| 6 December 2008
Rare Bronze Age necklace found in England
A rare amber necklace believed to be about 4,000 years old has been uncovered in Greater Manchester (England). Archaeologists made the find while excavating a cist - a type of stone-lined grave - in Mellor, Stockport. Peter Noble from The University of Manchester, who led the dig, said: "An amber necklace of this sort was one of the most important ways that people of the early Bronze Age could display their power and influence. The fact that it has been found in the north west of England is pretty amazing and extremely rare. The necklace was made of amber - which is not found in this region. In fact, the nearest source is in the Baltic so we're bound to ask, how did it get here and who brought it? The fact that this was found in an area that was always considered to be barren raises some really interesting questions about what was going on at the time in terms of status and wealth."
The necklace consists of dozens of pierced amber beads of various sizes, linked together on a length of fibre. It was discovered in the cist by experts from the university and local Mellor Archaeological Trust, who said the mystery was now how the material got to the north west. "Amber is very significant," said Vicky Nash, of the Mellor Archaeological Trust, who found the ancient item. "It's associated with burials in the prehistoric period but it's not readily available, the nearest source is in the Baltic [region]. So to find that [necklace] in conjunction with a cist, it shows it was a burial of somebody particularly important at that time."
The necklace was restored at the University of Bolton and will be displayed at the Stockport Story museum, in Stockport, later this year.
Source: 24 Dash.com, BBC News (1 December 2008)
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