The collection of gold torcs could shed light on the lives of our ancestors. Credit: PA
A pair of amateur metal detectorists uncovered a spectacular collection of jewellery which is thought to be the oldest Iron Age gold hoard ever discovered in Britain.
Friends Mark Hambleton and Joe Kania found the four torcs – three necklaces and one bracelet – buried close together on farmland in Staffordshire while on a day out just before Christmas.
Experts believe the collection, which has been named the the Leekfrith Iron Age Torcs, is around 2,500 years old and features some of the earliest Celtic art ever discovered.
Mark Hambleton and Joe Kania found the torcs buried just under the surface. Credit: PA
It is not known why the items were buried, but it could have been for safekeeping, as an offering to the gods, or as an act of remembrance after their owner died.
Dr Julia Farley, curator of British & European Iron Age collections for the British Museum, said the collection was “of international importance”.
“It dates to around 400-250 BC, and is probably the earliest Iron Age gold work ever discovered in Britain.
The torcs were probably worn by wealthy and powerful women, perhaps people from the continent who had married into the local community.
Piecing together how these objects came to be carefully buried in a Staffordshire field will give us an invaluable insight into life in Iron Age Britain.” – DR JULIA FARLEY
Source: ITV News