Not really sure where to start with this, but here we go: our first blog in The Big Book of Torcs. I guess it might be a good idea to say why we’ve created this site, what we hope to achieve with it and what we will be adding in the future.

Replication by Ford Hallam (Image © Ford Hallam)

Firstly, we wanted somewhere informal where we could bounce around ideas and share our current thoughts on various torc topics. Although academic peer review underpins everything we do, the nature of our work means we are often pursuing a  number of leads at any one time, and these may not reach a state where they can be published for several years, so we wanted an instant means of sharing information!

Current research themes we are exploring involve – torc decorating techniques; the re-use, re-purposing and repair of torcs; recurring decorative themes; why and how torc neck rings break; the replication of torcs; sources of Iron Age gold; numbers of Iron Age goldsmiths; the origins of the Iron Age goldsmithing tradition and weight and numbers patterns associated with torcs –  and thoughts about all of these will appear in due course. We’ll also be using this space to provide our thoughts on recently published research and why we, working with goldsmiths and silversmiths and from a craft perspective, sometimes come up with ideas that conflict with the mainstream archaeological narrative for these artefacts.

Tom Rout finds the Great torc (Image © Eastern Daily Press)

We are also interested in a number of topics that are more tangential to our main torc research: for example, the people who find torcs, be they Norfolk plough boys from the 1940s or detectorists of the late 20th and early 21st centuries.

Oh, and we also have some rather light-hearted thoughts about gold and torcs,  which range from the number of goldfinches you’d need to boil to make a Snettisham Great torc (did you know that every living creature is 0.00001% gold?) through to some terrible torc puns (there are many) and jokes and maybe even a few chocolate torcs (Tess makes them!). We also have a collection of torc novels which may have to be shared and the odd plug or two for our favourite torc beer!

Chocolate Netherurd terminal (Image © Tess Machling)

So yes, a veritable smorgasbord of torc related ephemera will be coming your way, some serious, some not so: we do hope you will come to love ‘All Things Torc’ as much as we do!

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