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Treasure found in Monmouthshire

A Middle Bronze Age ornament hoard declared treasure

A Middle Bronze Age hoard was today (3 December 2015) declared treasure by H.M. Coroner for Gwent.

The hoard of bronze and gold ornaments, also buried with a bronze weapon and bronze axe, was found by Mr. Phillip Turton between September 2013 and March 2014. The artefacts were discovered while the finder was metal-detecting on land under rough pasture in the Community of Llantrisant Fawr, Monmouthshire.

The discovery was first reported 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. 

The hoard may be dated to the Taunton period of the Middle Bronze Age around 1400-1275 BC, or between 3,400-3,275 years ago.

Included within the hoard are seven fragments of twisted bronze torc, probably once belonging to two different torcs, two decorated bronze bracelets, a large bronze dress-pin and a decorated gold strip, probably from a third bracelet. Also in the hoard are a bronze dirk or dagger and a bronze palstave.

An archaeological investigation of the find-spot was undertaken by archaeologists working for the Portable Antiquities Scheme in Wales and Amgueddfa Cymru, with the assistance of the finder and support of the land owner. This confirmed the location of the artefact finds, which had been scattered in recent times, probably due to agricultural disturbance of the original buried hoard.  

Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales is keen to acquire this hoard for the national collections, following its independent valuation. It hopes to acquire the hoard with grant funding provided through the Saving Treasures; Telling Stories Heritage Lottery funded project. 

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

“This varied group of ornaments, weapons and tools provides an important addition to our understanding of Middle Bronze Age communities across south Wales. At this time, many bronze ornament hoards were buried across southern Britain and northern France. The Llantrisant Fawr hoard now shows that Bronze Age people here were also part of this wider tradition, using and burying these fine items of bronze and gold jewellery.”

Great archaeological discoveries from around the world and the big screen will be on display in a major new exhibition Treasures: Adventures in Archaeology at National Museum Cardiff from 26 January – 30 October 2016. To celebrate 2016, Year of Adventure in Wales, the Museum will host extraordinary gems from popular culture including the hat, whip and jacket of Indiana Jones, crystal skulls and Inca Gold alongside early finds such as Egyptian Mummies.

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. 

Entry to Amgueddfa Cymru museums is free, thanks to the support of the Welsh Government.