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Durham University

Department of Archaeology


Publication details for Dr Chris Caple

Caple, C. (2012). The Apotropaic Symbolled Threshold to Nevern Castle—Castell Nanhyfer. Archaeological Journal 169(1): 422-452.

Author(s) from Durham


Excavations in the summer of 2011 at Nevern Castle (Castell Nanhyfer) revealed a previously unknown southern entrance to the castle constructed of clay mortared slate in the final quarter of the twelfth century. The threshold was formed of vertically seated slates, imitating the natural bedrock. Thirteen of these slates had designs inscribed into one or both faces. Their location, the absence of such inscribed slates from the rest of the site and the nature of the symbols, which could not normally be seen, suggests that they were apotropaic in nature. This paper presents a record and interpretation of this unusual in situ apotropaic-symbolled threshold deposit.