Pattern and purpose: a new story about the creation of the Snettisham Great torc.

The Snettisham Great torc is one of the most recognisable and well known Iron Age artefacts in Britain. Found in 1950 by Tom Rout, whilst ploughing fields on the Ken Hill estate in Snettisham, Norfolk, the torc has long been seen as the pinnacle of Iron Age goldwork found in the UK. However, it remains …

Did Vikings ‘nick’ the Newark torc…and the West Lindsey and Towton torcs too?

Originally published elsewhere: 10th December 2018. In a previous blog we wrote about the  possibility that the Iron Age Newark torc had been redeposited during the Viking period, as evidenced by the 5mm by 2mm gash which can be seen on the interior of one of the Newark torc's terminals. This gash, as previously mentioned …

Did vikings ‘nick’ the Newark torc?

Originally published elsewhere: 17th May 2018. We’ve spent a lot of time researching Iron Age torcs of the sort most famously represented by the Snettisham Great Torc and we have now been able to prove that many of these torcs were made using a previously unknown gold sheet-work technique (for more on this see here). We have also …

We were wrong!

Originally published elsewhere: 4th September 2018 We all make mistakes. In academia, it’s sometimes tricky to hold your hands up and admit you got it wrong. But we did. We got it wrong. The long and short of it is that the Newark torc is not sheet-work as we previously thought and wrote about, but is …

I was supposed to be looking at torcs AKA I knew I’d seen those seven dots somewhere…

Today I was doing my usual trawl through photos, looking to be inspired. It wasn't long coming as I found three torcs with a very similar pattern: two from Snettisham, one from Glascote. But whether these three torcs are from the same hand will need to wait for another day because - as I was …

The problem of Iron Age gold sources.

(This was cropped from a previous paper as it didn't fit, but thought it was worth putting here as a blog: not peer reviewed, not definitive, but might spark some ideas....) At present, the sourcing of gold used to make Iron Age artefacts from the United Kingdom is unresolved. For Irish material, work by Warner …

Torc fragment cross-joins AKA how to make a torc jigsaw!

During the process of creating the Torc Treasury database, I kept noticing multiple fragments of the same, very distinctive, gold alloy torc coming up in Snettisham Hoard F. [Well, I think they're all from Hoard F, the problem being that although they all - bar one, but more about that later! - have a 1991 …

Thoughts on the Grotesque torc and the Snettisham (Ken Hill) hoards in the light of new research by Tess Machling & Roland Williamson.

[An open access PDF of this paper (DOI 10.5281/zenodo.4039630) can be downloaded HERE] Abstract This paper examines the Grotesque torc and its repairs in relation to the hoards from Ken Hill, Snettisham. It looks at the materials used to repair/modify torcs, and their likely source in Hoards B/C and F. It suggests an alternative biography …

The torc finders of Snettisham

Since we started working with Iron Age torcs, we've always been fascinated by Ray Williamson and Tom Rout, the two East Anglian ploughmen who first found torcs at Snettisham. Usually mentioned as an aside in the original archaeology reports by Brailsford (1951), Clarke (1954) etc - and often with their names mispelt - Roll and …

Heinz 57: an unusual torc terminal from Snettisham.

The Heinz 57 terminal from Snettisham (thus named by us according to its place in the Norwich Castle Museum display and its rather unusual form) has been largely ignored in academic literature. Being known more formally as 1991,0501.45 in the British Museum catalogue, this terminal was found in the mixed Hoard F from Snettisham. This …

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