PAS-833958: Bronze Age bracelets and neckrings with pot from Milton Keynes

Rights Holder: The British Museum
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Rights Holder: The British Museum
CC License:

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Unique ID: PAS-833958

Object type certainty: Certain
Workflow status: Awaiting validation Find awaiting validation

A hoard of five late Bronze Age gold jewellery items and one copper-alloy fragment, found in a pottery vessel. The contents of the hoard are as follows:

1.) Neckring 1: a penannular ring of thick gold bar of elliptical cross-section, the whole ring is decorated with incised radial lines except for a plain strip along the rear face; there is more complex groove decoration near the terminals.
2.) Necking 2: a penannular ring of thick gold bar of elliptical cross-section, decorated near the terminal zones only, with bands of close-set grooves.
3.) Bracelet 1: a 'C'-shaped ring of elliptical cross-section; the butt ends are ground flat.
4.) Bracelet 2: a 'C'-shaped ring of elliptical cross-section; the opening is narrower than Bracelet 1; the butt ends are ground flat.
5.) Bracelet 3: a penannular ring of almost 'D'-shaped plan and with an octagonal cross-section.
6.) Bronze fragment: a tiny fragment of rod or wire
7.) Pottery vessel: an undecorated fineware bowl in a brown fabric with eroded traces of lightly burnished surfaces.

Discussion: The information on the context of this find is very good thanks to the diligence of the finders, the efforts of the local archaeologists Paul and Charmian Woodfield and Brian Giggins, and the prompt action of Hayley Bullock of the British Museum's Department of Conservation and Scientific Research. As a result the Milton Keynes Hoard represents the first unequivocal association between a gold hoard and pottery for the British Middle to Late Bronze Age. This is of exceptional importance for helping synchronise the chronology of gold metalwork, which normally occurs in isolation, with the broader picture of social and economic development.

Excluding the fragment of bronze, which is too small and undiagnostic, all objects in the hoard cab nee identified as Late Bronze Age types. The pot form belong to the Post Deverel-Rimbury tradition, and essentially to the early to middle phases of that tradition, which span the British Late Bronze Age, about 1150-800BC. The gold types represented can be accommodated within this date span, although it is not impossible that some of them first emerged a little earlier. The neckrings belong to a family distributed widely and thinly across the Atlantic regions of Europe, from Iberia to Ireland and Britain. Precise morphology and decorative schema are varied across this geographical range.

Plain, expanded-terminal bracelets with round or oval band sections are a dominat form in the British/Irish Middle to Late Bronze Age. The two examples in this hoard are unusual only in their massive proportions, hitherto rarely seen. The third, faceted bracelet is again unusual in its precise form, but is clearly affiliated to lozenge sectioned, and other faceted bracelet types.

Dimensions and Metal Content:
1.) Diameter: 143.5mm x 135mm; thickness of bar: 15.1mm x 11.4mm; weight 626.9g
2.) Diameter: 145.9mm x 134.5mm; maximum thickness of bar: 12.9mm x 10.0mm; weight 441.3g
3.) Diameter: 84.7mm x 65mm; minimum thickness of bar: 14.5mm x 10.8mm; weight 382.6g
4.) Diameter: 81.4mm x 68.5mm; minimum thickness of bar: 14.4mm x 11.2mm; weight 408.0g
5.) Diameter: 73.6mm x 62.5mm; minimum thickness of bar: 9.2mm x 7.0mm; weight 162.5g
6.) No measurements
7.) Diameter of body: 210mm; diameter of base: 100mm; height 100mm

X-ray fluorescence analysis conducted at the British Museum indicated approximate gold contents as:
1.) 76 per cent 2.) 85 per cent 3.) 84 per cent 4.) 85 per cent 5.) 84 per cent


This find qualifies for Treasure in terms of both age and precious metal content.

Subsequent actions

Current location of find: British Museum
Subsequent action after recording: Acquired by museum after being declared Treasure

Treasure details

Treasure case tracking number: PEE69


Broad period: BRONZE AGE
Period from: BRONZE AGE
Period to: BRONZE AGE
Date from: Circa 1150 BC
Date to: Circa 800 BC

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 7

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Mr Ian Richardson
Identified by:

Other reference numbers

Treasure case number: PEE69
Museum accession number: 2002,0701

Materials and construction

Primary material: Gold
Completeness: Complete

Spatial metadata

Region: South East (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Milton Keynes (Unitary Authority)
District: Milton Keynes (Unitary Authority)
To be known as: Milton Keynes

Spatial coordinates

Grid reference source: Centred on parish
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 1000 metre square.

Discovery metadata

Method of discovery: Metal detector
Discovery circumstances: Found on 7 September 2000
Current location: British Museum

References cited

No references cited so far.

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: PAS
Created: 6 years ago
Updated: 12 months ago

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