Monday, August 16, 2010

Bronze Age Gold Bracelets Found

Still coated with earth, the two gold bracelets discovered on road site. Photo courtesy: express

These beautiful Bronze Age gold bracelets are the highlights of finds at the site of a new road.

The bracelets, nearly 3,000 years old, were spotted lying on top of a pile of earth dug up from a trench.

Archaeologists are digging on the site of the planned road near Ramsgate, Kent, before builders move in.

The bracelets are among 10,000 finds unearthed so far.

The dig on the East Kent Access Road on the Isle of Thanet between Ramsgate and Sandwich is the biggest archaeological excavation in the country this year, involving 150 archaeologists supported by 91 volunteers. It has revealed a huge amount about how people were living on the Isle of Thanet from earliest times.

The remains of prehistoric burial monuments, Iron Age enclosures and a village which would have seen the Roman invasion are among the remarkable discoveries made by the dig, now almost complete.

Simon Mason, Kent County Council’s principal archaeological officer, found the bracelets, dating back to around 700 BC.

He said: “It was incredible – a really exciting find. I couldn’t believe it when I saw them. It’s the first time I have found gold in 20 or 30 years as an archaeologist. “They looked too good to be real. When we washed them and cleaned them we realised they were something special.”

It is thought they were child?ren’s bracelets that may have been buried as a worship offering. They were found together, one pushed inside the other.

There is evidence of a Bronze Age settlement on the find site, and five hoards of bronze objects of a similar age have been found in the same area. Mr Mason added: “Their real value to me as an archaeologist is how they contribute to the story we are putting together from our excavations on the road.

“With all the thousands of everyday objects we have dug up they are really helping to shed new light on the lives of prehistoric, Roman and Saxon people in Thanet.”

Dr Andrew Fitzpatrick from Oxford Wessex Archaeology said: “The gold bracelets are stunning.”

Via express

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