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To celebrate Vikings Live, we have replaced our Roman alphabet with the runic alphabet used by the Vikings, the Scandinavian ‘Younger Futhark’. The ‘Younger Futhark’ has only 16 letters, so we have used some of the runic letters more than once or combined two runes for one Roman letter.

For an excellent introduction to runes, we recommend Martin Findell’s book published by British Museum Press.

More information about how we have ‘runified’ this site

 

The Snettisham Hoard


The Snettisham Hoard

One of the hoards

Gold torc (Hoard L)

Gold torc (Hoard L)

Silver torc (Hoard L)

Silver torc (Hoard L)

Working at the site

Working at the site


Diameter: 20.000 cm
Weight: 1080.000 g

P&E PRB 1951 4-2 2


At least eleven hoards of torcs, ingots and coins have been found at Snettisham since 1948, when three hoards (A-C) were ploughed to the surface (now in Norwich Castle Museum, along with single torcs found in 1964, 1968 and 1973). Hoards D and E, found while ploughing in 1950, were acquired by the British Museum.

In August 1990 a huge deposit of broken torcs, bracelets, ingots and coins (Hoard F) was discovered, prompting the British Museum to organize an archaeological excavation. Five more hoards were found: G, H, J and K were 'nests' of torcs in very shallow pits, while the more impressive Hoard L had been buried in two instalments, an upper nest of silver and bronze, and a deeper deposit of mainly gold torcs.

Most of the hoards were buried about 70 BC, and the entire collection is the largest deposit of gold and silver from Iron Age Europe, weighing in at around 20 kg of silver and 15 kg of gold.

The 'Great Torc' is made from just over a kilogram of gold mixed with silver. It is made from sixty-four threads (1.9 mm wide) twisted together 8 threads at a time to make 8 separate ropes of metal. These were then twisted around each to make the final torc. The ends of the torc were cast in moulds and welded onto the ropes.