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1 October 2005
Bronze Age treasure trove goes on display

A hoard of Bronze Age gold buried in a field in Wales for 3,000 years is to go on public display next month. It was unearthed by metal detector enthusiasts in Rossett, near Wrexham, in 2002 and included a torc (a wire twisted bracelet), a composite pendant, beads and rings, three bronze tools and a prehistoric pot base.  
     It will be exhibited at the Wrexham County Borough Museum as part of the “Re-Creations: Visualizing our Past" exhibition next month, alongside the Mold Cape, which experts have now dated to an earlier period of the Bronze Age, and which was found in a burial mound in 1833. The hoard was declared a treasure trove last year and the money the museum paid for it will be divided between the men who found it and the landowner. In January, the collection goes on display at the National Museum & Gallery, Cardiff (Wales). And in summer 2007 it takes pride of place in a new Archaeology Gallery.
     Included is what an expert from the NMGW said was a unique gold pendant as well as a gold wire-twisted bracelet, of which there is only one other example surviving in a museum in France. These and the other bronze and ceramic items are believed to date from the Middle Bronze Age, between 1350 and 1100 BCE. Adam Gwilt, a later pre-historian at the museum in Cardiff (Wales) said it was probable its wealthy owners wore the jewellery before being buried as some kind of gift to the gods.
     "What seems to have happened is that this hoard was carefully buried in the ground in the flooded river valley of the river Alyn. "At the moment, there's no known evidence of settlements in the fields around where the hoard was found. It would suggest that the people were making a religious statement, maybe here it was about an important communication route".
     Mr. Gwilt said the importance of the hoard's discovery was that it also showed that in the Bronze Age, northeast Wales and the Cheshire basin was an area of great wealth with people having access to gold, probably from Irish or Welsh sources. The collection adds weight to the wealth of the area in the Bronze Age.
     The museum has been able to buy the Burton hoard with the help of a £21,000 grant from the National Art Collections Fund, another £35,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and a grant from The Goldsmiths' Company.

Sources: BBC News (28 September 2005), Holyhead Anglesey Mail (29 September 2005)

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