“a find of international importance.”

iron age gold torcs

A remarkable discovery by a metal-detectorist near Stirling, and apparently on his first attempt. And this time it doesn’t look like a collection of trophies.. Four iron age gold torcs, three complete, believed to be from 1st to 3rd centuries BC. More images at the Belfast Telegraph report. As the Times report says

For archaeologists, monetary matters pale against the historical significance of the torcs, which probably date from between the 1st and 3rd centuries BC. Intriguingly, the Stirling find appears to reveal links between local tribes — traditionally seen as isolated — and other Iron Age people in Europe. Goldwork of roughly equivalent design has been discovered near Toulouse, in the South of France, a connection suggesting that both ideas and technology travelled over surprisingly large distances.

Ian Ralston, Professor of Archaeology at the University of Edinburgh, pointed out that the latest find comes eight years after an Iron Age cart burial was unearthed at Newbridge in West Lothian. This high-status burial — probably a chieftain and his chariot — was the first of its type to have been found in Scotland, though similar interments took place from the Atlantic coast of France to Hungary. “These two finds suggest tribes in what we think of as ‘Scotland’ had rather wider links than archaeologists a generation ago would have expected,” Professor Ralston said. “They knew what was going on elsewhere, valued similar things and emulated practice in burials or votives.”

“If you had said to me in 2000, what are the chances of a cart burial turning up in Scotland, I would have said about zilch. If you had asked the same question about a hoard of torcs near Stirling, I would have said about zilch. Then these discoveries turn up and very quickly change perceptions of the past.”

And from the Guardian report

Experts said the hoard was of European significance, showing the wealth and connections of people in Scotland at the time. The exact location of the find is being kept secret to stop it being flooded by other metal detectorists. The Treasure Trove Unit, an independent body based at the National Museum of Scotland, is continuing to excavate the site.

The collection consists of two ribbon torcs in a local style made from a twisted ribbon of gold, half an ornate torc of southern French origin and a unique braided gold wire torc that shows strong influences of Mediterranean craftsmanship.

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  • Rory Carr

    Now all they need do is place it in the envelope provided, pop it in the post to DoshforBling.com and they can have CASH!!! by return post within 3 days.

    What’s fairer than that? I arsks you, guvna.

  • joeCanuck

    That’s funny, Rory.
    I’m pleased that it’s not just here that has the TV full of those ads.

  • Greenflag

    ‘ The price of gold hit a record high above $1,100 an ounce in London today following a report that Sri Lanka had joined India in purchasing the precious metal as against buying more waste paper i.e US dollars.

    The move away from the dollar accelerated last month on a report that Gulf states may stop using the greenback for oil trading.’

    An Epistle to the Terrified from the Book of Revelations

    The end draweth nigh for the greenback but it dawneth for him that hath speculateth against the paper on which it proclaimeth ‘In God we trust ‘ But the Lord God returneth not the phone calls to them who hath asked of him whether said trust was still justified . As to the question of whether the Lord God ‘trusted ‘ the dollar- a deafening silence was ominously heard followed by a eerie cackling laugh that echoeth around the walls of eternity .

    But blessed will not be he that fleeth from the dollar into the arms of sterling, for she hath lost one arm and a leg already and is sorely plagued by the creeping palsy in the other arm and rising gangrene in her left leg .

    The sound of printing presses is heard in the middle distance. And those furry little mammals that have been seen scurrying around Threadneedle Street seeketh a new currency to climb aboard .

    And wherefore hath the taxpayers of London and New York and Dublin taken on that ashen faced appearance .

    And it came to pass that no longer did the residents of those cities frequent the cinemas or movie theatres to be scared unto death by the movies of horror .

    Verily I say unto you that in those days there was no need . For the financial news of the day and the reports of the inside traders of Wall St and the machinations of the bankers, and the moneychangers of the City and the ponzified shadowy figures of the Kingdom of Hedge and the Druids of Derivative were more than sufficient terror for the day that the Lord hath given to his faithless .

    But O Lord I asketh only one question ?

    Wherefore hath thou brought this day ;(?

    And the Lord answereth unto the faithful

    I shall return unto you when we have finished questioning Milton Friedman on the intricacies of such a financial alchemy of destruction as to excite envy and jealousy even unto our cousin Beelzebub and Satan.

    Go in pieces Amen

  • Greenflag

    seriously a great find and it raises questions which no doubt will excite our ever ‘revisioning ‘ historians . Still it keeps them going eh 😉

    People of Ireland , Scotland , England and Wales
    Heed not the cry of the Lord to the cripple layabed when he urged the horizontal one to take up his bed and walk .

    But heed him who preacheth unto you the 21st century upgrade of the Lord’s word.

    ‘Take up your metal detectors and walk ‘

    The odds at this stage must be better than the lottery eh ?

  • susan

    Stunning. Was gold more bendy back then? I’m sure they looked fantastic on, but how did you get them off?

    I love that the discoverer wants to use the money to pay off his Ford Focus and get ready for his new baby. I used to think all Scots were that way, when I only knew the place from Bill Forsyth eighties vids.

  • Dewi

    I’m in trouble. I can’t think of any possible way to claim a pre Christ gold find to Wales….excellent post Pete.

  • latcheeco

    Dewi,
    Thats easy:
    It is clearly an example of plunder taken but later dropped by the blue faces from a rich Roman antique collector (whose villa they sacked after popping over the wall in the middle of the night) who in his turn got it from his great uncle Biggus Dickus who looted it from the druids on Anglesey.