Last chance to see ‘Origins’ archaeology galleries at National Museum Cardiff
This month will be the last opportunity to see Wales’s prehistoric, Roman and medieval treasures in their current form at National Museum Cardiff, before part of the collection is redisplayed at St Fagans National History Museum. Visit Origins: In Search of Early Wales at National Museum Cardiff before Monday, 3 March 2014 to see your favourite archaeological objects
On display in the Origins gallery are the earliest human remains found in Wales, beautiful gold objects from the Bronze Age and a finely decorated guard made for a Viking-age sword. The decorated stone from the Bryn Celli Ddu Chambered Tomb, the Capel Isaf gold armlets, the Capel Garmon fire-dog, the Abergavenny Leopard cup and the Llandaff diptych can be seen at the Museum in Cardiff until the beginning of March.
Origins will then close in preparation for brand new galleries, which will form part of the £25.5 million initiative to transform St Fagans National History Museum. The redevelopment of St Fagans will include new spaces, due to open in 2017, which will bring together history and archaeology collections and display them in a new way.
Including archaeological collections will enable Amgueddfa Cymru to extend the timeline of the stories told at St Fagans, so that visitors can follow the history of the people of Wales from the very first human inhabitants to the present day and beyond.
In the meantime, the Origins gallery will be used for storing and conserving the objects, ready to move to St Fagans. Plans are in progress to reopen the gallery as a new temporary exhibition space at National Museum Cardiff in 2016.
Dr Peter Wakelin, Director of Collections & Research, Amgueddfa Cymru said:
“Origins has proved to be very popular amongst our visitors and we’re very proud of this. However, we also believe there is now potential to display the objects in a new way at St Fagans, which will appeal to even more people.
“Since being awarded a Heritage Lottery Fund grant in 2012 to transform St Fagans National History Museum, it has always been our intention to redisplay the archaeology collection and bring it to life in new and innovative ways.
“In the meantime, we’re looking at how to bring the most exciting archaeological objects to public attention in different ways. Our popular series of archaeology lunchtime talks and behind the scenes tours continue as usual at National Museum Cardiff and you can still find out more about Wales’ archaeology collections and the stories behind them on our Rhagor website.”
The public can also continue to enjoy archaeological artefacts from the national collection through planned loans to other museums across Wales, such as Llangollen Museum (from June 2014) and the National Library of Wales (from end of March 2014). Alternatively, it will continue to be possible to see Roman collections at the National Roman Legion Museum in Caerleon where you can learn what made the Roman army a formidable force and enjoy exhibitions and see artefacts that show us how these soldiers lived, fought, worshipped and died.
Entry is free to National Museum Cardiff, National Roman Legion Museum and St Fagans National History Museum thanks to support from the Welsh Government.
The book, Discovered in Time: Treasures from Early Wales highlights some of our most iconic items from our archaeology collection.