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University of Alicante researchers find a hair pin with gold decoration in the eastern baths at La Alcudia archaeological site

According to the analysis made by scanning electron microscopy at the UA Research Technical Services, it is a great purity gold piece, with 93% gold and 7% silver

Four more pieces made of bone have been found 



Images courtesy of the Virtual Heritage Research Group


Alicante. 8 May 2018

The finding is part of the ASTERO Project, an archaeological excavation that began in 2017 and continues in 2018 at La Alcudia in Elche, in a second stage. The project, directed by Dr. Jaime Molina Vidal, professor of Ancient History at the University of Alicante, is now giving the first results. Although not the only one found, the hair pin with gold finishing has just been found in the area of the eastern baths. Four more pins made of bone, have also been unearthed by the researchers. 

Archaeology and socialisation of knowledge at La Alcudia of Elche. The Eastern Baths and surrounding areas (ASTERO)”.”, with Jaime Molina Vidal, is the full name of the project, which will end up by 14 May.

Current works are the continuation of last year’s activities. The excavation divides its activity into three sectors: the apodyterium, which was the changing room they use to access the bathrooms; the caldarium, where they have found a new heated room; and a third zone, which is thought to be the main access to the baths. It has been here where the bone-made pins have appeared.

Although, at first, archaeologists pointed to the possibility that it was a stylus, a punch usually carved in bone with a sharp end that was used to write on waxed wooden tablets, Jaime Molina confirms that they are hair pins, apparently for decoration.

The golden hair pin has been found while screening the sediments of the bath area threshold. All the soil extracted is passed through a sieve to detect an object. The scanning electron microscope analysis performed to check the composition of the metal at the UA Research Technical Services has resulted in its composition to be 93 percent gold and 7 percent silver, which confirms the high purity gold.

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