Diameter: 20.000 cm
Weight: 1080.000 g
P&E PRB 1951 4-2 2
Britain, Europe and Prehistory
The Snettisham Hoard
Iron Age, around 75 BC
From Ken Hill, Snettisham, Norfolk, England
These are the crown jewels of Norfolk of over 2000 years ago. They are gold and silver torcs that were worn around the neck to display the wearer's importance.
Torcs were first found at Snettisham in 1948 and 1950, and experts thought no more were buried there. Then in 1990, metal detectorist Charles Hodder found 9 kilograms of gold and silver fragments and ingots at the site. He reported his finds and helped archaeologists excavate the field. They unearthed seventy-five complete torcs, carefully buried in small pits.
But there are stories that another hoard was found at Snettisham. Known as 'the Bowl hoard', it is thought to consist of a silver bowl containing large numbers of Iron Age coins. It was illegally removed from the site and allegedly smuggled out of Britain and sold. Little more is known - a vital piece of our history has probably been lost forever.
From the collection of the British Museum
Richard Hobbs, Treasure: Finding our past (London, The British Museum Press, 2003)
I.M. Stead, 'The Snettisham Treasure: excavations in 1990', Antiquity-3, 65 (1991)