Bronze Age Gold from Wales

Late Bronze Age gold penannular lock ring

This is a small, hollow, penannular ring of sheet gold with a triangular shaped cross-section. It is formed of two conical plates, joined base-to-base, creating a biconical form. The outer edge is bound by a round-sectioned gold wire, which has been soldered to the plates. This has come away from the edges at more than one point and there are drips of solder present on the face plates. The ring has a central, circular opening, which was lined by a third sheet. This was tube shaped, though discontinuous, with a gap at the terminals. The face plates are undecorated.

Eight lock-rings are currently known from Wales, though are typically considered an Irish ornament form. Other Welsh examples have been found in the hoards from Gaerwen (Isle of Anglesey) and Rossett 2 (Wrexham), as well as a single find from Newport (Pembrokeshire). Currently, around 75 examples are known from Britain, Ireland and France.

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)

LI1.4

Collection Area

Archaeology & Numismatics

Item Number

54.82/2

Find Information

Site Name: Pigeon's Cave, Great Ormes Head

Collection Method: chance find
Date: 1898

Notes: Hoard. Two gold lock-rings were found with a bronze palstave and a bronze socketed implement near the Pigeon’s Cave on the Great Orme in 1898. The hoard was supposedly found by two youths amongst the debris at the back of a large loose rock. The account of discovery is recorded by Savory (1958, 56-57) following a newspaper report from 1898 and the exact relationship of the hoard to Pigeon’s Cave is unclear. The Pigeon’s Cave is situated near the sea, and it is unlikely the hoard was associated with a burial.

Acquisition

Bequest, 29/3/1954

Measurements

internal diameter / mm:14.0
external diameter / mm:29.7
maximum thickness / mm:9.0
minimum width / mm:3.0 (of gap)

Material

gold

Location

St Fagans Life Is gallery : Bronze Age and Iron Age Adornment

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