Amgueddfa Blog: Amgueddfeydd, Arddangosfeydd a Digwyddiadau

Hi, Eirini here – I am a student intern in the Archaeology and Numismatics department at NMW, Cardiff. I’ve been taking a look at the museum’s extensive coin collection and will be creating a series of blogs on each of them.

Today I am looking at ancient coins from my home country of Greece. The collection of Greek coinage dates back to over 2000 years ago, but the designs are in great condition. They are all made of silver or gold and we can see the development of currency through them – beginning with rough coins that look like ingots to detailed chunky coins featuring Emperors faces, some from Macedonia and Byzantium as well as famous leaders like Alexander the Great.

I’ve picked my two favourite coins from the collection:

Alexander the Great, Macedonian Drachma

4 Drachum from Pella, Macedonia (dating to 315BC) features Alexander wearing a lion skin, the symbol of Greek hero Hercules, on the front with Alexander’s name inscribed on the back next to an image of Zeus. This design was mimicked by Emperors following Alexander’s death.

I like that this coin is in such good condition. We can see the details of Alexander’s face – it’s impressive considering the tools they had! You can read the inscription clearly despite how old it is.

Byzantine Empress Theodora, Constantinople Nomisma

 A gold tetarteron dating from the reign of Theodora (AD 1055-1056) featuring a portrait of Theodora holding a sceptre and orb, on the other side is a depiction of Jesus Christ. The same iconography of Jesus was used on other Byzantine emperors’ coins, but with their own portraits in place of Theodora’s.

I like how this coin is also in great condition, however, the artwork is much simpler on Byzantine coins with less intricate detailing.

Next week, I will be looking at some Roman coins - a common metal detectorist find in Wales. Greek coins, unfortunately, aren't found in Wales as Greece never invaded the British Isles! Remember to always report any findings to the Portable Antiquities Scheme to allow us to keep learning from the past.

Cwestiwn sy’n cael ei gofyn yn aml i’r tîm ŵyna yw beth sydd yn digwydd i’r ŵyn ar fferm Llwyn-Yr-Eos unwaith mae’r tymor wyna ar ben?

Mae’r ŵyn ar y fferm yn mynd allan i bori ar y gwair ac yn cael eu symud yn aml o amgylch caeau’r amgueddfa.

Byddwn yn dewis yr ŵyn gorau ac yn eu cadw ar gyfer bridio yma ar y fferm. Yr ydym yn gobeithio cadw tua 50 o’r ŵyn eleni.

Bydd y rhan fwyaf o’r ŵyn benywaidd yn aros gyda ni neu’n cael eu gwerthu fel defaid pedigri.

Bydd yr ŵyn gwrywaidd yn mynd i’r lladd-dy am eu cig, gyda chwpl o’r goreuon yn cael eu gwerthu fel hyrddod.

Mae’r ŵyn arall yn cael eu gwerthu ar gyfer cig oen.

Ble mae’r ŵyn yn cael eu gwerthu?

Mae’r ŵyn yn cael ei gwerthu yn farchnadoedd  Rhaglan, Llanybydder a Tal-y-bont ar Wysg.

Mae ‘na werthiant bridiau prin ar gyfer defaid Llanwenog, defaid Mynydd Maesyfed a defaid Mynydd Duon Cymreig ym marchnad Raglan.

Yr ydym yn gwerthu rhai ŵyn i gigyddion lleol ac yn gobeithio creu perthynas gyda bwyty amgueddfa Sain Ffagan yn y dyfodol fel bod y cig oen sydd ar werth yno yn tarddio o fferm Llwyn-Yr-Eos.

Mae’r cig oen ar eich plât yn 4-12 mis oed.

Wrexham Museum is currently hosting their Buried in the Borderlands community archaeology project, a project based around a hoard of Medieval silver and gold coins and a stunning sapphire and gold ring discovered by metal detectorists in Bronington.

Thomas and Leon are students working hard on the Bronington Hoard project at Wrexham Museum, learning about the value of the coins and archaeology. Read more about them here.

The duo have been keeping us updated of their work experience progress. Leon has been working on an information booklet about the hoard while Tom has been focused on making a craft session for the children who come to the museum.

“I’ve been looking into some ways to make coins out of clay or foam board and some paint. I’ve also been looking at ways to be able to print the patterns on the coins onto the craft coins,” explains Tom. All their effort has been paying off, as the boys are getting involved with events this Easter holiday time.

“We’ve recently decided what we’ll be doing in our craft session during the Easter holidays. We’ll be making coins! We’ll be introducing families to the hoard and get them to make their favourite coin out of clay. The clay and metallic paint we’ve ordered arrived this week! We look forward to seeing some of you at our ‘Make & Take’ craft session at the museum on Tuesday, April 3rd, 10.30am – 12.30pm.”

Leon explains that they are also excited to hosting a visit from History Matters, a 15th century re-enactment group who are visiting Wrexham Musuem on May 30th. “They’ll be showing us and our visitors all about everyday life when the hoard was buried,” explains Leon. “We’re looking forward to learning about what people and ate. It’d be great to see you there! You might even spot us in period dress.”

Meanwhile, Leon has been working on an information booklet for visitors for when the hoard actually goes on display at the museum in March. “It’s more difficult than I first thought!” he admits, “trying to write enough information and make it interesting without being too dull or boring. I’m getting great help from the museum staff though. My booklet will be translated, designed and printed so I’m looking forward to getting all the information written to share with you.”

Click here for a full list of events being held at Wrexham Museum

The Buried in the Borderlands Project is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund via the Saving Treasures; Telling Stories Project.

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...


Name: Eirini Anagnostou

Job title/ Role: Intern

Department: History and Archaeology, National Museum Cardiff

Where you are you from?


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.