Sir Ifor Williams, in his work Enwau Lleoedd, suggests that the first syllable rhwadd is a form of the Welsh adrawdd or adrodd, as in 'recite, relate, recount', similar to the Old Irish rád; 'speech'.With the increase in population from the mid-19th century the area was officially recognised as the Ystradyfodwg Local Government District, but was renamed in 1897 as the Rhondda Urban District after the River Rhondda.When the site was excavated in 1901 several archaeological finds led to the camp being misidentified as Bronze Age.
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The larger of the two valleys, the Rhondda Fawr, extends from Porth and rises through the valley until it reaches Blaenrhondda, near Treherbert.
The settlements that make up the Rhondda Fawr are as follows: The Rhondda Fach is celebrated in the 1971 David Alexander song 'If I could see the Rhondda'; the valley includes Wattstown, Ynyshir, Pontygwaith, Ferndale, Tylorstown and Maerdy.
The items did not originate from the Rhondda and are thought to have been left at the site as a votive offering.
Of particular interest were fragments of an iron sword which is the earliest iron object to be found in Wales and the only 'C-type' Hallstatt sword recorded in Britain.
Although little evidence of settlements has been found in the Rhondda that date between the Neolithic and Bronze Age periods, several cairns and cists have been discovered throughout the length of both valleys.
The best example of a round-cairn was found at Crug yr Afan, near the summit of Graig Fawr, west of Cwmparc.The first structural relic of prehistoric man was excavated in 1973 at Cefn Glas near the watershed of the Rhondda Fach river.The remains of a rectangular hut with traces of drystone wall foundations and postholes was discovered; while carbon dating of charcoal found at the site dated the structure as late Neolithic.Rhondda is also famous for strong masculine cultural ties within a social community which expressed itself outside industry in the form of male voice choirs, sport and politics.Welsh singer Paul Child sang about the Rhondda, in his songs, The Rhondda, and Rhondda Boy.The settlements that make up the Rhondda Fach are as follows: In the early Middle Ages, Glynrhondda was a commote of the cantref of Penychen in the kingdom of Morgannwg, a sparsely populated agricultural area.