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Coetan Arthur

| Ancient |

The first farming communities began to settle in St David's, Wales from around 10,000 years ago. They brought with them knowledge of the land, agricultural practice, and cultural beliefs that were intimately connected to their environment. Compared to the older hunter-gatherer groups, these farmers wanted to have a stable life in one place. They lived, passed on cultural traditions, cleared land for grazing, made homes, and died. Some were laid to rest in a very special burial grounds.

Coetan Arthur is thought to be 5,000 years old. Constructed with one small stone (an orthostat) and one giant stone about 6m long, it was built as a passage burial ground, carved right into the earth and connected to other graves nearby. Apart from this, there's not much we know about Coetan Arthur; we don't know who would be buried there, what traditions surrounded burial, nor even why a small piece of history has managed to survive for so long. It is still a place of pilgrimage, and there must be some ad-hoc spiritual ceremonies performed here (either community-based or personal) because when I visited there was a single candle placed underneath the rock, and large locks of human hair tumbling around the ferns. Defensive ditches, banks, fields, and enclosures can also be found in the vicinity, although the whole place is a maze of rocks and plants so it takes some time to discern the random from the deliberate...the land is now owned and conserved by the National Trust and it is a beautiful place to explore.


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