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The AHRC Gold Research Network brings together, for the first time, experts and early-career researchers from a number of disciplines and countries to share their knowledge and expertise about gold and how it was worked and used in the auriferous (gold-bearing) regions of Britain between 2450 BC and 800 BC.

It will be investigating questions such as: from where did the knowledge of extracting and using gold come to Britain? We know that gold from Cornwall or Devon was used from around 2200 BC, but was Welsh and Scottish gold, or gold from north-west England used during this period as well? Can we identify the use of non-British gold? How easy is it to source gold from artefacts? And who were the goldworkers? What were their tools and techniques? How did the various goldworking traditions develop? What did gold mean to the people who used it?

Meeting in three invitation-only symposia in Edinburgh (September 2018), Cardiff (February 2019) and Dublin (July 2019), the Network will have the task of creating a Research Framework, setting out what we know, what we don’t know and what the key outstanding questions are, and drawing up a Research Strategy that shows how we can best address those questions. The Research Framework and Strategy will be published online so that everyone can benefit from them.

Each one of the symposia will be accompanied by a public event: a lecture in Edinburgh and Cardiff, and a practical demonstration of Bronze Age-style goldworking in Dublin. And you can follow the progress of the project on Facebook and Twitter – search #PrehistoricGold.

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