The Milton Keynes hoard

Late Bronze Age, about 1150-800 BC
Found near Milton Keynes, England

The hoard comprises two gold torcs, three bracelets and a tiny fragment of bronze rod or wire found within an undecorated pottery bowl. It was found by two metal-detectorists, whose diligence in reporting the find to local archaeologists ensured that the information on the context of the find is very good. As a result we have the first certain association between a gold hoard and pottery for the British Middle to Late Bronze Age (about 1500-800 BC).

Bronze Age gold metalwork is usually found in isolation, but the associated pottery vessel helps confirm, and may eventually refine, the dating of this hoard. The find provides an invaluable link between gold types and the broader social and economic picture for Bronze Age Britain.

Weighing in at over two kilos, this is one of the biggest concentrations of Bronze Age gold known from Britain and seems to flaunt wealth. The two torcs are penannular (open) neck-rings of elliptical cross-section. One torc is decorated with incised lines, except for a plain strip along the rear face, and with more complex groove decoration near the terminals. The other is only decorated near the terminals, with a band of close-set grooves. Two of the bracelets are very chunky 'C'-shaped rings of elliptical cross-section. The third has an octagonal cross-section.

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The Milton Keynes hoard

  • Pottery bowl

    Pottery bowl


More information



Diameter: 14.590 cm (larger torc: external)
Weight: 2.020 kg (total)
Diameter: 14.590 cm (larger torc: external)

Museum number

P&EE 2002.7-1.1-7



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