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Last Updated: Wednesday, 28 September 2005, 13:09 GMT 14:09 UK
Bronze Age hoard's first display
Gold Bracelet from the Burton Hoard ( picture National Museums & Galleries of Wales)
The gold wire-twisted bracelet is extremely well-preserved
A hoard of Bronze Age gold buried in a field near Wrexham for 3,000 years is to go on public display next month.

The Burton collection of 14 pieces of gold and bronze jewellery and ceramic tools cost the National Museum and Galleries of Wales (NMGW) 85,000.

It will be exhibited alongside the Mold Cape, another priceless Bronze Age treasure, before returning to Cardiff.

The hoard was discovered in 2002 by three friends from Liverpool metal detecting in fields north of Wrexham.

It was declared treasure trove last year and the money the museum paid for it will be divided between the men who found it and the land owner.

Included is what an expert from the NMGW said was a unique gold pendant as well as a gold wire-twisted bracelet, of which there is only one other example surviving in a museum in France.

The three men who found the treasure -  Peter Skelly, William May and Joseph Perry
Three detector enthusiasts will share more than 40,000

These and the other bronze and ceramic items are believed to date from the Middle Bronze age, between 1350 and 1100 BC.

Adam Gwilt, later prehistorian at the museum in Cardiff said it was probable the jewellery was worn by its wealthy owners before being buried as some kind of gift to the gods.

"What seems to have happened is that this hoard was carefully buried in the ground in the flooded river valley of the river Alyn.

"At the moment, there's no known evidence of settlements in the fields around where the hoard was found.

"It would suggest that the people were making a religious statement - maybe here it was about an important communication route".

Mr Gwilt said the importance of the hoard's discovery was that it also showed that in the Bronze Age, north east Wales and the Cheshire basin was an area of great wealth with people having access to gold - probably from Irish or Welsh sources

Burton collection (picture National Museums & Galleries of Wales)
The collection adds weight to the wealth of the area in the Bronze Age

Half of the 85,000 paid for the Burton collection will go to the landowner where the treasure was buried, he said.

The remaining half will be divided between the three men who discovered it.

The treasure will go on show for the first time at Wrexham Museum next month alongside the Mold Cape, which experts have now dated to an earlier period of the Bronze Age, and which was found in a burial mound in 1833.

It will then be returned to Cardiff to go on permanent display

The museum has been able to buy the Burton hoard with the help of a 21,000 grant from the National Art Collections Fund, another 35,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and a grant from The Goldsmiths' Company.




SEE ALSO:
Mold gold cape finally comes home
26 Sep 05 |  North East Wales
Treasure hunters hit jackpot
05 May 04 |  North East Wales
Fresh Bronze Age treasure find
04 Mar 04 |  North East Wales


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