Project Garn Goch
Garn Goch does, indeed, seem to be The Largest Ancient Stone Monument In Britain, and Wales has forgotten it.
Yet here's eight archaeological initiatives that could provide a good return on investment for Wales and its people, but we're sure archaeologists would have their own expert ideas of what to focus on:
1. a comprehensive LIDAR survey of the whole site, and surrounding area within one mile. LIDAR does not even cover Garn Goch at present
2. the central pool and the man-made oval bathing pool below it as these are likely sites for ceremonial structures (eg platforms and raised walkways) and burials, both human and animal, that would have included votive offerings now potentially well preserved in peat
3. the main burial cairn: analysis, both scientific and archaeological, to establish its age, and whether it contains a burial chamber
4. the linear cairn stones around the site to establish quarrying techniques to date them, and particularly excavate the many large, round depressions that look like burial chambers found in several places within them. Also, whether the 'wall' at the western end was indeed enlarged in the Iron Age
5. the large and landscaped flat areas at the top of the site towards the western and eastern ends as well as the areas beyond the stones, particularly on the northern and eastern sides, that may have been used for camping etc, so be possible sources for many datable artefacts
6. the lakeside area to the south for evidence of a post-glacial lake; excavation of the lakesides for Mesolithic and Neolithic artefacts; excavations of the dozens of stone formed graves, now visible as circular and oval depressions with typical diameters of 3-4 metres, often featuring large stones; the supposedly Iron Age roundhouse overlooking the land below
7. expert examination of the six or more very large rocks both inside and outside the stones, all of which have at least one flat side suitable for use as an altar or sacrifice stone, to establish their original dimensions, geological source and likely purpose
8. expert examination of the numerous tracks and route marking cairns (including several ancient hollow ways) that lead to Garn Goch, and which could provide evidence of large numbers of visitors over long periods, before and after the invention of the wheel.
It would undoubtedly be best and most appropriate for Dyfed Archaeological Trust to determine what the objectives, priorities, methods and budgets should be of a project that would inevitably be spread over several years, and divided into stages moving from the investigative to the more comprehensive, should results justify it.
If DAT doesn't take the initiative with a site on its doorstep, then we're sure several university based archaeology teams would jump at the chance of managing such a project, especially if it was well funded.
Any which way, the next stage is to scope out the archaeological project, budget it, then raise the necessary funds.
That's Project Garn Goch!