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Winchester Hoard

  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Title (series)

    • Winchester Hoard
  • Description

    Gold split-pin. Part of the securing mechanism of the torc, which would pass through the terminal.

  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 75BC-25BC
  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Dimensions

    • Length: 19 millimetres
    • Weight: 1.8 grammes
    • Diameter: 5 millimetres (head of pin)
  • Curator's comments

    Associated with 2001,0901.1.This object forms part of the Winchester hoard (2001,0901.1-10). The Winchester hoard objects did not come from a grave, settlement or temple, but had been buried on their own on top of a small hill that might have been covered with trees. They may have been buried for safekeeping or as a religious offering.
    The hoard has two sets of gold jewellery, each comprising a necklace torc and two gold brooches held together by a chain. There are also two gold bracelets. A total of 1160 grams of very pure gold was used to make the objects. One of the torcs is bigger than the other, possibly because one was made for a man and the other for a woman.
    The necklaces were crafted differently from other torcs made in Britain at this time, such as those from Snettisham or Ipswich. Roman jewellery making techniques such as granulation were used, and they were not decorated with indigenous Iron Age designs. It is possible that a Roman craft-worker made them. Gold brooches of this type are also rare. Only two other Iron Age examples have been found in Britain (see The Market Rasen brooch, 1996,0601.1).
    The Winchester hoard objects would have demonstrated the status of their wearers and showed that they had contacts with the Roman world and other parts of Iron Age Europe. Many aspects of life for people in the Winchester area were changing at the time this hoard was buried. The objects in this hoard illuminate these changes, with their mixture of old and new, British and Roman ideas. They were made for very important people who lived at the time Julius Caesar was conquering France for the Roman Empire, and may even have been a diplomatic gift from the Roman world to indigenous leaders in Britain.


  • Bibliography

    • Hill et al. 2004 bibliographic details
    • TAR 2000 pps. 16-18, no. 8 bibliographic details
  • Location

    On display: G50/dc20

  • Exhibition history

    2016 11 Mar-25 Sep, Edinburgh, National Museum of Scotland, Celts 2003-2004 21 Nov-14 Mar, London, BM, Buried Treasure: Finding Our Past 2002-2003 15 Oct-27 Apr, Winchester City Museum, The Winchester Hoard

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Acquisition notes

    Metal detectorist find, 16 October 2000.

  • Department

    Britain, Europe and Prehistory

  • Registration number


  • Additional IDs

    • T72 (Treasure number)


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Object reference number: BCB55828

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