Applying a new technique of measuring the chemical composition of solid samples, archaeologists analyzed some of the earlier gold artifacts in Ireland and found that the objects were actually made from gold which had been imported from Britain’s Cornwall region.
Not only do the findings suggest the existence of an ancient gold trading route some 4,500 years ago, they also suggest that gold’s origin were once “cherished” as a key property of the precious metal.
The group of archaeologists behind the discovery were led by Dr. Christopher Standish from the University of Bristol and the University of Southampton.
In regards to the gold’s imported origins, Dr. Standish was quoted by The Statesman as having said that it’s “unlikely that knowledge of how to extract gold did not exist in Ireland, as we see large scale exploitation of other metals. It is more probably that an ‘exotic’ origin was cherished as a key property of gold and was an important reason behind why it was imported for production.”
This is an unexpected and particularly interesting result as it suggests that Bronze Age gold workers in Ireland were making artefacts out of material sourced from outside of the country, despite the existence of a number of easily-accessible and rich gold deposits found locally (…) It is unlikely that knowledge of how to extract gold did not exist in Ireland, as we see large scale exploitation of other metals. It is more probable that an ‘exotic’ origin was cherished as a key property of gold and was an important reason behind why it was imported for production
In order to analyze the gold artifacts in the collections of the National Museum of Ireland, the scientists employed a new technique known as laser ablation mass spectrometry, Sci-News reported. The technique allowed the researchers to measure isotopes of lead in tiny fragments which were then compared with the composition of gold deposits found in different locations. Eventually, the researchers concluded that the gold contained within the objects most likely originated in Cornwall, not Ireland.
In other archaeological coverage here at Immortal News, archaeologists excavating a a ninth century Swedish grave discovered a ring inscribed with the word “Allah” in Arabic Kufic. The ring’s discovery suggests that ancient tales of encounters between Islamic culture and Scandinavians dating back about 1,000 years ago may have been more fact than fiction.