Spirals, especially in gold, were commonly associated with the Sun in ancient European cultures, with a loose spiral representing the long days of summer and a tight spiral, the shorter days of winter. Such rings would have been placed amongst burial goods. From the early Bronze Age in Europe, burials became more individual, with the deceased laid to rest in individual, rather than communal, barrows. As a result, grave goods became more varied and personalised, including the jewellery worn by the deceased during his or her life.
European Bronze Age Gold Hair Ring
A solid European Bronze Age hair ring, moulded from a single rod of gold. Its tubular body has been shaped into a tight spiral, with both ends tapering into a dull point. Gold rings of this type, known as lock-rings, have been recovered across Bronze Age Europe, with Ireland being a centre of production in the British Isles. They would have probably been used in antiquity as hair ornaments, earrings or as part of bracelets or bangles.
Condition: Excellent condition, minor signs of ageing to the surface.