EXCAVATIONS AT AN EARLY IRON AGE HILL-FORT AND A ROMANO-BRITISH IRON-SMELTING PLACE AT GWERNYFED PARK, ABERLLYNFI, IN 1951. By THE LATE SIR JOHN CONWAY LLOYD, M.C., and H. N. SAVORY, M.A., D.PHIL., F.S.A., F.M.A., Keeper of the Department of Archaeology, National Museum of Wales. INTRODUCTION The Gaer, Aberllynfi, is the northernmost earthwork of proved or probable Early Iron Age date in Brecknock. It belongs to a group of hill-forts and embanked settlements or cattle-kraals belonging to a com- munity which farmed the fertile land of central Brecknock and raised stock on the Black Mountains and those spurs of the Beacons and the Epynt which run towards the Usk Valley.1 It is outstanding among these earthworks for the comparative lowness of its situation,2 at a height of little more than 350ft., on the lowest foot-hills of the Black Mountains overlooking the bottom of the Llynfi Valley opposite Three Cocks Junction.3 It is among the smaller fortified enclosures worthy of the name 'hill-fort', since the area enclosed is little more than an acre and the total area covered by the defences is little more than an additional acre. But its siting, the multiplication of its banks and the complication of its entrance defences, would suffice to gain it a place in the class of small hill-forts, so common in the southern counties of Wales. Let us consider the Gwernyfed 'Gaer' more closely. It occupies a small oblong plateau, extending from south-south-west to north-north-east along the west side of a small ravine, running from a spring located near the south-east comer of the hill-fort (see map Fig. 1) It is defended on all sides but that of the ravine by the remains of two, obviously never very massive ramparts, with ditches, and by a third, counterscarp bank along the west side, where the ground slopes away fairly steeply (see plan, Fig. 3). All these banks have suffered a great deal from ploughing, and particularly from deliberate levelling carried out by the farmer soon after the second World War. There are superficial indications of entrances at the north-north-east and south-south-west ends, with double banks curving in on either side to the actual entrance in each case. The northern 1 See Brycheiniog, I, pp. iipff. and accompanying map. See Bulletin of Celtic Studies, XIV, p. 72 8 National Grid Reference 175376, O.S. 6in. Sheet 32 NW.