Bronze Age Gold from Wales

Middle Bronze Age gold bar-twisted torc

This is a roughly circular torc or neck-ring, coiled four and a half times. The square-sectioned bar of gold was tightly twisted clockwise to produce a twisted bar form. Only one of the hooked terminals survives in completeness, which is plain and circular in cross-section; this was soldered onto the main bar and tapers from the join before expanding towards a convex end. The other terminal has broken just above the hook bend, which appears to have happened in antiquity. The gold at the broken terminal appears to have split, presumably where the pieces were soldered together. Some of the bar twists are flattened or worn, as a result of manufacture and use-wear.

Gold bar torc shaped as an armlet. 1300-1150 BCE.

Project Title: Gold in Britain’s auriferous regions, 2450-800 BC: towards a coherent Research Framework and Strategy. Status: Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Network Grant funded project (2018-2019)

WA_SC 18.1

Collection Area

Archaeology & Numismatics

Item Number

54.306/3

Find Information

Site Name: Talwrn Farm, Llanwrthwl

Collection Method: surface find
Date: 1954 / Feb

Notes: Hoard. The hoard was found on/around 21st February 1954 in a field of pasture known as Cae-gwyllt Bank, belonging to Talwrn Farm. Two farm workers were clearing the field of stones for ploughing and found a large stone on its side weighing approximately 100kg, below which was a heap of small stones. Under one of these stones were two torcs of different sizes, and below these was another small stone, which covered a further two torcs. The findspot was near the southern corner of the field on a south-east slope in the Wye river valley. The presence of a possible marker stone, and careful concealment of the torcs, may imply these torcs were buried with the intention of recovery, or for safe keeping. Four years later a Middle Bronze Age gold ring was found about a mile and a half away.

Acquisition

Treasure trove, 23/8/1954

Measurements

length / mm:c. 1175.0*
maximum width / mm:71.0 (of coil)
maximum thickness / mm:1.8 (of wire)
length / mm:40.6 (of terminal)
diameter / mm:2.9 (of terminal)

Material

gold

Location

St Fagans Wales Is gallery : Gold

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