Ancient Gold Pins Found in Canister; Bronze Age Artefacts Were in Professor's Desk

Article excerpt

Byline: James McCarthy

ANCIENT gold studs have been unearthed in Cardiff - at the back of a professor's desk.

The 4,000-year-old studs, each the size of a pinhead, once decorated the handle of a Bronze Age dagger. The knife was buried in the grave of a warrior at Bush Barrow, near Stonehenge, in Wiltshire, between 1900 and 1700BC.

But in the early 1960s Cardiff University's Professor Richard Atkinson borrowed about 200 of them from Wiltshire Heritage Museum in Devizes for research.

He died and they were looked after by Professor John Evans.

But in 2005 he too died.

Now they have been found in a film canister, labelled 'Bush Barrow', by senior lecturer Niall Sharples.

The reader in archeology said: "I knew what it was because Bush Barrow is a famous burial site from the Bronze Age right next to Stonehenge.

"I knew from the name immediately that these were decorative pins that were found all around the dagger so I knew what I was looking at."

He described them as 'minute' and said: "The largest one is 1mm long and about 0.3mm in diameter. …