Britains most important archeological discovery found in desk drawerOctober 23rd, 2008 - 3:48 pm ICT by ANI
London, Oct 23 (ANI): Thousands of tiny gold pins which lay hidden in a desk drawer for 40 years have been described as one of Britains most important archeological finds.
According to a report in the Telegraph, the artifacts were part of a dagger buried with a warrior chief, near Stonehenge, nearly 4,000 years ago.
The pinhead-sized studs form an intricate pattern on the handle of the dagger, but archeologists failed to realise their significance when they excavated the burial mound in Wiltshire - known as Bush Barrow- in 1808.
Now, they are to be re-united with other priceless artifacts unearthed at the site and put on show at the Wiltshire Heritage Museum in Devizes after Niall Sharples, a senior lecturer at Cardiff University turned out his predecessors desk and discovered them in a film canister labelled Bush Barrow.
In the 1960s, the gold was taken away for examination by Professor Richard Atkinson, a Cardiff University archaeologist well known for his work at Stonehenge and nearby Silbury Hill.
We think he recognized what they were but then he died and they were rescued by his successor Professor John Evans who put them in a drawer in his desk, said Wiltshire Heritage Museum director David Dawson.
Professor Evans died in 2005 and the gold studs have now been found by Niall Sharples, who is going to return them to us, he added.
The gold pins, thought to come from Ireland, were fashioned by craftsmen in Brittany, France, and inlaid in an intricate herringbone pattern into the handle of the ceremonial dagger, which had an eight inch bronze blade.
It is the richest and most important Bronze Age grave on the Salisbury Plain and in Britain, according to experts.
According to David Dawson, the director of Wiltshire Heritage Museum, Its an unbelievable find.
The gold studs are remarkable evidence of the skill and craftsmanship of Bronze Age goldsmiths - quite rightly described as the work of the gods, he added. (ANI)
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