Article

An Early Bronze Age Burial with a Golden Spiral Ring from Ammerbuch-Reusten, Southwestern Germany

Authors:
  • Curt Engelhorn Zentrum Archäometrie and University of Heidelberg
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Abstract

A women’s burial of the Early Bronze Age that was uncovered near Ammerbuch-Reusten, Tübingen district in autumn 2020 shows clear relations to burial rites of the Final Neolithic in central Europe. The only grave good was in the rear of the burial. A small spiral ring made of gold wire at the left side of the burial at hip level, which can be considered to be the earliest securely dated precious metal find in southwestern Germany. The find fits into a small series of early spiral rings made of gold wire, which are among the oldest precious metal finds in central Europe. Its composition with c. 20 % silver and less than 2 % copper as well as traces of platinum and tin indicates the use of a naturally occurring gold alloy, most likely from so-called alluvial deposits obtained by panning from rivers. The trace element pattern strongly suggests that this type of gold derives from Cornwall, specifically from River Carnon. The burial matches a group of other burials from the Bronze Age on the plateau and is apparently related to a hilltop settlement on the nearby Kirchberg of Reusten.

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