A New Heritage Curriculum for West Wales: the Celts Come to Ceredigion!

22-March-2023
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Adult Learners across west Wales have been enjoying new courses as part of the exciting new Heritage Curriculum being developed by Adult Learning Wales in Ceredigion. ALW’s Curriculum Development Officer for Ceredigion, Dr Jemma Bezant said, “In celebrating the fascinating Celtic history and sacred historic landscapes of Wales, we aim to create a new hub of teaching excellence that can benefit the adult learners in our local communities”

The mysterious rituals of the Celts, ancient world religions, and the fascinating world of archaeology will be highlighted in three brand-new courses in Cardigan and Lampeter starting after the Easter Break.


Dr Ralph Haeussler at Cardigan Castle

Our tutor, Dr Ralph Haeussler, will be examining Celtic Religions every Tuesday afternoon as well as teaching an Archaeology class on Saturdays based at Canolfan Creuddyn in Lampeter. Ralph will also be teaching Ancient Religions which examines fascinating world cultures such as the Romans, Egyptians and the Ancient Greeks on Monday evenings at Tŷ Cadwgan, Cardigan Castle.

Ralph has been an expert archaeologist and ancient historian specialising in the Celtic and Roman worlds for over 25 years. He studied in Frankfurt and at the Institute of Archaeology in London and taught at Oxford, Osnabrück and Lampeter Universities. He has published books on ‘Sacred Landscapes’ (2020), ‘Celtic Religions: personal, local, global’ (2017) and ‘Becoming Roman?’ (2013).

Ralph said that Celtic religion “belongs to one of the most fascinating and enigmatic religions in the ancient world,” adding: “So much has been written about it, but what do we really know? There are new discoveries to be made all the time”.

He goes on to add that the new courses will explore “the rituals of the mysterious druids, the idea of religion in tune with nature, and the Druidic belief in reincarnation”. The courses will examine a jigsaw puzzle consisting of countless finds, intriguing artwork and iconography, the excavated sacred sites and sanctuaries, not to forget the thousands of names of Celtic gods and goddesses.

Dr Haeusller will also be running an Archaeology Day School every Saturday that aims to be an introduction to the exciting world of the archaeologist. Dr Jemma Bezant, said: “We are not aiming to excavate anything as part of this course (yet!) but learners will be exploring different themes such as old buildings, old maps and will explore what modern archaeologists do.”