Embossed gold strip, probably early Bronze Age

Museums Worcestershire have recently acquired this mysterious but beautiful artefact for the Worcestershire museum collection through the Treasure process.  It will be on display at the Worcestershire County Museum at Hartlebury Castle from Easter until autumn 2012.

This report was compiled for the Portable Antiquities Scheme by Alessia Murgia and Ben Roberts, Curator of European Bronze Age at the British Museum.

Gold decorated strip. Rectangular strip made with a sheet of gold and decorated with four embossed ribs. The edges of the body have been bent backwards. The strip has been severed at both ends as well as being bent, compressed and twisted.

Length: 28.27 mm; Width: 9.55 mm; Thickness: 0.43 mm; Mass: 1.9 gr



Similar narrow embossed strips are known from the pommels of daggers accompanying Early Bronze Age burials in Scotland but not however comparable to gold dagger fittings in contemporary burials southern England.

Other Bronze Age gold strips found singly such as at Flixton, Yorkshire are broader and have more and narrower incised grooves. The annular ring from the Late Bronze Age hoard at Abia de la Obispalia, central Spain is comparable in form and dimensions but the grooves appear to have been incised rather than embossed. Similarly, the Bronze Age annular ring from Armissan, southeast France may be comparable. However given the relative proximity of the Scottish finds, the object is tentatively dated to the Early Bronze Age.


Almagro Gorbea, M, 1974.  Orfebrería del Bronce Final en la Península Ibérica. El tesoro de Abia de la Obispalía, la orfebrería tipo Villena y Los cuencos de Axtroki. Trabajos de Prehistoria, 31, 39-100.

Eluère, C. 1982. Les Ors Prèhistoriques. Paris: Picard

Hardaker, R. 1974. A Corpus of Early bronze Age Dagger Pommels. Oxford: British Archaeological Reports 3.

Henshall, A. 1968. Scottish Dagger Graves. In J.M. Coles and D.D.A. Simpson (eds) Studies in Ancient Europe: essays presented to Stuart Piggott, 173-195. Leicester: Leicester University Press.

Treasure Annual Report 2003


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