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Bryn Celli Ddu in new CGI film

11 Jun 2017
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Ancient tomb like you've never seen it before: Bryn Celli Ddu in new CGI film

 

Work has been completed on an innovative CGI film that will bring Bryn Celli Ddu back to life. 

Known as one of the most evocative archaeological sites in Britain, the 5,000-year old monument was once constructed to protect and pay respect to the remains of ancestors. It is the only site in Wales that has a solar alignment, where the sun casts a beam of light into the monument on the summer solstice. 

Bryn Celli Ddu at Dusk. Wales

Bryn Celli Ddu at Dusk. Image: copyright Adam Stanford.

The film is part of the Bryn Celli Ddu landscape project, which is a partnership between Cadw, the historic environment service for the Welsh Government, the University of Central Lancashire and Manchester Metropolitan University. The film shows how the site may have looked during the Neolithic period, and sheds light on the newly-discovered rock art panels and Bronze Age cairn which surround the monument.

Bryn Celli Ddu aerial shot. Anglesey, Wales

Bryn Celli Ddu aerial shot. Image: copyright Adam Stanford.

Using CGI technology, 3D models and laser scanning techniques, the film reconstructs Bryn Celli Ddu and eleven rock art panels, which used to stand in the immediate landscape of Bryn Celli Ddu, thousands of years ago. 

The CGI animation allows viewers to 'see' Bryn Celli Ddu through its development from the Mesolithic through to its late Neolithic heyday. 

Bryn Celli Ddu summer solstice. Wales. Archaeology

Bryn Celli Ddu summer solstice. Image: copyright Adam Stanford.

The 3D models were developed using photogrammetry by Aerial-Cam, and the CGI developed by Cardiff-based firm Mint Motion.

Adam Stanford, from Aerial-Cam said: "This has been an excellent chance to bring some of Anglesey's amazing heritage to life.

"Using 3D models, people will be able to experience Bryn Celli Ddu as never before, viewing the chamber, the passage and the original setting of the famous pattern stone as it was intended."

Dr Ffion Reynolds, Heritage and Arts Manager for Cadw (below), said: "This CGI film is just one of the ways we are raising awareness of the Neolithic period on Ynys Môn, or Anglesey, with the aim of engaging local people and visitors in the island's rich heritage."

Dr Ffion Reynolds examining nearby outcrops for carved cupmarks. Anglesey, Wales

Dr Ffion Reynolds examining nearby outcrops for carved cupmarks. Image: copyright Adam Stanford.

"For the first time, we will be able to show how our ancestors lined up this tomb with the summer solstice. This CGI reconstruction is based on real data, documentary evidence and archaeological discoveries from our current excavations.

"We're thrilled that we can reveal this new film to mark the beginning of the third season of excavation in the landscape of Bryn Celli Ddu. We are always looking for new ways to tell these old stories, and we look forward to welcoming people to our celebration events this June".

Bryn Celli Ddu Open Day 2016. Wales, Anglesey. Archaeology.

Bryn Celli Ddu Open Day 2016. Image: copyright Adam Stanford.

As part of the Bryn Celli Ddu landscape project, a series of events have the arranged to celebrate the Neolithic period on Anglesey.

On Friday, June 16, Cadw will invite stargazers young and old to bring along telescopes or binoculars to the prehistoric site to catch a glimpse of the night sky over North Wales.

On Saturday, June 17, an open day celebrating the Neolithic period in Wales will take place at Bryn Celli Ddu.

There will be live flint knapping demonstrations and a chance to meet Neolithic characters, and have a go at making pots like those found at the tomb. 

Visitors will get the chance to find out more about the current excavations, with live tours of the monument and the open archaeological trenches. 

For full summer events listings:

http://cadw.gov.wales/?skip=1&lang=cy

http://cadw.gov.wales/?skip=1&lang=en

Find Cadw on Facebook or follow @CadwWales on Twitter.

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