What just happened?

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


Collection online

Additional options
Production date to

Or search by


Orense Torcs

  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Title (object)

    • Orense Torcs
  • Description

    Gold torc. One of a pair of similar torcs with reel-shaped shaped terminals and a diamond cross-sectioned body. The terminals of this torc take the form of a double reel with circular ends, each with a large conical indentation in the centre, with a circle of embossed decoration around the edge.

  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 300 BC - 150 BC (circa)
  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Width: 10.2 millimetres (cross-section)
    • Diameter: 39.3 millimetres (terminal max.)
    • Diameter: 138.1 millimetres
    • Weight: 201 grammes
  • Curator's comments

    One of a pair of similar torcs. No exact findspot. The Sotheby's catalogue records that the torcs were found on the Spanish/Portuguese border. In a letter in the object file Dr. Pericot from Barcelona University suggests that the objects could originate from Orense in Northwest Spain.

  • Location


  • Exhibition history


    2006 Nov-2007 Feb, British Museum, Gallery 35, The Past from Above

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Department

    Britain, Europe and Prehistory

  • Registration number


Gold torc. One of a pair of similar torcs with hour glass shaped terminals and a diamond cross sectioned body.

Gold torc. One of a pair of similar torcs with hour glass shaped terminals and a diamond cross sectioned body.

Image description



If you’ve noticed a mistake or have any further information about this object, please email: collectiondatabase@britishmuseum.org 

View open data for this object with SPARQL endpoint

Object reference number: BCB81853

British Museum collection data is also available in the W3C open data standard, RDF, allowing it to join and relate to a growing body of linked data published by organisations around the world.

View this object

Support the Museum:
donate online

The Museum makes its collection database available to be used by scholars around the world. Donations will help support curatorial, documentation and digitisation projects.

About the database

The British Museum collection database is a work in progress. New records, updates and images are added every week.

More about the database 


Work on this database is supported by a range of sponsors, donors and volunteers.

More about supporters and how you
can help