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Treasure found in Pembrokeshire

Late Bronze Age artefacts found at Marloes & St Brides declared as treasure

A Late Bronze Age hoard of ten bronze and copper artefacts, which are thought to be dated to the Late Bronze Age (around 1000-800 BC or 3,000-2,800 years ago) have today (27th November 2014) been declared treasure by H.M. Coroner for Pembrokeshire.

The hoard of two sword blade fragments, a scabbard fitting and a multi-edged knife, all of bronze, and six copper ingot fragments - weighing nearly 2.5 kilos all together - were discovered in the Community of Marloes & St Brides on 9th January 2013 by Mr. Adrian Young. The artefacts were discovered a few metres apart from each other, while Mr Young was metal detecting on farm land.

The discovery was reported as possible treasure to Mark Lodwick, Co-ordinator of the Portable Antiquities Scheme in Wales (PAS Cymru) and was subsequently reported on by museum archaeologists at Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales.

An archaeological investigation of the find-spot was undertaken by national museum and PAS Cymru archaeologists, with the support of the landowner and the assistance of the finder. This confirmed that the artefacts were found near to each other in the corner of a field. The artefacts, once buried all together as a hoard group, had been recently disturbed either through recent ploughing activity or during recent wall boundary modifications.

Adam Gwilt, Principal Curator for Prehistory at Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales said:

“The combination of objects found in this hoard hints at the long-distance sea travel of finished objects during the Late Bronze Age, from southern England and northern France to west Wales. The swords, scabbard and knife are exotic types, not typical for the region. We can now see that copper ingot fragments are common components within hoards from Pembrokeshire, similar to a pattern also seen in Cornwall.”

The hoard will be acquired for a public museum collection following its independent valuation, although the final museum destination remains to be decided upon.

Entry to National Museum Cardiff is free, thanks to the support of the Welsh Government. 

Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales operates seven museums across Wales National Museum Cardiff, St Fagans National History Museum, National Roman Legion Museum, Caerleon, Big Pit National Coal Museum, Blaenafon, National Wool Museum, Dre-fach Felindre, National Slate Museum, Llanberis and the National Waterfront Museum, Swansea.  

– Ends –

Notes to Editors:

1. The Portable Antiquities Scheme in Wales (PAS Cymru) is a mechanism to record and publish archaeological finds made by members of the public. It has proved a highly effective means of capturing vital archaeological information, while engaging with non-traditional museum audiences and communities.

 2. Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales, in partnership with PAS Cymru and The Federation of Museums and Art Galleries of Wales (The FED), has recently received a confirmed grant of £349,000 from the Collecting Cultures stream of the Heritage Lottery Fund.

For 5 years from January 2015 – December 2019, the project Saving Treasures, Telling Stories will ensure a range of treasure and non-treasure artefacts can be purchased by accredited local and national museums in Wales. The artefacts purchased will date from the Stone Age to the seventeenth-century AD.

A three year programme of Community Archaeology Projects will be delivered across Wales, working with local museums, metal-detecting clubs, local communities and target audiences.

A distinctive website will be developed for PAS Cymru and hosted on the Amgueddfa Cymru website. This will also become the focus for up-to-the-minute information about treasure and non-treasure finds reported across Wales each year. Through the projects, archaeological collecting networks will be set up and a range of training, skill-sharing, bursaries and volunteering opportunities will be delivered.