A Metal Detectorist Discovered A Collection Of Iron Age And Roman Era Cavalry Objects On An Island In Wales, Which Are Now Being Called National Treasures

Helen Hotson - - illustrative purposes only

On an island in Wales, a collection of metal objects from the Iron Age and the Roman era were unearthed by a metal detectorist named Ian Porter. The artifacts have been declared as national treasures.

In 2020, Porter had been exploring pastures and a spring in Anglesey, an island located off the northwestern coast of Wales’ mainland. It is known for its beaches and ancient sites.

“I was so excited when I found these items,” Porter said in a statement from Amgueddfa Cymru—Museum Wales. “To think that the last person who touched them lived almost two thousand years ago, and it shows some of the history of the island.”

After making the discovery, he promptly reached out to authorities from the Portable Antiquities Scheme in Wales. Among the 16 archaeological finds were several Late Iron Age chariot fittings and Roman calvary fittings from the first century A.D.

The Roman calvary fittings included pieces from three horse bridle bits, a ram’s head fitting, four harness discs, and a terret, which is a ring used to hold the reins. Archaeologists think that the ram’s head may have been used on a staff or some type of vehicle.

There was also a decorated brooch, a lead pot, and four coins that all dated back to the British Roman period, which occurred from A.D. 43 to 410. Additionally, the metal detectorist found a large Roman copper ingot that weighed 45 pounds and was used for copper manufacturing. It was likely smelted with metal from a nearby mine.

The mix of artifacts is a culturally important find for the island. According to Adam Gwilt, the principal curator of prehistory at Museum Wales, the items were placed either during or after the period that the Roman army launched an invasion on the island in A.D. 60 or 61.

Whoever buried the items next to a spring must have thought of the location as a “significant place for [a] religious ceremony at this time of conflict and change.”

Experts believe that many of the objects, such as the chariot fittings and harness segments, were placed at the site sometime between A.D. 50 and 120, while the coins were added throughout the Roman period. One of the coins was the last known offering to be left at the sacred spring.

Helen Hotson – – illustrative purposes only

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