SWYOR-C0ECB7: bracelet

Rights Holder: The British Museum
CC License:

Image use policy

Our images can be used under a CC BY attribution licence (unless stated otherwise).



Object type certainty: Certain
Workflow status: Published Find published

Solid gold penannular bracelet with slightly expanded terminals. Bracelet is light gold in colour, whole and undecorated. The terminals have been flattened, producing a small rim. Both faces of the terminals measure 9mm across and have minor indentations. The bracelet has a circular cross-section.

Min Diameter - 94mm; Max Diameter - 110mm; Wt. 386g; Thickness - 8mm

This penannular bracelet with expanded terminals may date to the Late Bronze Age (c. 1000 BC - 750 BC) and potentially similar objects have been found throughout southern England (Taylor 1980; Eogan 1994). It is perhaps comparable to items found at Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire (Treasure Annual Report 2000). However due to differences in dimensions and colour, doubts are raised as to whether it can be attributed confidently to the Bronze Age. Analysis of the gold content was undertaken to help clarify the date. Analysis revealed that the metal composition is not within the parameters expected for prehistoric gold alloys from Britain. The metal analysis report is held by the British Museum. The results of the analysis, combined with the differences in dimension and colour to known ancient examples point to an item of possible recent manufacture. The bracelet is unlikely to be over 300 years old in date, and therefore fails to meet the criteria for 'Treasure' under the terms of the Treasure Act 1996.


Two further bracelets were found in the same location and dated to the late Iron Age: SWYOR-681CE4 (2011 T326) and SWYOR-CFE7F7 (2010 T350). 2008T459 was assessed on the possibility of it being a Bronze Age bracelet but was rejected as dating to this period due to its form, metal composition and its fresh surface. It has subsequently transpired that the finder soaked the bracelet in lemon juice which could account for its surface condition. Although its metal composition would be unusual for the Iron Age, work on the composition of artefacts from Snettisham is revealing more and more information concerning the wide variety of metal alloys and surface treatments employed. It is therefore not impossible that this particular metal composition was used in the Iron Age. However, the form of 2008T459 is extremely untypical for the Iron Age. The lack of Iron Age parallels, combined with its unusual metal composition and the lack of a surface to analyse, as well as the circumstances of its discovery, all mean that it is probably now impossible to establish the age of this object with any degree of certainty. Therefore it is also impossible to establish whether 2008T459 is related to the two other bracelets definitely dating to the Iron Age.

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Returned to finder after being declared not Treasure

Treasure details

Treasure case tracking number: 2008T459


Broad period: UNKNOWN
Period from: UNKNOWN

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Thickness: 9 mm
Weight: 386 g
Diameter: 110 mm

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Saturday 16th August 2008

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Ms Amy Downes
Identified by: Mr Ben Roberts
Secondary identifier: Mr Jody Joy

Other reference numbers

Treasure case number: 2008T459

Materials and construction

Primary material: Gold
Completeness: Complete

Spatial metadata

Region: Yorkshire and the Humber (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: North Yorkshire (County)
District: Selby (District)
To be known as: Towton

Spatial coordinates

Grid reference source: From a paper map
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 100 metre square.

Discovery metadata

Method of discovery: Metal detector
General landuse: Cultivated land

References cited

No references cited so far.

Similar objects

Find number: SWYOR-681CE4
Object type: BRACELET
Broadperiod: IRON AGE
Description: A gold-alloy bracelet with loop terminals, Iron Age (c. 100 - 50 BC). The bracelet is comprised of two ropes plaited together, …
Workflow: PublishedFind published

Find number: LON-903194
Broadperiod: IRON AGE
A gold bar fragment of uncertain date, possibly Iron Age (800BC - 100AD). The fragment has a circular cross-section and each end is snipped o…
Workflow: Awaiting validationFind awaiting validation

Find number: SOM-4C93D6
Broadperiod: IRON AGE
Treasure case 2008 T27 Description: A short section of gold bar Discussion: Non-destructive analysis of the metal content of the bar sh…
Workflow: PublishedFind published

Audit data

Recording Institution: SWYOR
Created: 10 years ago
Updated: 7 years ago

Other formats: this page is available as qrcode json xml geojson pdf rdf representations.