History – Bronze Age

In the low lying areas of South East Wales the Bronze Age began about 2100 BC, when nomadic people from Somerset began to move into the area.

They came with flocks of sheep and herds of cattle, but they also had the knowledge to make bronze tools and weapons.  

Bronze Age people certainly lived around Treoes and the Vale of Glamorgan, for instance: a bronze dagger with a skeleton was found at the old Cowbridge Girls School; there is also evidence of a bronze industry in the area with 3 axes unearthed in Fferm Goch, and a rapier found in City; an early Bronze Age burial site has been found near Llangan School, and further Bronze Age finds have been discovered in nearby Merthyr Mawr.

  Photo curtesy of the National Museum of Wales
Photo curtesy of the National Museum of Wales

A more recent find was a 3,000 year old hoard of axes dating from the late Bronze Age. They were found in 2012 with a metal detector near Colwinston. The axes were in remarkably good condition and experts from the National Museum of Wales dated them to between 1000 BC – 800 BC. It has been speculated that the hoard was placed as a gift to a God by a metal working and farming community. The hoard had been purposefully buried some distance from where the nearby dwellings would have stood.

 

  Photo curtesy of the National Museum of Wales
Photo curtesy of the National Museum of Wales

 

Another even more recent find was a pennanular ring which would have been worn as an ornament. This was found again with the aid of a metal detector in a field near St Donants.

The metal in this case was copper, but with a gold foil. These ‘half rings’ were popular forms of decoration and have been found across several sites in Britain and Ireland.

 

 

 

 

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