Record

Gold jewellery found at Heights of Brae, near Dingwall

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Postcard of Gold jewellery found at Heights of Brae, near Dingwall.
000-100-043-981-C

Gold jewellery found at Heights of Brae, near Dingwall

This hoard of gold jewellery and dress accessories was found at the Heights of Brae in Ross-shire. It is the largest surviving late Bronze Age hoard of gold objects found in Scotland. Many of the objects were either imported from Ireland or local copies.

The hoard comprises five penannular bracelets, at least three cup-ended dress accessories and a corrugated band, all of gold. The latter may have been sewn on to a garment as a precious accessory. Some of the objects were unfinished when deposited.

The Heights of Brae hoard was buried either for safekeeping or as a gift to the gods. It contains precious items which were very valuable and rare at the time, and it illustrates the links between Ireland and Scotland in the early 1st millennium BC.


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Online ID: 000-100-043-981-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0098: National Museums Scotland
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  X.FE 102
Date: Between 950 and 750 BC
Material: Gold, sheet; no join visible; decoration consists of corrugations forming five ridges, central three most prominent; badly twisted and dented but retains rigidity
Gold; cup-ended; unfinished decoration, scratched incisions on cups; peck marks from manufacturing process visible; badly scratched, terminals dented
Gold; expanded terminals with well smoothed off lips and slightly convex faces; round-sectioned bar
Gold; expanded terminals, expanded surface slightly concave, face flat with rough edges; round-sectioned bar; marks from manufacturing process visible at joins; scars and scratches on inner surface of bars
Gold; expanded terminals, solid and cone-shaped with a rough lip; round-sectioned bar with a crack and a bump; one side markedly more scratched than the other
Gold; expanded terminals, solid cones with rough edges; round-sectioned bar; triangular marks from manufacturing process visible at joins; scars and scratches on inner surface of bar and close to terminals
Gold; expanded terminals; lozenge-sectioned bar, four main facets with three smaller facets in places, rounder at terminal junction; manufacturing marks on terminals; bar pulled out of shape with vertical scratches
Gold; finished, polished; cup-ended, cups not centred on join with band but project outwards; three incised lines on band, two grooves forming three ridges on inside edge of cups; cups slightly dented, band quite abraded, cracks visible
Gold; unfinished; cup-ended, cups centred on join with band, cup edges rough with inward jutting lips, band slightly faceted at join; no decoration; peck marks from manufacturing process visible; cups scratched on outer surface
Dimensions: 251 mm circumference x 22 mm max W; sheet 1 mm thick
65.15 mm x 27 mm
65.25 mm x 40.35 mm
66.70 mm x 44.70 mm
69.35 mm x 44.20 mm
69.40 mm x 50.30 mm
74.50 mm x 27.50 mm
74.65 mm x 36.50 mm
75 mm x 47 mm
What: Armlet, penannular
Armlet, penannular
Armlet, penannular
Armlet, penannular
Armlet, penannular
Band
Ornament / dress fastener
Ornament / dress fastener
Ornament, cup ended
Subject:
Who:
Where: Scotland, Ross and Cromarty, Heights of Brae
Scotland, Ross and Cromarty, Heights of Brae
Scotland, Ross and Cromarty, Heights of Brae
Scotland, Ross and Cromarty, Heights of Brae
Scotland, Ross and Cromarty, Heights of Brae
Scotland, Ross and Cromarty, Heights of Brae
Scotland, Ross and Cromarty, Heights of Brae
Scotland, Ross and Cromarty, Heights of Brae
Scotland, Ross and Cromarty, Heights of Brae
Event:
Description: Gold cup-ended ornament or dress fastener with unfinished decoration, from Heights of Brae, Easter Ross
Gold cup-ended ornament or dress fastener, finished and polished, from Heights of Brae, Easter Ross
Unfinished cup-ended ornament of gold, from Heights of Brae, Ross-shire
Gold penannular armlet with expanded terminals, from Heights of Brae, Easter Ross
Gold penannular armlet with expanded terminals, from Heights of Brae, Easter Ross
Gold penannular armlet with expanded terminals. from Heights of Brae, Easter Ross
Gold penannular armlet with expanded terminals, from Heights of Brae, Easter Ross
Gold penannular armlet with expanded terminals, from Heights of Brae, Easter Ross
Corrugated band of sheet gold from Heights of Brae, Easter Ross
References:
  • Clarke, D.V. and Kemp, M.M.B. A hoard of Late Bronze Age gold objects from Heights of Brae, Ross and Cromarty District, Highland Region. Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland 114 (1984), pp 189-98. 
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