Irish Farmer Discovers What Could Be Gold Currency From The Bronze Age
(Kitco News) - A farmer in Ireland hit the jackpot while working his field, unearthing gold artifacts that could date back to as far as the Bronze Age.
The round gold objects, which are four inches in diameter, are too big to be rings and too small to be bracelets. Experts from the Donegal County Museum believe that the artifacts were used as some sort of currency during the Bronze Age.
Farmer Norman Witherow was digging a drain at a farm in Ireland’s County Donegal when he found the items, BBC reported.
Staff at the National Museum of Ireland also confirmed that the artifacts date back to the Bronze Age or earlier.
After discovering the loot, Witherow was not aware of the significance of the historical treasure and simply stored them in the kitchen.
Witherow’s friend, who is a jeweler, eventually convinced him that the pieces needed to be properly assessed by the experts and the artifacts were passed down to the National Museum on Tuesday.
“I couldn't figure out what they were, they were covered in clay and we had no idea if they were gold or even copper,” Witherow told BBC. “We had no idea of the value and we definitely didn't appreciate their worth when we first discovered them.”
A farmer in the northern reaches of Ireland found four gold artifacts while digging a drain in a field. After an initial examination, the National Museum of Ireland thinks they may date to the Bronze Age or earlier.Â— Ticia Verveer (@ticiaverveer) July 2, 2018
https://t.co/6bzRoVi9uI Donegal pic.twitter.com/niydnQfoqo
Museum staff were shocked and very impressed with the discovery.
“This is a once in a lifetime find for our county and we are absolutely delighted,” said assistant curator of the Donegal County Museum Caroline Carr.