Bronze Age Gold from Wales

The Capel Isaf, Manordeilo hoard, Carmarthenshire

A Middle Bronze Age hoard (1500-1275 BCE) containing four sheet gold cuff-armlets and a gold terminal fragment, probably from a ribbon torc. Two of the armlets have hook and pin fastenings, while another has overlapping flattened terminals secured by an attached link.

This hoard was discovered by workmen who were excavating a trench for a sewage pipe-line in September 1975 near the town of Llandeilo. The objects were found in a tight mass “wrapped round each other”. They had probably been deliberately buried beneath a large glacial erratic slab, which had acted as a marker stone for this group of concealed objects.

Dating this hoard has proven difficult as there were few close stylistic parallels known at the time of the discovery. The possible ribbon torc fragment in the hoard provides a clue, while the low copper content is more typical of earlier Bronze Age gold compositions.

The hoard was found to be treasure at a Treasure Trove Inquest held soon after the discovery and acquired for the national collection in 1976.