SOM-AA390A: Bronze Age torc fragment

Rights Holder: Somerset County Council
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Unique ID: SOM-AA390A

Object type certainty: Certain
Workflow status: Published Find published

Treasure case 2016 T203: Acquired by Somerset Museum Service


A fragment of Middle Bronze Age flange- or bar-twisted gold torc. The torc would have been manufactured from a cast bar into which four longitudinal cuts were made. These were then worked to create an X-shaped cross-section and finally the bar was twisted to create a spiral effect. Only a small portion of the original object survives. The fragment terminates in clean breaks at either end and is likely to have been cut. It has been bent into a U-shape with one terminal projecting upwards and the other bent inwards at a ninety-degree angle.


The object measures 19.07mm in length (bent), 16.72mm in width, is 3.75mm thick and weighs 5.69g.


Gold flange twisted torcs have been dated typologically to the Taunton (c.1400-1250 BC), or more probably the Penard (c. 1300-1150 BC), metalwork phases of the Middle Bronze Age (Roberts 2007), when twisting and flange twisting bars and ribbons of gold were common techniques in Britain (Murgia et al. forthcomingTaylor 1980). Torcs of this style are most common in southern England and East Anglia, but do occur elsewhere in Wales and central Britain (Roberts 2007). Deliberately cut fragments like this occur relatively often in hoards (e.g. the Salcombe hoard from Devon and the Fittleworth hoard from West Sussex) and occasionally as stray finds (e.g. treasure case 2011 T501).

Similar examples on the database include: IOW-C0C054, BH-149F18, HAMP-C8DC02 and SF-FD97BA.


The torc fragment appears to consist of over 10% precious metal by weight and be over 300 years old at the time of finding and as such qualifies as potential Treasure under the stipulations of the Treasure Act 1996.

Julie Shoemark
Finds Liaison Officer, Somerset (Maternity Cover)

Minor edits:
Neil Wilkin
Curator, European Bronze Age collection, The British Museum

Subsequent actions

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

Treasure details

Treasure case tracking number: 2016T203


Broad period: BRONZE AGE
Subperiod from: Middle
Period from: BRONZE AGE
Subperiod to: Middle
Period to: BRONZE AGE
Date from: Circa 1300 BC
Date to: Circa 1150 BC

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Length: 19.07 mm
Width: 16.72 mm
Thickness: 3.75 mm
Weight: 5.69 g

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Sunday 14th February 2016 - Sunday 14th February 2016

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Miss Julie Shoemark
Identified by: Miss Julie Shoemark
Secondary identifier: Dr Neil Wilkin

Other reference numbers

Treasure case number: 2016T203

Materials and construction

Primary material: Gold
Completeness: Fragment

Spatial metadata

Region: South West (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Somerset (County)
District: South Somerset (District)
To be known as: Horton

Spatial coordinates

Grid reference source: GPS (from the finder)
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 1 metre square.

Discovery metadata

Method of discovery: Metal detector
Current location: Museum of Somerset

References cited

No references cited so far.

Similar objects

Find number: BH-149F18
Object type: BRACELET
Broadperiod: UNKNOWN
Description: A short length of a gold twisted torc with four flanges arranged as a cruciform. Both ends have been cut and the flanges are the…
Workflow: PublishedFind published

Find number: IOW-C0C054
Object type: TORC
Broadperiod: BRONZE AGE
A Bronze Age gold flanged- twisted torc fragment can be dated typologically to the Taunton (c. 1400-1250 BC), more probably the Penard (c. 1…
Workflow: PublishedFind published

Find number: HAMP-C8DC02
Object type: TORC
Broadperiod: BRONZE AGE
A fragment of Middle Bronze Age (Taunton or Penard phase, c. 1400 - 1150 BC) flange- or bar-twisted gold torc, consisting of a section includ…
Workflow: Awaiting validationFind awaiting validation

Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: SOM
Created: 3 years ago
Updated: About one year ago

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