Northern Ireland news

Hidden treasures unveiled at new Ulster Museum exhibition

Dr Eleanor Ghey among the substantial collection of artefacts and treasure on display. Picture by Hugh Russell

A NEW exhibition uncovering the stories behind buried treasure will open at the Ulster Museum in Belfast today.

A substantial collection of artefacts and treasure will be on display in the touring exhibition, 'Hoards: the hidden history of ancient Britain and Ireland'.

From Bronze Age weapons discovered in the River Thames to Iron Age coins, through to artefacts buried after the collapse of Roman rule in Britain, the exhibition also showcases recent discoveries reported by finders and archaeologists through the Treasure Act.

Objects from National Museums NI’s own hoards collection, including two magnificent Roman rings from Murlough in Co Down, are also on display for the first time.

A substantial collection of artefacts and treasure will be on display. Picture by Hugh Russell

The exhibition also explores the reasons why ancient people placed precious objects underwater and in the ground since the Bronze Age. They may have been accidentally lost or stolen, discarded as worthless, saved for recycling, hidden for safekeeping, or offered up to the gods.

Dr Greer Ramsey from National Museums NI said it was a "unique opportunity to see items dating back to Britain and Ireland’s ancient past".

"It explores the act of hoarding, whether this reflects objects hidden for safe keeping or as part of religious or ritual activity," he said.

National Museums NI opens its first exhibition of the year at the Ulster Museum today. Picture by Hugh Russell

"We are delighted to collaborate with the British Museum and Salisbury Museum to display items that have been rarely seen by our museum visitors ranging from Bronze Age jewellery to spectacular coin hoards, telling a story about how people lived thousands of years ago in Britain and Ireland."

The exhibition runs until March 31 and admission is free.

A substantial collection of artefacts and treasure will be on display. Picture by Hugh Russell

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