Isle of Man Round Mounds: ‘Spectacular’ 4,000-year-old jet necklace found – BBC News
A 4,000-year-old necklace has been uncovered during an archaeological dig on the Isle of Man.
The piece of jewellery, found in the west of the island, is made up of 122 “intricately” decorated jet beads each measuring between 1cm and 5cm.
Thought to have originated in Whitby, North Yorkshire it is the first of its kind to be found on the Isle of Man.
When fully assembled, the necklace was crescent-shaped and made from multiple strings.
The Round Mounds of the Isle of Man project hopes to discover more about Bronze Age burial practices and the island’s connections with other parts of the British Isles.
The excavation of the ancient burial sites has been running for four years.
More than 40 experts and students from two UK universities worked on this year’s four-week dig near Kirk Michael.
The cremated remains of seven people have been found on the site to date but this was the first time an “inhumation”, or skeletal remains, has been uncovered.
Rachel Crellin, of the University of Leicester, is leading the project alongside Chris Fowler of Newcastle University.
She said that although the necklace was “undeniably beautiful”, the “real value” of the find was the burial itself.
The grave would allow the team to “connect it up to this story about Britain and Ireland,” Dr Crellin added.
The “deliberate” placing of stones, thought to be a grinding stone and cutting block, next to the body could be of “particular significance” regarding “things like food, productivity and fertility,” Dr Fowler added.
Funding for the project was provided by Manx National Heritage (MNH) and the two universities.
MNH Director Edmund Southworth said it was “hoped” the “very fragile” necklace would be put on display, but that would be “some considerable time away”.
The piece will now be digitally reconstructed, while scientific analysis will be carried out on the human remains.