The Milton Keynes hoard


British Museum

British Museum

The hoard comprises two gold torcs, three bracelets and a tiny fragment of bronze rod or wire found within an undecorated pottery bowl. It was found by two metal-detectorists, whose diligence in reporting the find to local archaeologists ensured that the information on the context of the find is very good. As a result we have the first certain association between a gold hoard and pottery for the British Middle to Late Bronze Age (about 1500-800 BC). Bronze Age gold metalwork is usually found in isolation, but the associated pottery vessel helps confirm, and may eventually refine, the dating of this hoard. The find provides an invaluable link between gold types and the broader social and economic picture for Bronze Age Britain. Weighing in at over two kilos, this is one of the biggest concentrations of Bronze Age gold known from Britain and seems to flaunt wealth. The two torcs are penannular (open) neck-rings of elliptical cross-section. One torc is decorated with incised lines, except for a plain strip along the rear face, and with more complex groove decoration near the terminals. The other is only decorated near the terminals, with a band of close-set grooves. Two of the bracelets are very chunky 'C'-shaped rings of elliptical cross-section. The third has an octagonal cross-section.

Show lessRead more


  • Title: The Milton Keynes hoard
  • Date Created: -1150/-800
  • Physical Dimensions: Diameter: 143.69mm; Width: 14.75mm (body centre); Width: 9.70mm (body end); Thickness: 12.10mm (body centre); Thickness: 7.69mm (body end); Diameter: 9.42mm (terminal); Weight: 626.60g
  • External Link: British Museum collection online
  • Technique: cast; incised; struck
  • Registration number: 2002,0701.1
  • Place: Excavated/Findspot Monkston Park
  • Period/culture: Late Bronze Age
  • Material: gold
  • Copyright: Photo: © Trustees of the British Museum
  • Acquisition: Acquired through the Treasure Act Department for Culture, Media and Sport. With contribution from Art Fund. With contribution from National Heritage Memorial Fund. With contribution from British Museum Friends. From Rutland, Michael. From Heritage, Gordon