Bronze Age Gold from Wales

Middle Bronze Age gold bead

This is a biconical shaped gold bead made of thin sheet. A partial crack around the widest mid-section suggests that the bead may have been formed by fusing together two small hollow and cone-shaped fragments at their widest circumference. The outer holes, or apertures, were used for threading the bead. Originally circular, both have been damaged during or since burial. When discovered, an associated gold wire fragment extended inside the bead.

A biconical bead of gold made from a thin sheet. When found the flattened gold wire terminal was held inside the interior of the bead. A partial crack running around the mid-section angularity suggests that the bead was constructed of two cones with central perforations, whose wider circumferences were welded or fused together to form a biconical form. The perforations were once round to oval shaped, now distorted by compression and damage. One perforation has a 'snagged' side, probably created by pulling pressure on the gold wire found extending inside the bead. The opposite perforation has a partial tear extending from damage on one side of the bead. This damage is a flattened hole (7.3 x 2.0mm), with markedly jagged edges., The original diameter of the bead was probably approximately 10.3 - 11.0mm. The bead has shallow striations covering its external surface.

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

2009.37H/1

Find Information

Site Name: Burton, Wrexham

Collection Method: metal detector
Date: 2007 / August

Notes: Hoard. A hoard of fourteen gold, bronze and ceramic objects were found while metal-detecting in January 2004 in a recently ploughed field in the flood plain of the River Alun at Burton, near Wrexham. Thirteen of these objects were found within a 1.5-2m square area, while a fourteenth was found 24m away. All objects were found 5-20cm below the ground. Subsequently a small archaeological test pit was excavated, which clarified the location of some of the objects. It is possible the objects were deposited within a small ceramic vessel, though only a sherd of this still survives. Two further gold objects (2009.37H/1-2) were found while metal-detecting in August 2007 a few metres from the hoard findspot about 60cm below the surface and were deemed to also be part of this hoard.

Acquisition

Treasure (1996 Treasure Act), 11/12/2009

Measurements

diameter / mm:13.5 (crushed)
width / mm:8.0
thickness / mm:<0.1
diameter / mm:2.0-4.0 (of aperture)

Material

gold

Location

St Fagans Wales Is gallery : Gold

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