Plans have been submitted to conduct an archaeological dig on the Iron Age hillfort of Penparcau this summer.
Pen Dinas is the largest Iron Age hillfort in Ceredigion. It sits between Penparcau and the Irish Sea and is visible for miles around.
No major archaeological digs have taken place on the hill since the 1930s, but the Dyfed Archaeological Trust has now applied to Ceredigion County Council to conduct a dig this summer and discover what secrets the ancient hillfort hides beneath the soil.
If given the green light, the trust will be seeking volunteers in August to help with the dig.
Ken Murphy, director of Dyfed Archeological Trust said: “We have been given the go-ahead by Cadw and have just applied to the county council for approval to hold a dig this August. The long-term plan is to make more of the hillfort and make it more accessible for people.
“This August we hope to conduct a low-key dig around the northern gate entrance of the fort.
“This site was dug in the 1930s but we are hoping to find more details on the site.
“Methods have improved since the last time the site was dug and we are hoping to discover more on the history of the site which is of great importance to the local area.
“I think it’s a neglected asset for the whole area.
“Although there are new signs, which is great, there’s nothing there to guide tourists or walkers in general to visit the site.
“This excavation would not only help us gather information, but hopefully it will also raise the profile of the site and put a management plan in place.”
Dr Alan Chamberlain from the Penparcau History and Heritage Group has welcomed the news saying the hillfort is an asset to the local community.
He said: “It really is a bit of a hidden gem and it’s exciting that this project is moving forward. Not just from an archaeological perspective but also as a way of drawing attention to Pen Dinas.
"Whatever they find will be good news for the area and we hope local volunteers can get involved and help with the dig later this year and we can learn more about the hillfort.”
Original excavations of the site, that took place between 1933 and ’37, improved understanding of the hillfort, but there is still a lot yet to be learnt about Pen Dinas.
Current research into the site suggests intermittent occupation during the Iron Age.
The discovery of sherds of a decorated jar, with stamped comma-shaped designs below the rim, is of particular interest. The jar was made in the Malvern Hills of Herefordshire and Worcestershire some time between 300BC and 50BC.
Unfortunately, at present there is not enough evidence to be confident about its precise character and use, which is why there are plans for new digs.
Anyone wishing to volunteer at the dig later this year is encouraged to keep an eye on the Dyfed Archaeological Trust website for details.