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Amber cup found in Hove

22 March 2020

An amber cup from the Bronze Age was found in southern England. It was a part of a grave (from the Bronze Age, i.e. around 1500 B.C.) discovered in 1856 in Hove, East Sussex.

It is a part of the Brighton Museum and Art Gallery collection and is proclaimed one of the most important English Bronze Age findings. The grave which was located 2,7m underground was found by random constructor workers. In the remaining of a wooden coffin, pieces of bones, a stone ax, a bronze dagger, and the described cup were found.

The cup was made of a single piece of amber. According to its original description, the cup measures: 63.5 mm high, 61 mm deep, 3 mm wide edge, 89 mm outside diameter, 85 mm inside diameter, 76 mm – at the height of the decorative belt. In the catalog of the British Museum similar measures can be found, but in some other sources can differ.

The cup weighs approximately 100g and the amber sone which the cup was made of, around 400g. The cup was glued together but preserved as a whole, without any major losses. The damages were done with a shovel and when it was transported, it broke. Even though the cup’s surface is smooth and was polished, it was sculpted by hand. Many factors indicate the germanic origins of the cup.