York

Yorkshire Museum appeal to keep treasures

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September 26th, 2013
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As we reported earlier in the year the Yorkshire Museum fears losing two historical items of significance if they cannot be purchased by October this year. These rare finds are two 2,000 year old gold torcs (bracelets), depicting the first Iron Age gold jewellery ever found in the north of England. With October fast approaching they are appealing to the public to help keep the torcs in Yorkshire.

Both torcs resemble one another, their main bodies made up of two gold wires that are twisted together. Undeniably, the sublime bracelets must have belonged to an extremely wealthy member of the Brigantes tribe that ruled most of North Yorkshire during the Iron Age. The possibility of the bracelets being worn by royals of the tribe is not excluded either.

The finds were discovered seperately in 2010 and 2011, in a bed of a stream in Towton, near Tadcaster. Scientists discuss a possible connection to similar finds in Norfolk that belonged to the royals of the Iceni tribe. This draws attention to the actual role of the torcs – they might have been spoils of war, a gift or used in trade between the two tribes.

The first torc was purchased in January 2012 for £25,000 after a public appeal and an enormous generosity of the people of Yorkshire. The second torc, more intricate and therefore rarer, is presently valued at £30,000. Half of the funds were secured by the grant of a local charitable foundation, the other half, however, must be raised by October to ensure its public display in Yorkshire. Otherwise, the finds will be placed on the open market and could be sold to an organisation or individual outside of Yorkshire.

Natalie McCaul, curator of archaeology, said: “We hope we can find the money to ensure this beautiful object stays in Yorkshire for the public to enjoy, but also so we can conduct research into the pair of bracelets to try and find out more about Yorkshire during this period.”

Both torcs will be on show temporarily at the Yorkshire Museum from Wednesday September 25 until October 13.

To donate to the campaign click here.

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