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 …

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(This was cropped from a previous paper as it didn't fit, but thought it was worth putting here as a blog: not peer reviewed, not definitive, but might spark some ideas....)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 …

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 …

No goldfinches were harmed in the making of this blog…..

Gold is a very unusual material. Created by supernovae, and deposited on earth by asteroids, it is a finite resource. Estimates suggest that the total amount of gold mined to date is around 190,000 metric tons: but due to the density of the material (it is denser than lead) this would create a single cube …

Looking at torcs: The B52, first steps.

When we look at torcs, the first stage of analysis usually involves photos. We have a lot of photos: my Kindle Fire currently contains about 6000 of them, cribbed from websites and online catalogues, or taken by Roll and myself. That's a lot of pics. By going through these photos on a regular basis we …

A rediscovered Iron Age torus torc terminal fragment from ‘Near Stowmarket’, Suffolk.

  Background: In May 1996, a metal detectorist working fields close to Stowmarket found a fragment of gold from a torus torc terminal. The field has been walked and detected regularly over the years and no other Iron Age material has been found in this location. The exact find spot is known and recorded, but …

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