Page last updated at 09:12 GMT, Tuesday, 12 May 2009 10:12 UK

Security aim for Bronze Age show


Appeal to fund Bronze Age exhibit

A museum in Wiltshire is aiming to raise £500,000 to pay for a high security gallery to exhibit rare Bronze Age artefacts discovered 200 years ago.

The Bush Barrow tomb, near Stonehenge, was excavated in 1808, and is considered to be one of Britain's most important Bronze Age burials.

The skeleton of a man was uncovered along with several items including a large "lozenge-shaped" piece of gold.

The items are locked in a bank vault - unseen by the public for 30 years.

'Real thing'

David Dawson, of the Wiltshire Heritage Museum in Devizes, said: "Until now, we've only been able to have replicas on display but now we have a chance to get the real objects out.

"The comparison between the replicas and seeing the real thing - well there just is no comparison."

Bush Barrow Man was thought to have been buried in about 1,800 BC in a barrow on a ridge overlooking Stonehenge.

His grave contained more gold than any other found from that period. The items included a sceptre, ceremonial macehead and three rare bronze daggers.

The finds buried with him suggested that he had been wealthy and possibly a leader.

The museum said it hoped that the new exhibition would be complete by 2011 - in time for the opening of the new visitor centre planned for Stonehenge in 2012.

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