Mold gold cape: Bronze Age site's 'exciting' new finds
An archaeological dig on the site where a priceless Bronze Age gold cape was found has unearthed new finds.
It had been thought nothing was left at the site at Mold, Flintshire after it was last excavated in 1953.
But a community dig led by archaeologists has now turned up tiny burned fragments of bone and small pieces of pottery.
They could turn out to be older than the Mold Gold Cape which was made 3,700 years ago from a single sheet of gold.
The cape, which was discovered in 1833, is one of the British Museum's most prized artefacts and it has been on show at Cardiff and Wrexham this summer.
It was found with a skeleton in a burial site.
The latest discovery could mean the site had some significance further back than many expected, according to archaeologist Mark Lodwick, who is finds co-ordinator for Wales for the Portable Antiquities Scheme.
This manages artefacts unearthed by the wider community.
Mold gold cape
The cape, fashioned from a single sheet of thin gold, is considered one of the finest examples of prehistoric sheet and embossed-gold working in Europe.
It was discovered in fragments in Mold in Flintshire in 1833 when workmen found a skeleton in a grave at the centre of a circular burial monument.
Originally, the hundreds of fragments were divided up between the workers and the land tenant.
But it was only when the British Museum acquired the artefacts and experts set about putting together the fragments that the original form of the cape was revealed.
Recent research has suggested that the wearer of the cape, and accompanying amber bead necklace and bronze knife may have been a woman.
"The cape is one of Britain's, one of Europe's best artefacts in fact, it's a fantastic object," said Mr Lodwick.
"But the site where it was found has been neglected somewhat and it has been great to work with the community to fill in some of the gaps".
Mr Lodwick, who is normally based at the National Museum of Wales in Cardiff, has been working with colleague Alice Forward, a community archaeologist and they believe the community dig may have unearthed fragments which pre-date the cape.
"We might have small remnant pieces of the early Bronze Age monument," he said.
"We've got to take them back to the museum for proper examination but at the moment it's looking very exciting."
"What we might have is earlier use of the land."
A suspected burial site belonging to the early medieval period, is also thought to have been discovered nearby.
But it will not be excavated during this dig as the whole excavation site is to be closed on Saturday.
And Mr Lodwick said that may mean experts returning to the site in the future to explore further.