2,500-Year-Old Gold Necklace Found by Sanitation Worker

In northwestern Spain on August 29, an individual who was excavating near pipes stumbled upon a gold necklace. This particular necklace is a torc thought to originate from the Iron Age, a historical period spanning from the 5th to the 2nd century BC. During this era, the craft of goldsmithing held significance beyond just artistic expression; it was a means of distinguishing nobility from the common populace. It is highly probable that this discovery was once a prized symbol of prestige among pre-Roman nobles.

Upon the discovery, archaeologists were promptly alerted, and specialists from the vicinity quickly gathered at the excavation site. Regrettably, no additional artifacts were uncovered during their meticulous search. 

The necklace serves as an exceptional illustration of the highly developed goldsmithing techniques prevalent during that historical period, encompassing casting, filigree work, graining, and welding. Such craftsmanship of this caliber, achieved without the aid of contemporary tools, is indeed a rarity.

Torcs are typically crafted from a single or dual pieces of gold, bronze, copper, or iron, depending on their place of origin and intended use. These distinctive ornaments, coming in diverse shapes and dimensions, have been unearthed across regions stretching from England to the Middle East. 

This distribution correlates with historical conflicts and trade activities of the era. It’s important to note that a torc does not form a complete circle; instead, it resembles an almost full circle, with an opening that facilitates both wearing and removal. Some torcs were devised for extended wear, while others were designed for effortless removal as needed.

In the modern context, these ornaments, often crafted from copper or silver, offer flexibility to the wearer and occasionally bear stylistic influences reminiscent of Viking or Celtic heritage. In contemporary times, the term “torc” extends to describe necklaces and bracelet jewelry.

Some ancient torcs, particularly those fashioned from gold, have been found to possess a substantial gold content. A notable example is the Great Torc from Snettisham, an exquisite golden neck ring dating back to the Iron Age, unearthed in 1950. Remarkably, it weighed over 2 pounds, which is notably hefty for a piece of jewelry. This remarkable artifact is now prominently exhibited at the British Museum.

Presently, experts are diligently examining the most recent torc discovery made just last month. Undoubtedly, it will eventually find a fitting home in a local museum collection.




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