During the 2002 excavation of the lead smelting site a small (39 mm diameter) gold
foil disc was found lying upon the earlier ground surface close to one of the medieval
On closer examination this turned out to be an unusual and important find: a Copper
Age / Early Bronze Age “sun disc”, a unique object to the region and perhaps the
earliest gold artefact from Wales.
This is an example of early Bell Beaker gold work, the thin foil disc decorated with
a simple repousse design of concentric rings and dots, rather similar in some respects
to the designs found on some of the so-called “basket-earring” hair tress ornaments
accompanying important Beaker burials.
Originally the disc may have been worn attached to a cloak or shroud.
In March 2003 the area of this find was re-investigated and a heavily disturbed grave-cut
was discovered lying almost directly beneath the findspot.
Some filmy traces of degraded bone but no other grave goods were discovered. The
grave faced west down the “V” of the Ystwyth Valley and towards the distant horizon.
This website was made possible by a grant from the Cambrian Archaeology Association
Excavation of disc findspot in 2003 showing putative grave.
Location of gold disc.
Photo reproduced by permission National Museum and Galleries of Wales.
In the context of understanding the local landscape of Cwmystwyth during the period of prehistoric mining, a further investigation was undertaken on what was thought to be a Bronze Age kerb cairn located on a prominent spur of the hillside directly above the main historical - period workings at Pant Morcell.