In 2003, the British Museum acquired the recently discovered Ringlemere gold cup, a rare example from the Early Bronze Age. The volume provides definitive publication of the Ringlemere cup and its immediate site context. Dating and fuller social significance are assessed through thorough reappraisal and cataloguing of the fifteen comparable cups in gold, silver, amber and shale from Britain, Brittany, Germany and Switzerland. This leads on to novel discussion on the emergence of a specialised maritime interaction network early in the 2nd millennium BC. The cups are interpreted as part of a ritual system developed to 'service' this network. Important distinctions are brought out between southern English coastal communities and a Wessex core zone, and interactions concerned with the transmission of amber are highlighted. The cups have profound significance for understanding the development of Bronze Age culture in north-west Europe, for which it should be a standard reference work.The publication also provides an interim statement on the sequence of events and activity at Ringlemere Monument 1 - initially constructed as a henge - as revealed by the British Museum-backed fieldwork (2002-2005), and to review the significance of the prehistoric monument complex for the Neolithic and Early Bronze Age of East Kent.
The Ringlemere Cup
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