FEAG talk 'The Great Gold Torc: A new middle Bronze Age torc from near Ely' by Neil Wilkin

05.03.2019 7:30 pm - 8:30 pm


Fen Edge Archaeology Group - Monthly Talk

'The Great Gold Torc: a 'new' middle Bronze Age torc from near Ely' by Neil Wilkin (The British Museum)
Tuesday 5th March 2019 at 7:30pm
Willingham Baptist Church, George St, Willingham, Cambridge CB24 5LJ

A remarkable Middle Bronze Age twisted gold bar torc was discovered in East Cambridgeshire in 26 September 2015. Weighing 732 grams, measuring 126.5 cm in length, it is one of the largest found in Britain, Ireland and the near Continent, and is regarded as the best to be found in England in more than a century. It is much larger than usual examples and is made of 730g of almost pure gold. The find was made by a metal detectorist in a ploughed field in East Cambridgeshire and was reported to the local Finds Liaison Officer. It is now on display in Ely Museum.

In his talk Neil Wilkin will highlight the skill required to make this spectacular item. He will compare it to other examples from across Britain, Ireland, and France and will then consider where the torc fits into the story of the Bronze Age, with special mention of the way fashions and ways of dressing the body changed over the course of 1,500 years. The talk will then address the big questions we all want to answer: what was the function of such a large and ostentatious torc, and why was it made and deposited, seemingly on purpose at the edge of the fens?

Dr Neil Wilkin has been curator of Early Europe in the department of Britain, Europe and Prehistory at the British Museum, since 2012.

All welcome. Admission: Members £2; Non-members pay £3.