artefacts

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A group of 453 artefacts are due to go on display at a museum next year

Ancient weapons discovered on a building site will go on display at the Museum of London Docklands next April.

The group of 453 artefacts found in Havering, east London, is the third largest ever discovered in the UK.

It “adds immensely to our understanding of Bronze Age life”, Historic England said.

The find, which dates from between 800BC and 900BC, was officially labelled a treasure by a coroner earlier this year.

The discovery, dubbed the Havering Hoard, was uncovered last September, and will form the centrepiece of a major exhibition.

Archaeologists believed the manner in which the weapons had been so carefully buried in groups close together suggested the site could have been a metal workers’ former vault or an armoury recycling bank or exchange, the Local Democracy Reporting Service said.

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The ancient weapons were discovered in Havering in September 2018

Duncan Wilson, chief executive of Historic England, said: “This extraordinary discovery adds immensely to our understanding of Bronze Age life.

“It also underlines the importance of planned assessment and excavation in archaeological hotspots when new development comes along.

“The finds have already taught us a great deal about this distant age, and ongoing analysis and public outreach means that many more people will benefit from this window into the past thanks to this example of successful development-led archaeology.”

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Archaeologists believe the site could have been a metal workers’ former vault

Roy Stephenson, from the Museum of London, which is part of the same museum group as the Museum of London Docklands, said: “We’re thrilled to be able to display this momentous discovery for the first time as the centrepiece of a major exhibition.

“It’s incredibly rare to have uncovered four separate hoards of such size on one site.

“This discovery is also of huge importance due to the deliberate placement of each deposit and raises questions as to why this treasure was buried in this way and why it was never recovered.

“These questions and more will be investigated in the exhibition.”

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