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Gold necklace found in 'largest Celtic hoard'

A gold necklace has been discovered by experts examining the world's largest hoard of Celtic coins. Senior conservator Neil Mahrer is working on Le Catillon II hoard and said they had already cleared nearly 4,000 of about 70,000 coins.

The gold necklace was revealed as coins around it 
were removed [Credit: BBC]
The gold torque was partially exposed as researchers began to remove coins from around it. The coins were discovered by two amateur metal detector enthusiasts, Reg Mead and Richard Miles, in 2012.

The team, including two Jersey-born archaeology graduates, have already discovered a gold coin believed to date from 70BC and derived from the Baiocasses, a tribe from Normandy who minted base gold and silver coins.

Neil Mahrer said the volume of coins in the hoard created a "new normal" as they
 had more than any previously discovered [Credit: BBC]
The gold necklace, known as a "torque" was partially exposed as coins were removed and Mr Mahrer said it was surprising to find a complete piece, rather than fragments.

Julia Farley, curator of European Iron Age collections at the British Museum, said men and women in mainland Europe would be buried wearing them.

The team take a very accurate measure of the location of each
 item in the hoard [Credit: BBC]
She said: "They are rare, particularly gold ones, but the number from Britain is fairly small, under 50 or so. On the continent you find them in graves, but we don't really find that in Britain. They have been found in hoards as chopped up bits, but they are unusual."

She said most of the British gold objects found from the time of the Jersey hoard were actually made from recycled continental gold.

Neil Mahrer said they had no idea how many other items of jewellery they would
 find or whether there were big stones inside [Credit: BBC]
Ms Farley said it would be shipped to the UK with coins and other metals chopped up and then turned into local objects.

Mr Mahrer said the gold torque in the Jersey hoard could turn out to be a significant find, as it could help uncover more details of the wealth of the tribe and where they came from.

Author: Ryan Morrison | Source: BBC News Website [November 22, 2014]
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