The Ringlemere Cup bought by the British Museum
Two stories about the fantastic gold cup:
From the BBC website:
A rare gold cup from the Bronze Age has been secured for display by the British Museum.
It is only the second example of its type to come from the UK, with just five cups of this type known across the whole of Europe.
Found in Ringlemere, east Kent, in 2001, the cup has helped provide further evidence of the extensive trading networks that covered Europe during the Bronze Age.
It was "virtually reconstructed" using an endoscope, radiography and x-rays following scientific examination of the cup at the British Museum.
The artefact dates from between 1700 and 1500 BC - the same era as Stonehenge - and reveals a higher level of workmanship than was previously thought possible for this time.
A team of archaeologists has been working on the site where the cup was found, and discovered a previously unsuspected funeral site from the early Bronze Age.
This is how the cup is thought to have originally looked
However the assumption that the cup was dislodged by modern ploughing from a grave remains to be proven.
It was acquired for the museum through funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund, The National Art Collections Fund and Friends of the British Museum.
The Ringlemere Cup will be on display in the London museum's Round Reading Room from Thursday and will feature on BBC Two series Hidden Treasures, which is being shown in the autumn.
And the Guardian's
British Museum's cup runs over
Maev Kennedy, arts and heritage correspondent
Thursday June 26, 2003
The Ringlemere Cup, a masterpiece of prehistoric gold found in a Kent field 18 months ago, has been bought by the British Museum for £270,000 and will be the star of a spectacular touring exhibition.
The cup is still crumpled, mangled by ploughing which had flattened the burial mound where it was hidden around 1600BC.
However, a 3D computer reconstruction has revealed its sensuous beauty. It is taller and more shapely than the archaeologists assumed, with a narrow waist.
The Ringlemere Cup is one of only five such artefacts found in Europe. They are believed to have been intended for practical use, beaten from single sheets of gold. The cup was found in 2001 by Cliff Bradshaw, an amateur metal-detector enthusiast. He will share the money paid by the museum with the landowner.
The cup has been described as a find which rewrites history. Yesterday the British Museum's director, Neil MacGregor, described it as "a remarkable birthday present" for the museum's 250th anniversary.
Posted by Rhiannon
27th June 2003ce