A Late Bronze Age hoard of four gold and copper artefacts, which are thought to be dated to around 1000-800 BC, or 3,000-2,800 years ago, have now been declared treasure by H.M. Coroner for North West Wales.
The hoard, includes a gold penannular ring and three fragments of copper ingot. The gold ring has striped decoration, formed by applying a silver strip in spiral fashion around the curved gold bar. It has flat-ended terminals with a gap between them and is thought to be an example of a small Bronze Age adornment known as a hair-ring, although it is possible it was used as an ear-ring, the whole bar passing through a hole in the ear lobe. One side of the ring is heavily worn through use by its original owner.
Hair-rings are discovered in significant numbers across Ireland and England, with scatters extending across Scotland, France, Belgium and The Netherlands. In north-west Wales, similar examples have been found at Trearddur, Anglesey and Graianog, Gwynedd.
The hoard was first discovered in the Community of Cwm Cadnant by Mr. Philip Cooper in 2013. The discovery was reported to Ian Jones, curator at Oriel Ynys Môn, Llangefni and Roland Flook curatorial archaeologist at Gwynedd Archaeological Trust and was subsequently reported on by museum archaeologists at Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales.
The items have now been declared as treasure and will be acquired by Oriel Ynys Môn following its independent valuation, using funding secured via the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Adam Gwilt, Principal Curator for Prehistory at Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales said: “This gold hair-ring is finely made and was once worn by a man or woman of some standing within their community. It could have been made of gold from Wales or Ireland. The copper ingot fragments are an important association with the ring. It would be interesting to know whether they were transported and exchanged over a long distance by sea, or perhaps smelted from local ores mined at Parys Mountain or The Great Orme.”
Ian Jones, Curatorial Officer at Oriel Ynys Môn, Llangefni said: “These exciting locally found treasures will enrich our existing collections, and offer our visitors an opportunity to see a rare example of a fine decorative item that was last worn during the Bronze Age. The finds also highlight the value of metals such as gold, copper and bronze as trading and usable commodities. We are delighted to be able to work with Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum of Wales and the Gwynedd Archaeological Trust and to be able to access funds via the Saving Treasures, Telling Stories project funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. We are also grateful to the finder and the landowner for their cooperation.”