Bronze Age Gold from Wales

Bronze Age gold bracelet, armlet or anklet

This is a thin, rectangular strip of gold, which has been curved into an armlet or bracelet form. It has been hammered along each long edge to form a raised border that projects both externally and internally, while the ends of the strip have been hammered outwards to a sharp expanded edge. The wide armlet band is plain and undecorated. A secondary thin strip has been wrapped around the body of the bracelet nearly twice over. The strip is undiagnostic and may have used to ‘lock’ the terminals in place. This strip is perforated at one end, but the purpose of this is unknown. The overall bracelet has been damaged, probably during recovery, creating a rough, crinkled surface.

The forms of the bracelets in this hoard are very unusual, with no parallels known at the time of discovery. Since discovery, further comparable examples are now known from the Maesmelan hoard, Powys. Comparisons have been drawn with Irish ribbed sheet bracelets, though the Capel Isaf form may represent an insular production. This is supported further by the high silver content of one of the bracelets, which may be more in keeping with Welsh gold sources, rather than Irish sources.

Project Title: Gold in Britain’s auriferous regions, 2450-800 BC: towards a coherent Research Framework and Strategy. Status: Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Network Grant funded project (2018-2019)

WA_SC 18.1

Collection Area

Archaeology & Numismatics

Item Number

76.7H/1

Find Information

Site Name: Capel Isaf House, Manordeilo

Collection Method: chance find
Date: 1975 / Sep

Notes: Hoard. Four gold armlets and one gold fragment were found in September 1975 near the town of Llandeilo while excavating a sewer trench. The objects were apparently “wrapped round each other” and were probably buried beneath a large glacial erratic slab. This slab may have acted as a marker in prehistory.

Acquisition

Treasure trove, 22/1/1976

Measurements

diameter / mm:62.0 x 48.0
thickness / mm:1.0
width / mm:37.0
width / mm:7.0 transverse strip

Material

gold

Location

St Fagans Wales Is gallery : Gold

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