RIBBON TORC

BELFAST, CO. ANTRIM
LATE BRONZE AGE, 1200-1000 BC
GOLD
11.3 CM
NATIONAL MUSEUM OF IRELAND, DUBLIN

The presumably native craftsman created this torc by beating an ingot of gold into a strip of about 1 mm. and twisting it to achieve the desired effect. The surface was then shallowly and elegantly fluted. The gold ribbon narrows towards the ends, where it is worked out on both sides into rods that interlock to form hooks. The hooks are capped with small, unadorned knobs.

Archaeologists have found approximately 120 ribbon torcs in Britain and in Ireland, primarily in Northern Ireland. Not all ribbon torcs are alike; the ribbon torc found in Knock is made of a thinner strip of gold and is more delicately twisted. At the end of the 2nd millennium BC, Southern Britain and Ireland were introduced to the technique of ribbon torcs in the form of imported bronze torcs. In the next millennium, the popularity of the ribbon torcs was revived. Most scholars believe that this torc has native origins.

Scholars have debated, however, the date in which the torc was made. M. Cahill suggests that the discovery of a ribbon torc at another Irish site, Coolmanagh, Co. Carlow, confirms that this torc was made in the late 2nd or early 1st millennium BC, and this date is generally accepted.
 
 

BIBLIOGRAPHY

 

NEXT PAGE

HOME