Gold torc from the Snettisham hoard


British Museum

British Museum

This torc had been made some years before it was buried at Snettisham. It appears to have been worn for a long time; it had been broken at least once and was repaired with a sheet of gold and gold ropes and rings. The main part of the torc is made from four ropes, each made from eight strains of gold wire twisted around each other. The hollow ends are elaborately decorated with La Tène style patterns.

This torc was placed in a small hole in the ground with 20 other torcs. First 10 gold torcs, including this one, and two silver torcs were placed in the ground along with two bronze bracelets. Then soil was thrown in the hole before another seven torcs were carefully placed on top. Five of these torcs were made of silver and two from bronze. Did each torc belong to a different person? Did the older or the more important people wear gold rather than silver or bronze torcs? We will never be able to answer these questions with any certainty.

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  • Title: Gold torc from the Snettisham hoard
  • Date Created: -150/-50
  • Physical Dimensions: Diameter: 210.00mm (external, max); Weight: 766.90g; Diameter: 174.00mm (internal, max); Length: 185.00mm (top to bottom, including bracelet linking terminals); Length: 63.20mm (terminal 1); Length: 62.70mm (terminal 2); Diameter: 19.00mm (cross-section ne
  • External Link: British Museum collection online
  • Technique: twisted; cast
  • Registration number: 1991,0407.37
  • Place: Excavated/Findspot Ken Hill
  • Period/culture: Iron Age; La T
  • Material: silver; electrum
  • Copyright: Photo: © Trustees of the British Museum
  • Acquisition: Treasure Trove Lancaster


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