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| Brecknock Museum |
[455 x 607 jpg]
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|Description ||Illustration of The Llywel Stone in the museum. It is a replica of the original that is housed in The British Museum, London. Dating from the 6th century CE it was found in the Trecastle area. It is carved with symbols and figures and inscriptions in both Ogham and Latin, which is said to be quite unique in respect to the other early Christian memorial stones in Wales.|
| A good description of this stone can be found in " The meeting of the tracks", rock art in ancient Wales, by John Sharkey. ISBN;0-86381-853-6.|
I suspect the carvings shown here are much older than 6th century.
| Yes cerrig you might be right about that as i said, the carvings are unique in Wales, quite different to other early Christian memorial stones. I have not seen this type of carving/symbolism much before. So perhaps they pre-date Christianity. Cheers.|
| There have been attempts to make some sense of these panels in the past, mostly from a christian religious point of view. I don't think that would ever be successful, as this is before the christian era in my opinion. It seems to be a story of some sort , and I think it's possibly a calender of some kind, with lunar and solar symbols. |
The fact that it is squared off top and bottom would also suggest to me a pillar that once stood between the floor and ceiling. It would work as the target for a light beam shining through a portal. If this faced south, and the angles were right, it could signify the changing seasons according to the height of the midday sun. The top panel would be the winter, the mid panel would be the equinoxes, and the lower panel would be the summer.
The faces on the figures, in my opinion, were added much later, probably as a joke. I don't think they are meant to be people at all, but a solar symbol of some kind, maybe a sunrise.
If this is the case, the different panels may indicate the activities that occurred at the different seasons. Winter would be busy , judgeing by the top panel. Probably breeding season.
| This is a rather misleading illustration - not very accurate.|
I think I agree with Cerrig about it being seasonal - I reckon the guy in the top panel is sowing and in the bottom panel he's reaping with scythe.
The one in the British Museum appears to be upside down.
| Yes it is accurate, the black lines might just converge a little, but it is a line drawing from an exact copy. I don't know about the original in the British museum. It's not like them to get something up-side down. They need to be more careful.|
| The one in the British museum is shown the correct way up for the inscriptions which pretty much confirms that this stone was carved earlier and reused as a grave or boundary marker.|
Stylistically the carvings look to belong to a much earlier time.
The replica shown in Brecknock museum appears to have the Ogham inscription differently inscribed to the original. Even allowing for the inversion the angled lines on the edge appear to slope the opposite way to the original.
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