Welsh Bronze Age hoards to go on display

Two hoards of bronze artefacts found by detectorists in Wales have been declared treasure this week. A local museum hopes to acquire the hoards.

The hoard of bronze socketed axes, shown above, was found by Ian Evans while metal-detecting in a field in Michaelstone-y-Fedw Community, Newport in March 2020. It contains two plain socketed axes, thought to have been buried by a Bronze Age local farmer.

Newport councillor Debbie Harvey said: “The Michaelstone-y-Fedw hoard would be a great addition to Newport Museum’s Bronze Age collections. A space has been reserved for the hoard in our new Prehistory exhibition, which features a display on Bronze Age metalwork”.

The second hoard was found by Wayne Williams in Grosmont near Abergavenny in April 2019. It includes a sword blade fragment and socketed axes, are believed to be from the Late Bronze Age – 1000-800 BC.

Although the hoard may have been buried for safe-keeping, historians at the National Museum Wales believe it is more likely that they were buried as a religious offering.

Monmouthshire councillor Lisa Dymock said: “This hoard from the Grosmont community is so interesting because it shows just how precious every piece of bronze was, and that all these broken blades and scraps were important enough to bury in this way. It’s remarkable how these small fragments can help us tell more stories from Monmouthshire’s past in our museums.

Between 30 and 60 treasure cases are reported in Wales every year as finds made by members of the public. Each find adds important new knowledge and understanding of our pasts and a cultural resource of growing importance for Wales, the Museum of Wales said.

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