Lunula

Lunula
Fauvillers, Belgium
1800-1600 BCE
Gold ; D. 15,7 cm
Inv. B.709
 

Discovered in the province of Luxembourg, this gold lunula, or crescent-shaped neck ornament, was no doubt made about 1800-1600 BCE in the British Isles. In fact, some one hundred similar ornaments from the same period are known in the latter region, while they are quite rare on the Continent. The majority seem to come from Ireland, where coastal rivers flowed with an abundance of gold nuggets.

The Fauvillers lunula was found isolated from any context, buried a metre deep in the heart of the high plateaus of the Ardennes. It is not known how this lost or abandoned ornament came to be there. It would have been more usual to find it accompanying its wealthy owner in a burial, although the high  plateaus were not greatly developed at that time. This neck ornament, with small paddles for clasps, is made of very pure cold-hammered gold leaf and weighs 38 g.

Discover this masterpiece in our gallery Prehistory, on the online museum catalogue Carmentis and in the book Masterpieces of the Cinquantenaire Museum.