Bronze Age Gold from Wales

Early Bronze Age gold disc

The Banc Tynddol sun-disc represents a rare artefact, not just in Wales, but across Britain. It was found in a grave during an archaeological excavation in 2002, near to the Bronze Age copper mine at Copa Hill, Cwmystwyth. The disc is thought to have been a button, once attached to the clothes of the dead person. Dating to around 2450-2150 BCE, it is one of the earliest gold objects known from Wales, the other pieces being the Llanllyfni lunula and the Mold Cape.

Gold sun disc, 2450-2150 BCE. One of the earliest gold ornaments from Wales. The Banc Tynddol 'sun-disc' was found in a grave. It was a button attached to the clothes of the dead person. The line and dot circles on this sun-disc were impressed into the gold from the reverse side.

This is a circular gold foil disc with repousse decoration, typically referred to as a 'sun-disc'. Three concentric circles, each approximately 0.2mm wide have been pressed freehand onto the disc. The outer circle is bordered on either side by circles of pressed dots. Within the inner decorative circle, two central circular perforations were punched through the foil from the top surface. The disc has folded on one edge and is slightly domed and there are minor tears and crinkles around the circumference. It was probably made and worn as a funerary item and sewn onto a garment worn by the deceased.

Project Title: Gold in Britain’s auriferous regions, 2450-800 BC: towards a coherent Research Framework and Strategy. Status: Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Network Grant funded project (2018-2019)

WA_SC 18.1

Collection Area

Archaeology & Numismatics

Item Number


Find Information

Site Name: Banc Tynddol, Cwmystwyth

Grid Reference: SN 80907484
Collection Method: excavation
Date: 2002 / October

Notes: Burial association. The disc was found in 2002, during archaeological excavation of a Roman and Medieval lead smelting site by Simon Timberlake on behalf of the Early Mines Research Group. Concerns over possible survival of undicovered associated artefacts and a possible burial led to further excavation of the site during March 2003, with funding provided by NMW. This led to the discovery of a grave cut containing human remains beneath the find place, though there were no further associated burial goods in the grave.


Treasure (1996 Treasure Act), 27/9/2004


(): diameter / mm:38.9
(): thickness / mm:<0.1
(): weight / g:2.51






St Fagans Wales Is gallery : Gold

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