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Early Bronze Age cup

Breach Farm, Llanblethian, Vale of Glamorgan

1950-1750 BC

This small cup was discovered by National Museum archaeologist W.F. Grimes in 1938 during the excavation of circular burial monument (or barrow). The cup was part of a group of fine objects buried with the cremated bones of four people. All were aged over 18 years old when they died – two males, one female and one unknown. Thirteen finely made flint barbed and tanged arrowheads, a pair of stone arrow shaft smoothers, a bronze axe, dagger and chisel were also placed in the grave.

The decoration on this cup is made up of incised lines. Careful analysis of these designs has shown they were originally filled with red ochre and white burnt bone in an alternating pattern. The sun-like pattern on the base of the cup was meant to be seen and two small perforations on the side of the cup suggest it may have been suspended or tied as part of the funerary rituals.

NMW 38.37/1

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