Ancient community buried treasures in ritual 2,800 years ago. Searchers just found it

A duo searching a field in Wales stumbled on dozens of metal items — and found the remnants of an ancient community’s ritual. Photos show the “fascinating” treasure.

Peter Anning and Alex Evans visited a field in Saint Fagans Community in February 2021, according to a Nov. 14 news release from Amgueddfa Cymru Museum Wales.

The field had recently undergone some drainage work, officials said. Searching the ground, the duo uncovered 38 metal objects.

Archaeologists identified the artifacts as a 2,800-year-old collection of treasure from the Bronze Age.

“It is likely that these bronze objects were gathered together by a local community and buried during a ritual ceremony which expressed the social customs and religious beliefs of the time,” archaeologists said.

“The metal could easily have been re-smelted into new bronze objects,” the release said, “therefore the decision to bury the objects instead was deliberate.”

A photo shows the collection of fragmented and rusted objects. The collection includes axes, spearheads, fittings from “the base of a sword scabbard,” a tool used in woodworking and two “bronze rings, possibly used as horse-harness fittings.”

The ancient artifacts found in a field in Saint Fagans.
The ancient artifacts found in a field in Saint Fagans.

“This collection of mostly small artifact fragments offers a fascinating glimpse into the rich tapestry of life in Late Bronze Age Cardiff,” Chris Griffiths, a researcher with the museum, said in the release

Adam Gwilt, the museum’s principal curator of prehistory, said the “significant sized” hoard “adds to a bigger regional picture of people choosing to bury many bronze hoards at this time, often near to rivers and streams.”

“This discovery in St Fagans Community adds to a known clustering of hoards found along the River Ely and its tributaries,” Gwilt said.

Amgueddfa Cymru Museum Wales hopes to acquire the hoard after an independent commission determines its value, the release said.

Saint Fagans Community is in southern Wales, near Cardiff, and about 155 miles west of London.

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