Bronze Age Gold from Wales

Bronze Age gold bracelet, armlet or anklet

This is a penannular gold bar bracelet with a flat, rectangular cross-section, expanding to circular-sectioned terminals. The bracelet displays moderate signs of wear. It was found coiled within the socket of a bronze axe but was uncoiled by the finder and restored to an oval bracelet form by staff at the British Museum.

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

82.93H/4

Find Information

Site Name: Craig-yr-Wolf, Llanarmon-yn-Iâl

Collection Method: chance find
Date: 1982 / Jul / 14

Notes: Hoard. A socketed axe containing four gold objects in five pieces was found in July 1982 lying on a natural rock ledge, which had been exposed by soil erosion. The ledge formed part of a west-facing limestone outcrop known as Craig-yr-Wolf. The bracelets were tightly coiled separately into small spirals and one piece of a small link was found on one of the bracelets. A joining fragment of the link and a small gold ingot were also found loose in the axe socket. The finder also reported having found small fragments of lead ore in the soil in the socket but discarded them. Archaeological excavation of the remaining soil deposit resulted in no new finds or information. This item was found with fragment 82.93H/3 bent around it. Association of gold objects inside copper alloy (bronze) socketed axes is now known for three Late Bronze Age hoards in Wales, the other two being from Rossett, Wrexham, and Michaelston-super-Ely, Cardiff. The Michaelston-super-Ely hoard also contained a coiled gold bracelet. The metallurgical analysis of the gold objects indicates that the finger ingot and two bracelets in the Llanarmon-yn-Iâl hoard may have originated from the same batch of metal, with differences in composition resulting from poor mixing while casting.

Acquisition

Treasure trove, 28/10/1982

Measurements

maximum diameter / mm:69.6
minimum diameter / mm:54.3
thickness / mm:1.0
width / mm:7.9
terminal width / mm:4.8
terminal thickness / mm:4.5

Material

gold

Location

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

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