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Llygadwy

Site of a hoard of treasure with mysterious circumstances


Llygadwy is a place in Cymru (Wales) where a great many intriguing old artifacts have been found. The hoard of antiquities dug up at Llygadwy range from Neolithic to Georgian, and yet are mysteriously grouped in one site.

In 2001, Time Team had an archaeological dig there. They were initially quite pleased, discovering amazing things, but then it was commented "It's too good to be true!". Glee turned to dismay and then scorn. In the end the whole place was denounced as "a fraud" and various fanciful notions were formulated to support an extraordinary theory that someone had, for reasons unknown, fraudulently buried a great many very valuable items in the hopes of fooling archaeologists.

I wonder how much expense the hoaxers are supposed to have lavished on the site, and what they could possibly have hoped to achieve by doing so. If, as was stated on the documentary, the artifacts were buried as late as 1985, then with a bit of detective work of the type at which archaeologists excel, some living folk could be mustered who would tell the story of what someone did and why and how.

As far as I know, no such investigation was conducted for at least a decade, and write-ups of the location tend to take a scornful sceptical tone which is dismissive and accusative. Besides being unfair, it's also presented as a "scientific" judgement, despite it being unscientific.

Why would someone bury an Iron Age sword near the surface, with 20th Century barbed wire underneath? Why why would a collection of a great many antique buckles be hidden at Llygadwy? And, whoever is supposed to have scattered hundreds of Roman coins on the ground, maybe their motives could be questionable, but if they were doing this for gain it might have made more sense if they'd sold the coins and collected the loot.

There is also an extraordinary implicit accusation that the artifacts were somehow "stolen" from other sites and then fraudulently placed at Llygadwy. There is no evidence for this. Ancient artefacts are sometimes dug up and displaced. There are legitimate reasons for doing this, for example to set up a museum. Admittedly sometimes the artifacts are uprooted spoiling the context, and that can be sad, but sometimes this saves items which would otherwise be lost.

If someone has a collection of items, and it looks like they are going to lose the lot, they might bury the stuff rather than have it hauled away by the house-clearance folk. It would not surprise me to hear that there was once an old museum somewhere near Llygadwy and it was busted and the gold taken away to be melted down by the creditors, but the interesting items were buried by the curators rather than see the whole collection go for scrap.

It could be that folk beliefs have for centuries included the idea of leaving items at an old Holy Well or other sacred site, and after a long while the location has accumulated a folklore and a lot of objects.

If such a belief were to have continued into the modern era, some of the items deposited would be more modern.

No-one knows yet what happened at Llygadwy to end up with such an incredible hoard of diverse historical artifacts all mixed-up. However, no-one will know until some reasonable scientific research is done. That is, detective work involving actual SCIENCE, rather than sceptical speculation.

It is odd that there are very few websites even mentioning Llygadwy. Even Wikipedia, which is usually open-minded and even-handed, was found to have a brief and dismissive comment on it saying how deplorable the affair of Llygadwy was. To find the open-minded stuff you need to see the members' forum.

Sceptic religion sites of the type that try to explain-away all manner of strange phenomena also name-drop "Llygadwy" as a hoax of some sort. This discredits them in a way.

It would be interesting to collect evidence about what's really going on about Llygadwy. Surely someone must know some clues which can be put together.

Here are a few resources...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Llygadwy - discussion

https://groups.google.com/forum/?fromgroups#!topic/uk.media.tv.time-team/TqiQZbQXj1g - questions are asked

http://www.channel4.com/programmes/time-team/episode-guide/series-8/episode-3 - the introduction is intriguing, even if the video is censored from most of the world

http://keithtopping.blogspot.com/2006/04/dig-it.html - interesting review of Time Team

If you have something to add, a link maybe, please let me know

Another situation where the evidence is mixed is Glozel where neither the original theory nor the sceptical "it's all a hoax" theory fit the evidence.


If I were to suggest that the hoard of Llygadwy had been amassed by hoarding time-travellers, it would be a fanciful theory. However, the "hoax" theory is also fanciful. The truth is probably something different again.