Collection online


  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Description

    Gold lunula. Flat sheet crescent of beaten gold with quadrangular terminals rotated relative to the crescent. It is decorated with a complex incised geometric pattern. The horns are decorated with horizontal series of small vertical lines, horizontal lines, rows of small triangles, void spaces and triangles touching at their apex filled with oblique lines. The horn’s inner and outer edges are decorated with a border of two horizontal lines. The decoration extends down the body in the form of a border parallel with the inner and outer edges. The border consists of a series of parallel lines, rows of small triangles and small vertical lines. The decoration has been applied less carefully and more faintly on the right terminal.


  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 2400BC-2000BC (circa)
  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Diameter: 203 millimetres (outer)
    • Diameter: 135.59 millimetres (inner)
    • Width: 51.45 millimetres (body centre)
    • Width: 24.64 millimetres (horn maximum)
    • Width: 2.95 millimetres (horn minimum)
    • Thickness: 0.11 millimetres (body)
    • Length: 20.38 millimetres (terminal)
    • Width: 22.56 millimetres (terminal)
    • Thickness: 0.63 millimetres (terminal)
    • Weight: 68.6 grammes
  • Curator's comments

    Mattingly et al. (2009) reviewed the evidence for the findspot and concluded that the lunula was found instead in the parish of Paul nearby.

    Mattingley, J., Marley, J. and Jones A. 2009. Five Gold Rings? Early Bronze Age Gold Lunulae from Cornwall.Cornish Archaeology 48, 95-114.

  • Bibliography

    • Taylor 1970 bibliographic details
    • Mattingly et al. 2009 bibliographic details
    • Murgia et al 2014 bibliographic details
  • Location

    Not on display

  • Exhibition history

    2011-2017 23 May-22 May, Penzance, Penlee House Gallery & Museum, LT Loan.
    2011 5 Mar-23 May, Penzance, Penlee House Gallery & Museum, Treasures from the Earth.
    2005-2006 25 Jul-13 Jan, Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery, Buried Treasure: Finding Our Past
    2005 12 Feb-26 Jun, Newcastle, Hancock Museum, Buried Treasure: Finding Our Past
    2004-2005 1 Oct-15 Jan, Manchester Museum, Buried Treasure: Finding Our Past
    2004 30 Apr-21 Sep, Cardiff, National Museums & Galleries of Wales, Buried Treasure: Finding Our Past
    2003-2004 21 Nov-14 Mar, London, BM, Buried Treasure: Finding Our Past
    1984 5 Sep-15 Oct, Belgium, Tournai, Halle aux Drapes, Au Temps de Stonehenge

  • Condition

    The lunula has only light scratches and dents but otherwise appears to have maintained its original shape.

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Department

    Britain, Europe and Prehistory

  • Registration number


Gold lunula with engraved geometric decoration at terminals and around edges. Condition shots for 'Buried treasure' exhibition.

Gold lunula with engraved geometric decoration at terminals and around edges. Condition shots for 'Buried treasure' exhibition.

Image description



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Object reference number: BCB60124

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