Bronze Age Gold from Wales

Middle Bronze Age gold bead

This is a small, biconical shaped bead of sheet gold, which is plain and undecorated. The surface has suffered minor denting and deformation, which probably happened after burial within a cave at Ogof-yr-Esgyrn. Close analysis suggests that this bead may have been formed from a cylinder of gold that was pressed out from the inside, to create the biconical form.

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)

Collection Area

Archaeology & Numismatics

Item Number


Find Information

Site Name: Ogof-yr-Esgyrn, Glyntawe

Grid Reference: SN 8378 1604
Collection Method: excavation
Date: 1938-1950

Notes: Cave. The bead was found during the 1938-50 excavations of Ogof yr Esgyrn (the Bone Cave). The bead was found immediately above a stalagmite floor and a variety of Bronze Age and Romano-British finds were made throughout the cave. In close proximity to the bead, though not necessarily in association was a bronze awl, a tanged razor, pottery sherds belonging to eight Middle Bronze Age vessels and a various human remains representing at least four adults and eight children. A Middle Bronze Age rapier was found in a separate context about 7 metres away, but would have been broadly contemporary with the bead.


Donation, 15/6/1978


(): diameter / mm:9.0
(): diameter / mm:5.0 (central hole)
(): height / mm:6.0
(): weight / g:0.4




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