| 5 March 2004
Bronze Age treasure found in Wales
An "exceptional" hoard of buried treasure has been found in Wrexham (North Wales) just two years after another major find of Bronze Age treasure there. The 14 pieces of priceless gold and bronze jewellery and pottery, dating back more than 3,000 years, were found by three metal detector enthusiasts in the last few weeks.
Archaeologists are excited about the latest discovery in the area which is also home to the 4,000 year-old gold Mold cape, thought to have belonged to a nobleman and found in 1833. They believe this latest group of artefacts were buried between 1300 and 1100 BCE as a gift to the gods by a well-connected and wealthy farming community. The hoard is currently with the National Museum & Galleries of Wales in Cardiff where a report is being prepared for a coroner's inquest to consider whether it should be declared treasure trove.
A museum spokeswoman said the find was "exceptional" and some pieces were unique in the UK. "This hoard includes a torc (bangle) and bracelet, a necklace pendant and a collection of beads and rings, all of gold," said the spokeswoman. "It was buried alongside two palstaves (kinds of axes) and a chisel, within a small pot, fragments of which were found in the ground alongside. The twisted gold wire bracelet and the pendant, made of spiralled gold wire and forming a long bead shape, are unique within Britain. One or two similar objects have been found in north-western France."
In January 2002, two metal detector enthusiasts from Wrexham found gold bracelet fragments, a bronze axe and a dagger, the first of its kind to be discovered in Wales. The region's most famous Bronze Age link is the priceless gold cape discovered in Mold is widely regarded as one of the finest pieces of craftsmanship from that period. The cape is made from the equivalent of 23-carat gold and weighs one kilogram. It was discovered in pieces in a grave with the bones of a man at Bryn yr Ellyllon (the Fairies' or Goblins' Hill). A replica is displayed at the heritage centre and museum in Mold while the original is held at the British Museum in London.
Source: BBC News (4 March 2004)
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