Bronze Age Gold from Wales

Middle Bronze Age gold wire

This is a slender piece of gold wire with shaped ends, or terminals. Repeated curves, or meanders in the wire suggest it was once coiled, but has since been partly stretched out of its earlier shape. At one end, there is a small round shaped head and at the other, the wire has been flattened and bent back to create a hook. When discovered, the hook end was located within a gold biconical shaped bead. The wire may therefore have been used, in some way, to help suspend the bead.

A slender wire of gold with recognisable terminals. The wire is sub-rectangular in cross-section with four curving meanders in three dimensions along its length. These suggest the wire was once coiled, having been distorted since burial. One terminal has a small globular shaped head, welded or fused onto the wire. The other has been created by flattening the end 6mm of the wire and then folding back the end 4mm to create a hook or clasp. The location of the hook end within the bead when found, suggests that its function could have been related in some way to the suspension of the bead, though it is not long enough to be a necklace chain.

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/2

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

length / mm:40.7
width / mm:2.1
thickness / mm:<0.1
diameter / mm:0.7 - 1.0 (of wire)
diameter / mm:2.7 (of terminal)

Material

gold

Location

St Fagans Wales Is gallery : Gold

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