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Brass torc

 

Diameter: 16.000 cm (internal; max.)

Gift of Thomas Gray

P&EE 1853.11-5.2

Room 50: Britain and Europe

    Brass torc

    Iron Age, AD 50-200
    From Lochar Moss, Dumfriesshire, Scotland

    A distinctive Scottish type of torc

    This type of torc or neck ring is very different to those found at Snettisham. This is a beaded angular torc made from brass. It was found inside a bronze bowl during peat-cutting. One half of the torc is a solid, heavy bar cast in one piece. A La Tène-style scroll pattern has been cut out from another sheet of brass and attached to the bar with rivets. The other half of the torc is made very differently, with hollow brass beads threaded onto a bronze or iron wire. Today only thirteen beads survive, but originally the torc had another one or two beads. The collar could be worn with either the decorated plaque or the beaded section showing at the front.

    The torc was made sometime between AD 50 and 200 and was found inside a bronze bowl buried in a bag. At this time, the Romans had conquered southern Britain and at different times occupied southern Scotland. These types of torcs have been found only in northern England and Scotland. This shows that they are a type of very distinctive costume, only used in this part of Roman and Free Britain.

    M. MacGregor, Early Celtic Art in North Brit (Leicester University Press, 1976)

    J.W. Brailsford, Later prehistoric antiquitites (London, Trustees of the British Museum, 1953)

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    History of Iron Age swords and scabbards, £85.00

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