Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Copper Age Finery

On Friday, Wessex Archaeology Online reported about an interesting Copper Age burial find in Berkshire, England.  The approximate date of the find is between 2500-2200 BCE.  It's a Beaker culture burial; for those like me who know little about that culture, Wikipedia has an interesting article here, and the Encyclopedia Britannica has a short one here.

The grave in question appears to be that of a woman who was approximately 35 years old when she died. Tube-shaped beads of gold and disc-shaped lignite (a brownish-black coal that looks similar to jet) were found and apparently had been worn by her as a necklace.  Fragments from a number  of amber ornaments were also found in a row along her body; the article suggests that these may have been clothing fasteners, possibly used with fiber loops.  Artists' drawings suggesting what she might have worn to the grave appear with the article.

Unfortunately, the article does not mention any surviving textile remains, though the article suggests (plausibly, but without clear substantiation) that her clothing may have been made from "patterned woven wool." Although I wish for textile remains, it seems unlikely that any will be found, given the apparent lack of copper, bronze or iron artifacts that might have preserved them.

As I read the article, it struck me that the ornaments described--the black-and-gold beaded necklace and the amber pieces--would be deemed handsome today.  Moreover, over 5,000 years later, they still look "modern".  Perhaps some styles truly are timeless.


  1. Hi Cathy,
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  2. Hi, Monika! Thanks for stopping by.

    I had not heard of Glipho until you mentioned it. I would be happy to consider sharing posts there.