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7 March 2015
Bronze Age treasure hoard on display in Wales

A gold penannular ring and three fragments of copper ingot dating from the Late Bronze Age of around 1000 BCE to 800 BCE,  uncovered on Anglesey in North Wales in 2013, have been given the rare definition of 'treasure' by Her Majesty's Coroner's Office. Buried together, the pieces were discovered a few metres apart and had likely become separated through farming activity.
     The gold ring has striped decoration, formed by applying a silver strip in spiral fashion around the curved gold bar. It has flat-ended terminals, with a gap between them, and has been identified as an example of small Bronze Age adornment known as a hair-ring. One side is heavily worn through use. The copper ingots were a form of early currency. No estimated value has been put on the treasure, but similar individual pieces have sold for tens of thousands of pounds.  
     Adam Gwilt, principal curator for prehistory at National Museum Wales, said: "This gold hair-ring is finely made and was once worn by a man or woman of some standing within their community. It could have been made of gold from Wales or Ireland. The copper ingot fragments are an important association with the ring. It would be interesting to know whether they were transported and exchanged over a long distance by sea, or perhaps smelted from local ores mined at Parys Mountain or The Great Orme."
     Ian Jones, Curatorial Officer at Oriel Ynys Mon, Llangefni, said: "These exciting locally found treasures will enrich our existing collections, and offer our visitors an opportunity to see a rare example of a fine decorative item that was last worn during the Bronze Age. The finds also highlight the value of metals such as gold, copper and bronze as trading and usable commodities.
     The hoard has been acquired by Oriel Ynys Mon and will be put on public display.
     In North Wales, similar examples have been found at Trearddur, Anglesey and Graianog, Gwynedd.

Edited from Daily Post, Wales Online (26 February 2015)

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