Science

Gold ring found in the grave of an Early Bronze Age woman in Germany was crafted in CORNWALL

Gold ring found in the grave of an Early Bronze Age woman in Germany was crafted in CORNWALL – highlighting just how far-reaching the trade of luxury objects was 3,800 years ago

  • The ring was discovered in the grave of an Early Bronze Age woman in Tubingen
  • Analysis found the ring had 20% silver, 2% copper, and traces of platinum and tin
  • This points to a natural gold alloy, typical of gold washed from the River Carnon, 840 miles away in Cornwall

A gold ring has been discovered in the grave of an Early Bronze Age woman in southwest Germany.

The stunning spiral ring was found in the district of Tubingen, and is believed to be the region’s earliest gold object to date.

Despite being over 840 miles away, an analysis suggests that the jewellery was crafted in Cornwall.

Archaeologists say this is ‘unusually early proof’ of the far-reaching trade in luxury objects in Early Bronze Age Europe.

The stunning spiral ring was found in the district of Tubingen, and is believed to be the region’s earliest gold object to date

How can they tell it was made in Cornwall?

An analysis revealed that the ring contained 20% silver, 2% copper, and traces of platinum and tin.

According to the team, this points to a natural gold alloy, typical of gold washed from rivers.

The team wrote: ‘The trace element pattern strongly suggests that this type of gold derives from Cornwall, specifically from River Carnon.’

The ring was discovered by researchers from the Institute of Prehistory and Medieval Archaeology at the University of Tübingen in autumn 2020.

During the excavation, near Ammerbuch-Reusten, the experts found that the woman was buried between about 1850 and 1700 BCE in the foetal position, facing south.

This type of burial is typical of the late Neolithic period in Central Europe, according to the team.

In their study, published in the journal Praehistorische Zeitschrift, the researchers, led by Raiko Krass, wrote: ‘The burial matches a group of other burials from the Bronze Age on the plateau and is apparently related to a hilltop settlement on the nearby Kirchberg of Reusten.’

The only object discovered in the grave was the spiral ring, located behind the woman’s remains at hip height.

The team believes it may have been a hair ornament, and say that it indicates that the woman was of high social status.

During the excavation, near Ammerbuch-Reusten, the experts found that the woman was buried between about 1850 and 1700 BCE in the foetal position, facing south

During the excavation, near Ammerbuch-Reusten, the experts found that the woman was buried between about 1850 and 1700 BCE in the foetal position, facing south

This type of burial is typical of the late Neolithic period in Central Europe, according to the team

This type of burial is typical of the late Neolithic period in Central Europe, according to the team

An analysis of the ring revealed that it contained about 20 per cent silver, less than two per cent copper, and traces of platinum and tin.

The team wrote: ‘Its composition with c. 20 % silver and less than 2 % copper as well as traces of platinum and tin indicates the use of a naturally occurring gold alloy, most likely from so-called alluvial deposits obtained by panning from rivers.’

In particular, this composition hints that the ring may have been crafted in Cornwall. 

The only object discovered in the grave was the spiral ring, located behind the woman's remains at hip height

The only object discovered in the grave was the spiral ring, located behind the woman’s remains at hip height

‘The trace element pattern strongly suggests that this type of gold derives from Cornwall, specifically from River Carnon,’ the team added. 

While older gold and precious metal finds in Europe have almost exclusively originated from deposits in southeastern Europe, this is one of the first items with a clear connection to northwestern Europe.

The team considers the find as evidence that western cultural groups gained increasing influence over central Europe in the first half of the second millennium BCE.

BRONZE AGE BRITAIN: A PERIOD OF TOOLS, POTS AND WEAPONS LASTING NEARLY 1,500 YEARS

The Bronze Age in Britain began around 2,000 BC and lasted for nearly 1,500 years.

It was a time when sophisticated bronze tools, pots and weapons were brought over from continental Europe.

Skulls uncovered from this period are vastly different from Stone Age skulls, which suggests this period of migration brought new ideas and new blood from overseas. 

Bronze is made from 10 per cent tin and 90 per cent copper, both of which were in abundance at the time.

Crete appears to be a centre of expansion for the bronze trade in Europe and weapons first came over from the Mycenaeans in southern Russia.

It is widely believed bronze first came to Britain with the Beaker people who lived about 4,500 years ago in the temperate zones of Europe.

They received their name from their distinctive bell-shaped beakers, decorated in horizontal zones by finely toothed stamps.

The decorated pots are almost ubiquitous across Europe, and could have been used as drinking vessels or ceremonious urns.

Believed to be originally from Spain, the Beaker folk soon spread into central and western Europe in their search for metals.

Textile production was also under way at the time and people wore wrap-around skirts, tunics and cloaks. Men were generally clean-shaven and had long hair.

The dead were cremated or buried in small cemeteries near settlements.

This period was followed by the Iron Age which started around 650 BC and finished around 43 AD.



Most Related Links :
todayuknews Governmental News Finance Newsnews

Source link

Back to top button