Researchers have found ancient trade link between Ireland and Cornwall
Written by The Cormorant Hotel
Researchers from the University of Southampton have found evidence of a previously unknown ancient trading route for gold between Ireland and Cornwall.
The study is suggesting that the two nations were trading gold as long ago as the early Bronze Age, which is around 2500BC.
Researchers were trying to discover why there were so many Bronze Age gold hoards being found in Ireland as opposed to anywhere else in Europe. They conducted their research in partnership with the University of Bristol, where they used a new technique, which studies the chemical composition of the gold artefacts.
The findings showed that the objects were actually made from gold that had originated in Cornwall, and had been imported to the Emerald Isle.
The research technique used what is known as laser ablation mass spectrometry, which sampled the gold from early Bronze Age artefacts, and then measured the isotopes of lead against the composition of the gold found in numerous other locations.
The results are said to be unexpected, and extremely interesting, as it suggests that Bronze Age gold workers in Ireland were using a material sourced from outside of the county to craft their artefacts. This would have been unusual, as there would have been a vast number of local gold deposits, which could have been accessed a lot more easily.
The conclusion was found that the artefacts tested from a Bronze Age collection borrowed from the National Museum of Ireland most likely originated from Cornwall. Finding out that gold was exported from the south west was surprising, as Cornwall was well known to be a source of tin, which is most commonly used as an alloy in copper.
Gold might not have always been linked with the wealth that it is seen with today, and the value of it could well have varied from region to region. Because of this, it is assumed that there was less gold circulating in Cornwall at that time, as the Cornish people who found the gold would sell it for more practicable and desirable commodities.
One such commodity would have been food, which Cornwall is well known for being great lovers of! If you are looking for restaurants in Fowey, Cornwall where you will receive gold standard food and service, why not book yourself a table at the Cormorant restaurant today?
Photo courtesy of John Maynard Friedman, under Creative Commons