“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.