Gold has been treasured as a rare and precious material ever since it was first used in Britain nearly 4500 years ago. Symbols of power that catch the sun’s rays, our Chalcolithic (Copper Age) and Bronze Age gold objects still dazzle and amaze us. But there is much that we still need to find out about which sources of gold had been used, how objects were made, and how the know-how to extract and work gold was passed on.


The Arts and Humanities Research Council is funding a Research Network to investigate these and other questions, and the project starts on 1 May 2018. It is a joint project with Amgueddfa Cymru/National Museum Wales.

The project will bring together an international group of expert geologists, geochemists, archaeometallurgists, archaeologists and practising goldworkers to define what we know and what we don’t know about gold and its uses and significance between 2450 BC and 800 BC, and how we can go about addressing the outstanding questions.

Each week, we shall be featuring a gold object from this period that has been found in Britain’s auriferous (gold-bearing) regions: Scotland, Wales, and north-west and south-west England.

Get involved

There will be public events associated with the Network’s project. Watch out for details of the first public lecture, to be held in the National Museum of Scotland’s Auditorium on Thursday 20 September at 6pm.

And follow our progress on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram – search #PrehistoricGold.

The Research Network and its project

Find out about the AHRC Gold Research Network and what it will be doing.
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Gold object of the week

Each week, we shall be featuring a gold object from this period that has been found in Britain’s auriferous (gold-bearing) regions: Scotland, Wales, and north-west and south-west England.
More

Network members

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.
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#PrehistoricGold

Supported by

Arts & Humanities Research Council   National Museum Wales

Header image: Detail of a Late Bronze Age hair ring from Cladh Hallan, South Uist, around 1100 BC. Photo reproduced courtesy of Professor Mike Parker Pearson.

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