The hoard of two sword blade fragments, a scabbard fitting and a multi-edged knife, all of bronze, and six copper ingot fragments – weighing nearly 2.5 kilos all together – were discovered in the Community of Marloes & St Brides on 9th January 2013 by Mr. Adrian Young. The artefacts were discovered a few metres apart from each other, while Mr Young was metal detecting on farm land.
The discovery was reported as possible treasure to Mark Lodwick, Co-ordinator of the Portable Antiquities Scheme in Wales (PAS Cymru) and was subsequently reported on by museum archaeologists at Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales.
An archaeological investigation of the find-spot was undertaken by national museum and PAS Cymru archaeologists, with the support of the landowner and the assistance of the finder. This confirmed that the artefacts were found near to each other in the corner of a field. The artefacts, once buried all together as a hoard group, had been recently disturbed either through recent ploughing activity or during recent wall boundary modifications.
Adam Gwilt, Principal Curator for Prehistory at Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales said:
“The combination of objects found in this hoard hints at the long-distance sea travel of finished objects during the Late Bronze Age, from southern England and northern France to west Wales. The swords, scabbard and knife are exotic types, not typical for the region. We can now see that copper ingot fragments are common components within hoards from Pembrokeshire, similar to a pattern also seen in Cornwall.”
The hoard will be acquired for a public museum collection following its independent valuation, although the final museum destination remains to be decided upon.
To date, a searchable online database from the Portable Atiquities Scheme (finds.org.uk) contains over a million records of individual objects. Events and activities are organised throughout England and Wales. There are currently over 300 active research projects based on the information gathered by the Scheme.