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Gold Lunulae and Axehead, Early Bronze Age, St Merryn, Cornwall

Gold Lunulae and Axehead, Early Bronze Age, St Merryn, Cornwall


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Filename: TRURI-1866-1.tiff

Size: 4037 x 3238 (3.7MB)

Date: 23rd May 2019

Source: Royal Cornwall Museum

© RIC

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Gold Lunulae and Axehead, Early Bronze Age, St Merryn, Cornwall

Two Early Bronze Age gold lunulae and copper alloy flat axehead found in a barrow at Harlyn Bay, St Merryn in 1864. They were discovered on the west side of the bay, near the cliff edge, by a labourer digging a pond on land owned by Mr Hellyar. Lunulae are neck ornaments made from a flat sheet of crescent shaped gold with oval or square shaped terminals. The lunula on the left hand side is of provincial type, decorated with incised lines. It is identical to one found at Kerivoa and another from St Potan, Cotes-du-Nord, Brittany. All were made by the same craftsman using the same tools. The lunula on the right hand side is of classical type, decorated with incised lines. Beaker Period, around 2300 BC - 2000 BC. TRURI : 1866.1

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TRURI : 1866.1

Media ID 19011292

© RIC

Gold Head Tools Assemblage Axe Head Crescent Moon Funerary Neck Ornament


EDITORS COMMENTS
This print showcases two exquisite artifacts from the Early Bronze Age, discovered in St Merryn, Cornwall. The focal point of the image is a pair of gold lunulae and a copper alloy flat axehead found within a barrow at Harlyn Bay in 1864. Unearthed near the cliff edge by a diligent labourer digging a pond on Mr Hellyar's land, these treasures offer an intriguing glimpse into ancient craftsmanship. Lunulae, which are neck ornaments crafted from crescent-shaped sheets of gold with oval or square terminals, were highly valued during this period. On the left-hand side rests a provincial-type lunula adorned with meticulously incised lines. Remarkably similar to counterparts found at Kerivoa and St Potan in Brittany, it is evident that all three were fashioned by the same skilled artisan employing identical tools. Opposite stands another lunula of classical type embellished with intricate incised lines as well. Dating back to the Beaker Period around 2300 BC - 2000 BC, these precious relics hold immense historical significance. This remarkable assemblage not only sheds light on early burial practices but also highlights the sophisticated metalworking abilities prevalent during this era. Preserved for centuries within their funerary context, these artifacts serve as tangible links to our distant past and remind us of the ingenuity and artistry possessed by our ancestors.

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