Archaeologists Unearth Bronze Age and Roman Treasure, Including Human Remains, in Wales

…By Alan Peterson for TDPel Media. Archaeologists from the Red River Archaeology Group have unearthed a remarkable collection of Bronze Age and Roman artifacts in Wales.

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The discoveries, including human remains, were made during excavation work for a road improvement project in the Vale of Glamorgan in 2017.

After a delay in reporting, the artefacts have now been officially declared as treasure by the Coroner for South Wales.

Bronze Age Burial Finds:

Among the finds is a grave containing a small gold penannular ring and fragments of a burnt wooden comb.

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These items were discovered alongside human remains in a burial pit near Bonvilston.

The intricately made gold ring, measuring just 1.1cm in diameter, features a finely worked chevron pattern, possibly used for hair decoration during the Middle Bronze Age (1300-1150 BC).

The wooden comb, with eight surviving teeth, is exceptionally fragile and represents a unique find in Wales.

David Gilbert, Project Manager for Rubicon Heritage Services, highlighted the significance of the discoveries, emphasizing the attention to detail and personal pride in appearance exhibited by prehistoric individuals.

These artifacts provide valuable insights into the history of Wales and underscore the contribution of commercial archaeology in advancing our knowledge.

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Roman Burial and Elite Status:

In addition to the Bronze Age finds, the team discovered a Roman burial at the site in April 2017.

This burial contained a silver crossbow brooch, the remains of an iron sword, and hobnails from a pair of shoes.

The sword is representative of those used by the Roman army during the third and fourth centuries AD.

All the discovered items will be kept together, and Amgueddfa Cymru/Museum Wales aims to acquire them for further study.

Evan Chapman, Senior Curator for Archaeology at Amgueddfa Cymru/Museum Wales, highlighted the rarity of the Roman silver crossbow brooch in Wales.

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These brooches are associated with the late Roman army and civil service, possibly signifying high status or military affiliation.

The presence of the sword further supports the military connection.

The individual buried with these artifacts likely held a significant position within the military or wider society.

Uncovering Unexpected Discoveries:

The unexpected discovery of a young man buried in military regalia within a Roman field system added another intriguing element to the findings.

The silver crossbow brooch indicated the individual’s importance, potentially within the military or elite circles.

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The person is believed to have died between the mid-third and late fourth century AD, a time when such brooches became symbols of imperial administrators.

Isotope analysis revealed that the individual was not born locally but likely grew up in eastern regions, raising questions about his presence in south Wales at the time of his death.

Conclusion:

The recent archaeological discoveries in Wales have unveiled a treasure trove of Bronze Age and Roman artifacts, shedding light on the region’s ancient history.

The findings include intricate gold jewelry, a unique wooden comb, and Roman military-related items.

These remarkable discoveries provide valuable insights into the lives and social structures of past civilizations, emphasizing the significance of Wales in a broader historical context.

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