Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Roman ring found on Cefn Brithdir given to Winding House museum

BBC News - Roman ring found on Cefn Brithdir given to Winding House museum

A Roman ring found near Caerphilly has been returned by the British Museum for display in a local museum.

The silver treasure, about 2,000 years old, was found on Cefn Brithdir, in the Darran Valley, earlier this year by a man with a metal detector.

The British Museum has given the ring to the Winding House Museum at New Tredegar to put on permanent display.

Emma Wilson, principal museums and heritage officer for Caerphilly, said they were "immensely pleased" to do so.

"We're a relatively new museum having only been open for three years," she said.

"We've got Roman items from Gelligaer on loan to us from the National Museum of Wales, but this is the first such find of our own."

Treasure trove

The Romans had a strong presence in the area in the 1st Century AD, with Caerphilly and Gelligaer included in a network of forts and roads to consolidate their rule across Wales.

The ring was found on Cefn Brithdir, a hill between New Tredegar and Parc Cwm Darran.

Ms Wilson praised the finder for alerting the authorities to his discovery.

"He went through all the correct legal channels, realising it might be treasure," she said.

The ring was passed to the National Museum in Cardiff which identified it as a typical Roman silver finger ring from the 1st or 2nd Century AD, although its gemstone is missing.

The British Museum took care of the ring during the valuation process and, during consultation with the National Museum, identified the interest of the Winding House, a former colliery building, in displaying it.

Ms Wilson said staff were delighted to collect the ring from London on Monday and will put it on display very shortly.

"In monetary terms it's not incredibly valuable but we're very pleased to have it," she said.

"We don't of course know who the ring belonged to - whether it was a Roman soldier marching across Cefn Brithdir, or perhaps was worn by a settler in the area.

"We have plans to involve local schoolchildren in a creative writing exercise to come up with their own suggestions."