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Bid to Return Druid Treasure to Anglesey

Apr 29 2009 By Elgan Hearn

ANCIENT artefacts, more than 2,000 years old, should be brought back to Anglesey claims an island politician.

A large hoard of Iron Age materials were discovered in Llyn Cerrig Bach, Llanfair-yn-Neubwll, in 1942.

The items are currently kept in Cardiff, but local councillor Gwilym O Jones believes the treasure troves should brought back and displayed at Llangefni's Oriel Môn.

And the council agrees, explaining they are currently in talks on that very subject.

Cllr Jones said: "Many on Anglesey know the tale of how they were found during the extension of RAF Valley.

"I understand why the treasures were taken down to the National Museum in Cardiff.

"At the time there was nowhere secure enough on Anglesey to keep them.

"But that has changed in recent years.

"Oriel Môn was built under Government Indemnity Scheme conditions which means that it's purpose built to keep precious artefacts secure.

"We've seen programmes on television and recordings made of the island's druidic history in the last couple of years, so I feel that now is the time to campaign to bring the treasures back.

"I'm not talking about bringing them back permanently, but I feel they should here for part of the year, say through the summer months.

"I think many people would be interested in seeing them."

"It would be of benefit to Oriel Môn to have them, as a lot of people aren't fans of art but might like to see part of the island's heritage."

Chariots, weapons, tools and decorated metalwork items were cast from a causeway or island into Llyn Cerrig Bach between 300BC and AD100.

They were discovered in 1942 by William Roberts as the airfield was being extended to accommodate the US air force bomber, The Flying Fortress.

The site was investigated by Sir Cyril Fox, the then keeper of archaeology at the National Museum of Wales in 1946.

Llyn Cerrig Bach is of especial interest in its possible association with the druids.

Roman writer Tacitus chronicled the infamous confrontation between the Roman general Suetonius Paulinus and the druids of Anglesey in the mid first century AD.

Tacitus presents a graphic description of the druidic grove, grisly with the remains of human sacrifices, and the shores of the island guarded by black-clad women who screamed curses at the Romans about to destroy their sanctuary.

It is likely he was writing about Llyn Cerrig Bach.

Anglesey County Council's head of museums, archives and culture, Pat West, said: "We have a good working relationship with the National Museum and are in negotiations with them about holding a short term exhibition of the artefact found at Llyn Cerrig Bach.

"As yet we have no set date for an exhibition but it would be in the next two to three years."
moss Posted by moss
30th April 2009ce

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