Road signs or red dragons? Swansea historians debate the most important object in Welsh history.

What's the most important object in Welsh history? Historians from Welsh universities are making the case for everything from bibles to bowls of gruel, in a series of essays published in the Western Mail, and spearheaded by experts from Swansea University, to mark Welsh History Month.

Essays by Swansea historians that have already appeared in the series:

Roman milestone
The Welsh dragon
A bowl of gruel
Benjamin’s Bible
Tomb of David Matthew

Professor Huw Bowen of Swansea University's department of history and classics, who introduced the series, said:

"We can understand the past by reading books and articles, and we can visualise the past by looking at painting and photographs.  But if we want to connect properly with the past, we have to handle objects, those things that were made and used in years gone by.  

Some of the objects, such as the Welsh dragon, a Welsh Bible, or a road sign, will be very familiar to you.  Others, such as a potsherd or the tomb of David Mathew, will not.  Some of the objects will perhaps surprise you – a Spandau machine gun, the Lonsdale Belt, or an artificial limb.

But what unites all of the essays is that they discuss objects or things that connect directly with our shared history of Wales.

The authors have been given full licence to inform, challenge, and provoke, and they have risen to the challenge magnificently by writing about a great array of objects from the distant past to the modern day."


More essays and articles marking Welsh History Month.