Bronze Age Beads from Kynance Gate


Bronze Age Beads from Kynance Gate

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Beads are one of the earliest trade goods used by humans and are even theorised to be a driving force behind the evolution of human language. The first beads were made from seashells, whereas Bronze Age beads found in the British Isles were commonly made from glass derived from plant ash. Bronze Age trade networks were extensive; decorative glass beads found in Bronze Age Danish graves have been traced back to Egypt.

These beads were found at Kynance Gate, located just north of the Lizard. Two Bronze Age hut circles were discovered in 1880, from which over 3000 artefacts have been excavated. Additional finds from the site include sherds of flint, pottery, spindle whorls, moulds used for producing bronze axes.

By Jacob Hannam (Intern from University of Exeter)

The Atlantic: Why We Speak (June 2015)
University of Oxford: Dating of beads sets new timeline for early humans (Sep 2013)
Illustrated Curiosity: Bronze Age glass beads found in Denmark originate in Egypt (Oct 2015)
Jackson 2016: Four Blue Beads from Gardom’s Edge (University of Sheffield)
Phys Org: The enigma of Bronze Age tin (Sep 2019)