‘Treasure’ found in a Grunty Fen field is among 82,000 archaeological finds made by members of public

A Bronze Age gold torc dating from around 1300-1100 BC, discovered in Cambridgeshire, during a photo

A Bronze Age gold torc dating from around 1300-1100 BC, discovered in Cambridgeshire, during a photocall at the British museum in London for some of the important finds made by the public in 2015 and recorded under the British Museum's Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS) and Treasure annual reports. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday November 28, 2016. See PA story ARTS Treasure. Photo credit should read: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire - Credit: PA

A Bronze Age gold torc dating from around 1300-1100 BC, discovered in a freshly ploughed field in Grunty Fen is one of the largest and most spectacular ever found say experts.

The gold torc, which is 4’ 10” long and made from 732 grams of almost pure gold, was found by a metal detectorist last September and was listed in the British Museum’s annual Treasure and Portable Antiquities Scheme report which lists all finds made by the public in the preceding year.

It is hoped Ely City Museum will acquire the torc, which is much larger than those usually found.

Torcs were normally worn around the neck, but this one is too large to fit a person’s waist and may have been designed to be worn over thick winter clothing, as a sash, by a heavily pregnancy woman as protection or by a prized animal in the course of a sacrifice.

The British Museums report lists 82,272 discoveries were made mostly by people who were metal-detecting. More than a thousand discoveries of “treasure” - such as gold or silver ornaments or coin collections and prehistoric metalwork - were made in England, Wales and Northern Ireland last year, the report reveals.

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The 1,008 finds also included a Roman grave in Hertfordshire and a hoard of Viking Age objects and Anglo-Saxon coins in a field near Watlington, Oxfordshire.

Archaeological items, the majority of which were found on cultivated land where items can be at risk of damage from ploughing and corrosion, ranged from thousands of stone flints to a rare Bronze Age shield in Suffolk.

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