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Bronze Age artefacts found by detectorist in Wales officially declared 'treasure'


Priceless Bronze Age artefacts unearthed in Torfaen and Monmouthshire have been declared as treasure by HM Coroner for Gwent.

Bronze Age artefacts found by detectorist in Wales officially declared 'treasure'
Early Bronze Age bronze flanged axe hoard found in Monmouthshire 
[Credit: South Wales Argus]
The items were discovered in 2014 by metal detectors in farm land in Trevethin, Torfaen and land in Llanover, Monmouthshire and could be acquired by museums in Wales.

Today Coroners Assistant Wendy James identified the items as “treasure” under the Treasure Act (1996), a law that determines finds of national and historic importance.

Monmouthshire’s trove includes an Early Bronze Age hoard of axes, which may be dated to the Arreton phase of the Early Bronze Age, around 1750-1500 BC or between 3,300-3,750 years ago.

Bronze Age artefacts found by detectorist in Wales officially declared 'treasure'
Medieval brooch found in Monmouthshire
[Credit: South Wales Argus]
The discovery was first reported to Dr Mark Lewis via the National Roman Legion Museum at Caerleon and was subsequently reported to specialists at the National Museum Cardiff (NMC).

The finder, a Cwmbran man who preferred to remain unnamed, has searched for treasure with a metal detector for over a decade and considers this his “biggest find”.

Archaeologists now think these complete and prized bronze objects were probably buried during ritual ceremony and gifted to the gods.

Bronze Age artefacts found by detectorist in Wales officially declared 'treasure'
Post Medieval silver gilt pin found in Monmouthshire 
[Credit: South Wales Argus]
National Museum Wales (NMW) is keen to acquire this hoard for national collections following independent valuation and grant funding from the Saving Treasures: Telling Stories project, funded by the Collecting Cultures stream of the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Principal curator of prehistory at NMW, Adam Gwilt, said that one of the axes is more technologically advanced than the other two and was used as a “wood cutting and working tool”.

“These axes provide important new information about the development and use of bronze tools in South-East Wales towards the end of the Early Bronze Age,” he added.

Bronze Age artefacts found by detectorist in Wales officially declared 'treasure'
Late Bronze Age spearheads and socketed axes discovered in Trevethin, Torfean
[Credit: South Wales Argus]
More treasures were also found in the Trevethin area of Torfaen, when Mr Gareth Wileman discovered Late Bronze Age spearheads and axes while metal-detecting on ploughed farm land.

After the find was discovered in November, 2014, an archaeological investigation was took place in December, finding the group of objects were “carefully buried” during a probable ritual ceremony.

The hoard contains two spear heads and three socketed axes, which may date to the Ewart Park phase of the Late Bronze Age around 800-1000BC or 2,800-3000 years ago.

Pontypool Museum is also keen to acquire this hoard for its collections following independent valuation.

Author: Chris Binding | Source: South Wales Argus [July 25, 2016]
TANN

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