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6 September 2010
Bronze Age gold bracelets found in Kent

Two Bronze Age gold bracelets almost 3,000 years old have been discovered during excavations along the route of the East Kent Access Road (England). When they were found one bracelet was placed inside the other. The bracelets were found in an area of the Ebbsfleet peninsula from which four other Late Bronze Age hoards are already known. Those hoards are all of bronze objects, mainly axes, tools like punches and gouges, fragments of swords, and small ingots.
     Although traces of a Late Bronze Age settlement have also been found, the two hoards of axes found in 2004 were shown to be later than the occupation. One theory is that the newly discovered gold bracelets were votive offerings to the gods. Another is that they may have been buried for safe-keeping but never retrieved.
     Like some of the previous finds, the bracelets had not been buried in a pit. They were found in the topsoil which suggests that they were either covered by a thin layer of soil or perhaps placed in a bag or other organic container. The findspot lies at the foot of low but locally prominent hill which although it is some way inland today, would have been much closer to the sea in the Bronze Age. The best parallel for the bracelets, which date to the 9th or 8th century BCE, are from two hoards found at Bexley Heath in Kent, which are now in the British Museum.

Source: Oxford Wessex Archaeology (2 September 2010)

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