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Getting hands on with archaeology in Caerau and Ely

A group of people standing on the Caerau Hillfort site in front of a view of Cardiff

The CAER Heritage project aims to connect local communities with the fascinating past of Caerau Hillfort and make it relevant to the present.

CAER Heritage was established in 2011 and is a collaboration between our School of History, Archaeology and Religion with a wide range of local partners and groups. These include Action in Caerau and Ely, Cardiff Council, Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales, Museum of Cardiff, local schools, residents, community groups and many others.

The award-winning project focuses on the research of Caerau Hillfort, a nationally important archaeological site that is nestled within the west Cardiff suburbs of Caerau and Ely, two of the most deprived wards in Wales.

Along with the National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement Engage Award in 2014 and Times Higher Education Award for ‘Outstanding contribution to the local community’ in 2017, CAER won the Council for British Archaeology Marsh award in 2020 for its contribution in helping to address the challenges of Covid-19 faced by the communities of Caerau and Ely.

A group of school pupils around a table examining bones

Key achievements

Involving thousands of local people, CAER activities have included geophysics, excavations, artefact analyses, exhibitions, art installations, films, performances, accredited courses, experimental archaeology and heritage food parcels. Launched in April 2019, the current phase of the project known as “The Hidden Hillfort Project” is funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and is creating a heritage centre at the site along with heritage trails, interpretation, and volunteering opportunities to help co-research and co-curate the monument.

Two children sitting on the grass making a paper sword and shield

How to get involved

CAER runs regular volunteering groups and has opportunities to get involved with a range of archaeological and historical research including excavations. For more information or to get involved please contact CAER Co-Director Dr Olly Davis.

Dr Oliver Davis

Dr Oliver Davis

Senior Lecturer, CAER Heritage Project Co-director (Study Leave 2022/3 (Semester 1))

+44 (0)29 2251 0215