Materials in movement: gold and stone in process in the Upton Lovell G2a burial
journal contributionposted on 2023-03-10, 14:25 authored by Rachel JJ Crellin, Christina Tsoraki, Christopher DD Standish, Richard BB Pearce, Huw Barton, Sarah Morriss, Oliver JT Harris
Excavated over two centuries ago, the Upton Lovell G2a ‘Wessex Culture’ burial has held a prominent place in research on Bronze Age Britain. In particular, was it the grave of a ‘shaman’ or a metalworker? We take a new approach to the grave goods, employing microwear analysis and scanning electron microscopy to map a history of interactions between people and materials, identifying evidence for the presence of Bronze Age gold on five artefacts, four for the first time. Advancing a new materialist approach, we identify a goldworking toolkit, linking gold, stone and copper objects within a chaîne opératoire, concluding that modern categorisations of these materials miss much of their complexity.