Bronze Age Gold from Wales

Late Bronze Age gold lock ring

This is a small, gold penannular ring, which has been crushed nearly flat and is damaged at one end and on one face. This damage is a mixture of recent activity, and a prehistoric action. Originally, the ring would have been near circular (c.3cm in diameter), with a three-dimensional form and a triangular shaped cross-section. This type of ring is known as a ‘lock-ring’. This is one of eight lock-rings currently known from Wales; the only example found as a single find and the only example from west Wales. One small piece is detached and no join can be detected.

The ring was produced from two circular and plain face-plates that joined at the external circumference, with a gold wire fused (probably soldered) to form an outer rim-binding. A central circular opening to the ring – probably once approximately 9.5mm in diameter - was lined by a third sheet. This was tube shaped, though discontinuous, with a gap in the vertical plane for the slot. The terminals would also have had a triangular cross-section, and were seemingly open (i.e. with no covering).

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)

Gold lock-ring
Image: © Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales
Gold lock-ring
Image: © Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales
Gold lock-ring
Image: © Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales

Collection Area

Archaeology & Numismatics

Item Number

2010.36H

Find Information

Site Name: Newport, Pembrokeshire

Collection Method: metal detector
Date: 2009 / March / 30

Notes: Single find. The ring was found on 30th March 2009 while metal-detecting in a ploughed field. It was recovered from the ploughsoil about 2-3cm below the surface.

Acquisition

Treasure (1996 Treasure Act), 23/11/2010

Measurements

diameter / mm:32.4
thickness / mm:0.7

Material

gold

Location

In store
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