people of Bronze Age Ireland produced many
intricate and large gold artefacts, including
necklaces weighing up to two kilos. Leeds
researchers are working to shed light on the
mystery of where the gold came from to produce
pieces on this scale.
that glitters late Bronze Age gold
boxes from Ireland, dated around 1000BC
The gold may have been imported or found in
Ireland. Rob Chapman from the school of continuing
education and earth sciences and Eric Condliffe
from earth sciences have built up a database
of the properties of gold deposits in Great
Britain and Ireland.
The gold artefacts found in Ireland can be
tested for their silver content and the source
of the metal identified from the database.
Dr Chapman said: The database has allowed
meaningful provenancing studies to be undertaken
for the first time.
The research caught the interest of the natural
historian and TV presenter Aubrey Manning
who visited the team in Ireland and Leeds
last year. The programme featuring their work,
Mysteries of the Landscape, was broadcast
on BBC2 last week. Dr Chapman and his team
plan to publish more about their work in the
next nine months.
Age techniques Rob Chapman (left) with
Aubrey Manning, heating quartzite to make
it brittle enough to be crushed to release