astudiwyd dannedd y creaduriaid mewn manylder - roedd rhai mamamliaid cynnar yn meddu ar ddannedd ddigon cryf i grensio pryfaid gyda casys adennydd, ac eraill ond yn medru bwyta pryfaid meddal.

 

Mae model hyfryd o Morganucodon, wedi'i greu can Bob Nicholls, y palaeoartist, i'w ganfod yn ein orielau hanes natur yn Amgueddfa Genedlaethol Caerdydd. Mae'n edrych fel creadur bywiog iawn a'i enw yw Morgie!

Mae’n bleser cyhoeddi lansiad ein rhithdaith gyntaf. Dyma ni’n cydweithio gydag adran Celfyddydau a Diwylliant Google i greu taith rithwir danddaearol yn Big Pit. Mae’r daith bellach yn un o atyniadau byd cyffrous Google Expeditions.

Beth yw Google Expeditions?

I ddilyn y rhithdaith, gallwch chi lawrlwytho app Google Expeditions ar gyfer llechen neu ffôn am ddim  o Google Play neu’r App Store. Gall athrawon arwain taith o’r llechen tra bod y disgyblion yn anturio ar eu ffonau.  Drwy osod y ffôn mewn syllwr gall yr anturwyr weld golygfeydd 360° a delweddau 3D. Bydd y tywysydd yn gweld golygfeydd 360° gyda nodiadau, lleoliadau diddorol, a chwestiynau sy’n hwyluso’r gwaith o ymgorffori’r daith i’r cwricwlwm. I sicrhau eich bod yn mwynhau profiad cyflawn, gwiriwch bod gofynion eich offer yn gymwys.

Beth sydd i’w weld ar rithdaith Big Pit?

Bydd lawrlwytho’r daith rad ac am ddim yn rhoi cyfle i chi fynd ar antur drwy bwll glo Cymreig. Bydd y rhithdaith yn rhoi blas o grwydro danddaear yn Big Pit ac yn agor y drysau i bobl na allai gael mynediad fel arall. Gall dim guro’r profiad go iawn wrth gwrs, a’r ffordd orau i gael blas o’r lofa yw i ymweld â Big Pit.

Canfod y rhithdaith

I ganfod rhithdaith Big Pit chwiliwch am Big Pit ar app Google Expeditions, a lawrlwytho’r daith. Mae’r rhithdaith hefyd ar gael yn Gymraeg, a dyma rithdaith Gymraeg gyntaf Google Expeditions.

Mwynhewch y daith a lleisiwch eich barn ar Twitter @BigPitMuseum.