Wearable Art

(image provenance / © unknown)


  • Dated from: 1,600-1,500 BCE
  • Found: Mycenae in 1876 by Heinrich Schliemann
  • Size:
  • Materials: Gold

Hammered gold funerary mask ("Mask of Agamemnon") from grave shafts at Mycenae (Greece). Found at Mycenae in 1876 by the distinguished archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann, it was one of several gold funeral masks found laid over the faces of the dead buried in the shaft graves of a royal cemetery. 

mold cape


  • Dated from: 1900-1600 BC
  • Found: Mold in Flintshire (Wales) by workmen in 1833
  • Size: 46cm
  • Materials: Gold

The cape is assumed to have been part of a ceremonial dress and had been placed on the body of a person who was interred in a rough cist - it is estimated that it originally was decorated with 200-300 amber beads (only one bead survived).

Bush Barrow Burial


  • Dated from: 2000 BC
  • Found: Normanton Down Barrows cemetery (near Stonehenge) in 1808
  • Size: 185.5mm x 157mm and less than 1mm thick
  • Materials: Gold

The design of the Bush Barrow Lozenge and the smaller lozenge are based on a hexagonal shapes that appear to have been created by repeating hexagons within a series of three concentric circles. It contains small drilled or punched holes at its lengthwise ends, which would have been used to hang the lozenge from the neck by a cord so that it lays flat against the chest.

A similar gold lozenge from Clandon Barrow (Dorset) used a decagon in its design.


(image provenance / © unknown)


Four of the elaborately decorated cones have been uncovered at sites in Switzerland, Germany and France over the past 167 years:

  • Berlin Gold Hat (left)
    • Dated from 1,000 to 800BC
    • Height 745mm, average thickness 0.6mm & 490g
    • Made from gold alloy
    • Found probably in Swabia or Switzerland
  • Golden Hat of Schifferstadt
    • Dated from 1,400 to 1,300BC
    • Height 296mm, average thickness 0.2 to 0.25 cm & 350g
    • Made from gold alloy
    • Found near  Schifferstadt (Germany) in 1835
  • Avanton Gold Cone
    • Dated from 1,000 to 900BC
    • Height 550mm & 285g
    • Made from gold alloy
    • Found near Poitiers (France) in 1844
  • Golden Cone of Eseldorf-Buch
    • Dated from 1,000 to 800BC
    • Height 880mm, average thickness 0.78 mm & 330g
    • Made from gold alloy
    • Found crushed and damaged in a field in Southern Germany in 1953




Around nine wooden idols used for either ritual purposes or possibly just childs toys, have been found that date from the late Neolithic to the early Iron Age. The wooden idols are typically male figures, some with holes that are thought to be intended as detachable male genitalia:

  • Dagenham Idol (pine, dating from 2459 - 2110 BC and found in 1922)
  • Ralaghan Figure (yew, dating from 1096 - 906 BC)
  • Roos Carr Figures (yew, dating from 600 - 500 BC and found in 1836)
  • Kingsteignton Idol (oak, dating from 426 - 350 BC and found in 1876)



  • Dated from:1500 - 1300 BCE
  • Materials: Terracota

The Mycenaean female figurines have been found in vast numbers from certain regions like the Argolid, Attica, Mastos and Thebes. Although only a few have been found in situ, some were placed in sanctuaries, where they were used as votive offerings, or in tombs, where they may have served as protective goddesses.


Other Art



  • Dated from: 1600 - 1560 BC
  • Found: Nebra, Saxony-Anhalt (Germany) in 1990's
  • Size: 30 cm diameter / weight of 2.2 kg
  • Materials: Gold / bronze (copper & tin)

The Nebra skydisc is a bronze disk of around 32 cm diameter and a weight of 2.2 kg, with a blue-green patina and inlaid with gold symbols. These are interpreted generally as a sun, a lunar crescent and stars. Originally though to be a hoax, the disc is attributed to a site near Nebra (Germany) and has been associated with the Únětice culture.


Gold Cups


  • Dated from: 1700 - 1500 BC
  • Found: Rillaton, Cornwall in 1837
  • Size:
  • Materials: Gold
  • Dated from: 1700 - 1500 BC
  • Found: Ringlemere, kent in 2001
  • Size: 140mm; 184gm
  • Materials: Gold
Workmen engaged in construction work plundered a burial cairn for stone on part of Bodmin Moor, at Rillaton. In one side of the mound they came upon a stone-lined vault, or cist, 2.4 m long and 1.1 m wide. It contained the decayed remains of a human skeleton accompanied by this gold cup, a bronze dagger and other objects that have not survived'. The pot and gold cup were set beneath a slab leaning against the west wall of the cist
It is thought that the cup was not a grave good however but a votive offering independent of any inhumation and is only one of seven similar gold "unstable handled cups" (unstable because round-bottomed) that have been found in Europe.

Home | About Ancientcraft | Events Calendar | Sitemap | Contact Ancientcraft | Copyright © 2009-2016 Ancientcraft