A metal detector enthusiast, John Adamson, struck lucky when, in 2012, he discovered a Bronze Age lock-ring in farmland in Rossett, near Wrexham (Welsh: Wrecsam) in north Wales. Then he found another in the same place nine months later. When tested the two lock-rings were found to be made of around 79% gold, 15% silver and 4% copper. Lock-rings are types of jewellery from Bronze Age Europe and can be made from gold or bronze, although the majority found have been made from gold. The finds were declared treasure at an inquest today (26 March). The artefacts date back about 3,000 years to between 1,000 BC and 800 BC. Prior to these two finds four other such gold penannular rings had been found in Wales over the years; at Gaerwen in Anglesey (Ynys Môn), the Great Orme (Y Gogarth), Newport (Casnewydd) and Conwy.
The finds are now to be purchased by Wrexham County Borough Museum. Adam Gwilt, Principal Curator for Prehistory at Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum of Wales said:
“North-east Wales was a hotspot for the use and burial of gold ornaments during the Bronze Age. These small but exquisitely made lock-rings add further to this growing pattern, suggesting long lived connections with communities living in Ireland and other parts of Atlantic Europe...We think that these complete and prized objects of gold were carefully buried in isolated places as gifts to the gods, perhaps at the end of the lives of their owners.”
Steve Grenter, heritage services manager at Wrexham County Borough Museum & Archives, added: “Wrexham County Borough Museum is delighted to acquire the lock rings and we are grateful to Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales and the Saving Treasures, Telling Stories project for their assistance with the acquisition.”