A 3,000-YEAR-OLD gold cape discovered in Mold is making a comeback to Wales.
The Mold Gold Cape is leaving the British Museum in London to go on public display across Wales in the summer.
The cape, which dates to the Bronze Age around 1,600-1,900 BC, was discovered by workmen digging for stone at Bryn yr Ellyllon in 1833.
It will be shown at the National Museum in Cardiff from July 2 to August 4, and then at Wrexham Museum from August 7 to September 14.
Wrexham Council leader, Cllr Neil Rogers, said: “The last time the Mold Cape came to Wrexham Museum in 2005 it attracted 11,500 visitors in just 12 weeks.
“That fact more than any other illustrates the huge level of interest amongst the local public for both archaeology and our shared prehistoric heritage, so I am naturally excited at the prospect of the cape’s return to the town.
“The exhibition at Wrexham Museum will tell the story of its discovery and by looking at the evidence for other similar sites in the area, attempt to set it in its contemporary archaeological context.
“The display of the cape would clearly not be possible without the co-operation of both the British Museum and National Museum Wales and Wrexham Council is extremely grateful to both bodies for their ongoing support in continuing to bring our shared national treasures to Wrexham.”
The cape is carefully fashioned from a single sheet of thin gold, and was found when workmen discovered a skeleton in a grave at the centre of a circular burial monument.
The accompanying items, hundreds of amber beads and gold and bronze fragments, were divided up between them and the land tenant.
The original shape of the object only became clear after painstaking work by the British Museum, piecing together all the embossed fragments to reveal its original form as a cape.
Recent research has suggested that the wearer of the cape, amber bead necklace and the bronze knife may have been a woman.
British Museum director Neil MacGregor said: “Through research on rare objects like the Mold Gold Cape, in recent years we have come to see British prehistoric societies very differently.
“These precious objects show us that societies in Britain must then have been extremely sophisticated, both in skill and in their social structure.
“They were not isolated but part of a larger European trade network, a web of trade and exchange from North Wales to Scandinavia.”
National Museum Wales’ director general David Anderson added: “We’re delighted that this priceless Bronze Age masterpiece from North East Wales will soon be on display again.
“Having one of Britain’s most famous ancient artefacts and one of the most important European Bronze Age finds on display in Wales, where it was originally found, is a wonderful and unique opportunity for local people and visitors to enjoy and to find out more about their heritage and early past.
“The Mold Cape is of great importance, in both local and national contexts and is also of international significance to our understanding of cultural expression and power relations in Early Bronze Age Europe, reflected both in life and in death.”
The Mold Gold Cape was one of the 100 objects featured in the BBC’s A History of the World in partnership with the British Museum.