BUC-C07E88: 2 Gold Bronze Age bracelets

Rights Holder: Buckinghamshire County Council
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TORC

Unique ID: BUC-C07E88

Object type certainty: Certain
Workflow status: Published Find published

Two middle Bronze Age ribbon torcs.

Description

1. A gold ribbon torc with hooks at both ends which has been folded and bent in eight places. A narrow thicker section of un-hammered wire has been left in the centre of the torc and at both ends. The latter narrow lengths have been folded back on themselves to form the simple hook fasteners. The surfaces are smooth and the colour a shiny light gold.

Folded length: 100.5mm; approx unfolded length: 346.7mm; max width of ribbon; 8.8mm; min width of ribbon: 2mm; thickness range; 0.4mm-1.4mm; length of hooks: 8.4mm; thickness of hooks: 1mm; weight: 18.3g

2. A gold ribbon torc with hooks at both ends which has been folded in half, rolled up and bent again. A narrow section of un-hammered wire has been left in the centre of the torc and at both ends. The latter narrow lengths have been folded back on themselves to form simple hook fasteners. A line of scratches runs down the centre of the torc otherwise the surfaces are smooth and the colour a shiny light gold.

Folded length: 40mm; folded width: 23.3mm; approx unfolded length: 255mm; max width of ribbon; 5.3mm; min width of ribbon: 2mm; thickness; 0.5mm; length of hooks: 8.4mm; thickness of hooks: 0.5mm; weight: 16.3g

Discussion

The design of these torcs, with their simple hooked terminals and thin central sections, closely resemble the doubled and hooked Middle Bronze Age flat ribbon bracelets found in the Mendip Hills, Somerset (Treasury Annual Report 2005/6, 19, Figure 12). It is also possible that they were worn as bracelets because, at the point the ribbon is doubled, the width tapers and a loop is formed to receive the hooks.

The lengths of the Ellesborough objects are similar to the Mendip Hills bracelets, however the former weighs more than double the latter. There are potential parallels in the gold hooked strip found at Winterhay Green, Somerset perhaps crumpled together with other similar strips though these are now sadly lost (Evans 1881, 90; Eogan 1983, 126). Three twisted gold ribbon torcs with hooked terminals were also found at Cwmjenkin Farm, Heyhope in Powys tangled together and crumpled into a ball. These are however, far heavier than the flat ribbon bracelets from Ellesborough (Savory 1980, 126). In addition, there are also two Middle Bronze Age flat bronze ribbon torcs known from Somerset from the hoards at Edington Burtle and Wedmore (Inventaria Archaeologica GB, 44, 2 (1-2); Eogan 1983, 124-125). It should also be noted that, as well as the form, the simple bar-hooked terminals also suggest a Middle Bronze Age date (Taylor 1980, 63 (pls. 42d).

The location of this gold hoard in Buckinghamshire is consistent with previous finds of Middle Bronze Age ornament hoards in the broader area (see Roberts 2007, Fig 6) such as the two gold flange twisted torcs and three gold penannular bracelets found at Crow Down, Lambourn Berkshire (Varndell et al. 2007).

Conclusion
These can be considered as potential Treasure under the 1996 Treasure Act.

References
Eogan, G. 1983. Ribbon Torcs in Britain and Ireland, in Anne O'Connor & D.V. Clarke (eds.) From the Stone Age to the Forty Five, 87-126. Edinburgh: John Donald.

Evans, J 1881. The Ancient Bronze Implements of Britain and Ireland. London: Longman, Green and co.

Savory, H. 1980. Guide Catalogue of the Bronze Age Collections. Cardiff: National Museum of Wales.

Taylor, J. J 1980 Bronze Age Goldwork of the British Isles. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Treasure Annual Report 2005/6

Varndell, G., Coe, D., Hey, G. & Canti, M. 2007. The Crow Down Hoard, Lambourn, Berkshire. Oxford Journal of Archaeology 26 (3) 275-301

Charlotte Veysey (Volunteer) 25.1.10

Ben Roberts
Curator of European Bronze Age

Notes:

These can be considered as potential Treasure under the 1996 Treasure Act.

Find of note status

This is a find of note and has been designated: Regional importance

Subsequent actions

Current location of find: Bucks County Museum
Subsequent action after recording: Acquired by museum after being declared Treasure

Treasure details

Treasure case tracking number: 2009T435

Chronology

Broad period: BRONZE AGE
Subperiod from: Middle
Period from: BRONZE AGE
Subperiod to: Middle
Period to: BRONZE AGE
Date from: Circa 1400 BC
Date to: Circa 1150 BC

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 2
Length: 37 mm
Width: 8.4 mm
Thickness: 0.5 mm
Weight: 18 g

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Wednesday 12th August 2009

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Ms Ros Tyrrell
Identified by: Mr Ben Roberts
Secondary identifier: Ms Ros Tyrrell

Other reference numbers

Treasure case number: 2009T435
Museum accession number: AYBCM 2010.200.1[folded] & .2 [rolled up]

Materials and construction

Primary material: Gold
Manufacture method: Cast
Completeness: Complete

Spatial metadata

Region: South East (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Buckinghamshire (County)
District: Wycombe (District)
To be known as: Ellesborough area

Spatial coordinates


Grid reference source: From finder
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 10 metre square.

Discovery metadata

Method of discovery: Metal detector
Current location: Bucks County Museum
General landuse: Cultivated land

References cited

No references cited so far.

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: BUC
Created: 9 years ago
Updated: About one year ago

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