A HOARD of Bronze Age treasure hasbeen unearthedbyatrio of Wrexham metal detectors.
Fourteen artefacts of gold, bronze and ancient pottery, thought to date back more than 3,000 years, have been unearthed by the three metal detector enthusiasts in north east Wrexham.
It is the biggest find in Wrexham for decades, although the exact location of where the treasure was found and the identity of those who uncovered it is being kept secret for security reasons.
The treasure is believed to date from between 1300-1100 BC - the Middle Bronze Age.
Among the artefacts is a twisted gold wire bracelet and a spiralled gold wire pendant in the shape of a long bead. The find also includes a form of necklace called a torc, a bracelet, a pendant and a collection of beads and rings, all made of gold.
They were found buried alongside two palstaves - a type of axe - and a chisel within a small pot.
The artefacts had been secretly stored at Wrexham Museum, but have now been moved to the National Museum and Gallery of Wales (NMGW) in Cardiff.
An NMGW spokeswoman said the artefacts were the first of their kind to be found in Britain, and that only one or two similar objects had been discovered in north-western France.
She said: 'The variety of gold objects represented makes this of key importance to our understanding of gold working and adornment in Britain between 1300-1100BC.
'The hoard was probably buried as a gift to the gods by a well-connected and wealthy farming community.'
An inquest will be held next month to establish whether the find is treasure trove, but until then details are remaining under wraps. If the artefacts are found to be treasure trove, the NMGW will be given the first option of permanently acquiring them.
If the Gallery declines, the items will be returned to the finders.
Experts have hailed the find as a fantastic discovery which will open a window on Wrexham's ancient history.
Speaking to the Mail, Charles Cater, president of the Wrexham Metal Detecting Club, said: 'I'm very excited. As a metal detector user, to find 14 artefacts dating back to the Middle Bronze Age is something most of us can only dream of!
'At the moment,we're very much in the dark. We don't even know if it was one of our members because the county archaeologist at Wrexham Museum and the coroner are withholding the details until the inquest.
'We had a meeting last week of all our club members and no-one said anything, but I'm still keeping my fingers crossed that it's one of them!'
Other discoveries of Middle Bronze Age artefacts in North Wales include the famous Gold Cape, which was discovered in Mold. Two years ago, Wrexham metal detector users Pete Williams and Mike Sheen found 3,000-year-old gold bracelet fragments, a bronze axe and a dagger.