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Article: Bronze age Ireland: the countrys golden era


#1

In the early Bronze Age, Ireland had more than its fair share of
gold. Was it imported, or are there forgotten deposits of gold?
Chemical investigations suggest that raw material for Ireland=B4s
prehistoric gold hoard may have been sourced from near neighbours.
An alternative explanation is that there are forgotten Irish
deposits rich in gold. Visit the National Museum on Kildare Street,
Dublin, and you will be struck by the sheer number of gold objects.
The desire for this precious metal was strong in prehistoric, pagan
Ireland. The array of gold ornaments includes collars, torcs and
bracelets, mostly from the Bronze Age, 2,200 to 800 BC.

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#2

Interesting what they say about the lead isotopes. I have to
question the assumption that the trace elements are necessarily from
the natural deposit. Couldn’t it also be a contamination introduced
during the melting and processing of the material?


#3
Interesting what they say about the lead isotopes. I have to
question the assumption that the trace elements are necessarily
from the natural deposit. Couldn't it also be a contamination
introduced during the melting and processing of the material? 

Maybe, a bit of conjecture posed that, sometimes the period metal
caster would throw in “any” metal to extend the material.

Some dark age bronze even had iron in the mix. A bit of cross
contamination. maybe, by design. maybe.

Will we ever know for sure. nope. That’s why it’s called the dark
age, and we know relatively little (compared to other periods of
history) about that period of European history.

Regards Charles A.


#4
Maybe, a bit of conjecture posed that, sometimes the period metal
caster would throw in "any" metal to extend the material. 

I suppose if the lead isotopes are fairly consistent from one piece
to another that would indicate a common source. Even if it was a
result of contamination from the process, it would indicate a
consistent process with the lead coming from the same source each
time. But the gold in these Bronze Age objects is generally pretty
high quality, as I recall. A great case of casters mixing precious
and base metals with out much concern for quality would be the Dark
Age Pictish hoard found at St. Ninian’s Isle in the Shetlands in
1958. That stuff was apparently made using a mix of old Roman silver
and bronze. The material ranges in silver content from 91% down to
17%, with most of the objects being between 40 & 60% silver.