Diameter: 19.500 cm
Weight: 920.000 g
P&EE 1991 4-7 39
Room 50: Britain and Europe
Silver torc from Snettisham hoard L
Iron Age, around 75 BC
From Ken Hill, Snettisham, Norfolk., England
A silver torc from the Snettisham Treasure
This is one of two silver torcs buried with ten gold ones in a small pit. After they had been covered with dirt, another seven torcs were carefully packed on top. Hoard L was just one of at least eleven clusters of gold, silver and bronze torcs buried at Snettisham. They were buried in the countryside, away from farms and villages. There is no evidence that a temple existed at Snettisham.
The torc was made in the same way as many of those made of gold found at Snettisham. Thin threads of silver were twisted together to make ropes, and the hollow terminals (ends) then added.
The metal torcs made in this way were heavy and needed a large quantity of valuable metal to make them. Imagine wearing the weight of two bags of sugar around your neck in gold or silver!
R. Rainbird Clarke, 'The Early Iron Age treasure from Snettisham, Norfolk', Proceedings of the Prehistoric, 20 (1954)
I.M. Stead, 'The Snettisham Treasure: excavations in 1990', Antiquity-3, 65 (1991)
S. James and V. Rigby, Britain and the Celtic Iron Ag (London, The British Museum Press, 1997)
I.M. Stead, Celtic art in Britain before t (London, The British Museum Press, 1987, revised edition 1997)