Collection online


  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Description

    Gold alloy ribbon torc in two pieces. The torc was made by beating an ingot into a flat band that was then twisted from left to right. There is a single narrow line running along the centre of the band. The terminals are circular in section and bent-back to form hooks. They also have disc-shaped knobs with a conical centre. One of the terminals is now separate.


  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 1400BC-1100BC
    • 300BC-100BC
  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Diameter: 142.02 millimetres
    • Thickness: 8.87 millimetres (twisted body)
    • Thickness: 2.21 millimetres (terminal)
    • Thickness: 0.46 millimetres (flat band)
    • Weight: 46 grammes
  • Curator's comments

    There is a considerable debate regarding the dating of Ribbon Torcs either to the Middle Bronze Age or Iron Age on the basis of compositional analyses, terminal forms and limited contextual evidence as from Somerset, Co. Galway and Dooyork, Co Mayo, Ireland and the Blair Drummond hoard, Stirling, Scotland. The emerging typological consensus places loosely coiled torcs with simple hook terminals from Ireland in the Middle Bronze Age whilst tightly coiled torcs with knobbed terminals in Britain and Ireland are placed in the Iron Age (Fraser Hunter, Mary Cahill, Jody Joy and Trevor Cowie pers. comm. 9/12/11). However, the presence of objects that do not conform to this binary typology means that dating still relies on good contextual evidence. As a consequence, two ribbon torcs have been dated to the Middle Bronze Age and the remaining 12 ribbon torcs have been placed in the undiagnostic section with a possible/probable Iron Age date.


  • Bibliography

    • Eogan 1983b bibliographic details
    • Murgia et al 2014 bibliographic details
  • Location

    Not on display

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Department

    Britain, Europe and Prehistory

  • Registration number


Gold torc; one terminal now separate.

Gold torc; one terminal now separate.

Image description



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Object reference number: BCB70246

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