Bronze Age Gold from Wales

Middle Bronze Age gold bead

This is a small round hollow bead. The bead has been expertly hammered and shaped, probably from a sheet gold strip, with the ends of the strip being cold welded together to create the hollow form. The perfect circular shape may have been achieved by shaping the gold, from the inside surface, into the contours of a negative curved cavity.

Round gold bead, 1300-1150 BCE. Wales was at the heart of a tradition of gold-working in Atlantic Europe during the Middle Bronze Age. This bead was among objects found at Burton near the River Alun.

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

2005.68H/7

Find Information

Site Name: Burton, Wrexham

Collection Method: metal detector

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 were found while metal-detecting in August 2007 a few metres from the hoard findspot and were deemed to also be part of this hoard.

Acquisition

Treasure (1996 Treasure Act), 14/10/2005

Measurements

diameter / mm:7.3
thickness / mm:6.0

Material

gold

Location

St Fagans Wales Is gallery : Gold

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