Record Details

NHER Number:1487
Type of record:Monument
Name:Snettisham Iron Age Treasure

Summary

The Snettisham Treasure is the largest collection of Iron Age torcs found in Western Europe. Between 1948 and 1990 nearly 180 torcs, (75 of those complete and the rest fragmentary) were recovered, of varying types and materials. In addition, over 100 ingot rings/bracelets were found, as well as 170 coins, ingots and other pieces of metal. These objects are thought to have been deposited on purpose, and possibly by more than one person. They may represent the raw materials and finished pieces of a metal worker, or they may have been deposited as a religious offering.

Images

  • An Iron Age potin coin found at Snettisham.  © Norfolk Museums & Archaeology Service. NWHCM 1949.75.55.1:A
  • An Iron Age gold coin blank or flan for a quarter stater found at Snettisham.  © Norfolk Museums & Archaeology Service. NWHCM 1949.75.2:A
  • An Iron Age Gallo-Belgic D gold quarter stater found at Snettisham.  © Norfolk Museums & Archaeology Service. NWHCM 1949.76.12
  • An Iron Age East Anglian gold quarter stater found at Snettisham.  © Norfolk Museums & Archaeology Service, NWHCM 1985.171.A3:A
  • One of the torc hoards found at Snettisham.  © Norfolk Museums & Archaeology Service
  • An Iron Age gold ring terminal torc from Snettisham.  © Norfolk Museums & Archaeology Service
  • The finder of the first torcs to be discovered at Snettisham in the 1940s holding a group of torcs.  © Eastern Daily Press
  • An Iron Age gold tubular torc from Snettisham.  © Norfolk Museums & Archaeology Service
  • An Iron Age East Anglian gold "wolf" stater from Snettisham.  © Norfolk Museums & Archaeology Service

Location

Grid Reference:Not displayed
Map Sheet:TF63SE
Parish:SNETTISHAM, WEST NORFOLK, NORFOLK

Full description

[1]
1948-50. Excavation.
Discovery followed by excavation of Iron Age gold hoards, Roman, Middle Saxon, Late Saxon, and medieval sherds.

These excavations also produced limited evidence for pre-Iron Age activity on this part of Ken Hill, although this was largely limited to an assemblage of worked flints. These include a single Mesolithic microlith (Area 1; Site 47) and a number of flakes thought to be associated with a Mesolithic industry. A significant number of Neolithic or Early Bronze Age flints were also recovered, along with 2 sherds of Beaker pottery and a Bronze Age socketed axe (S4). These finds are part of the collection of material from this work that is held by the Norwich Castle Museum (NWHCM : 1950.219). The flints have been independently examined by J. J. Wymer and R. Jacobi, who both confirmed the presence of a notable Mesolithic component to the assemblage. A range of pieces are listed in (S5), including 1 flaked axehead, 4 cores, 53 blades/flakes, 11 scrapers and 1 microlith. Three of the cores were identified by Jacobi as micro-blade cores, who described the microlith as a "superb" Class 5b with straight retouch across base. Information from (S6). The much larger assemblage of later prehistoric flints includes the cutting edge of a Neolithic polished axehead and the pointed butt of a flaked axehead (S7).
Amended by P. Watkins (HES), 10 December 2012.

1952. Excavation of Iron Age and Roman sherds.
1964. Iron Age torc found.
1968. Iron Age torc found.
1973. Iron Age torc found.
1983-84. Roman, Late Saxon, medieval and post medieval sherds found.
1989. Roman figurine found with metal detector, also further Iron Age torcs and coins.
1990. Further Iron Age torcs and coins in vessel found.
1992. Excavations by British Museum. Roman religious site?
See full details in files including drawings, plan and photographs.

Plan showing area of excavation in 1990-1992 at 1:1000 scale in file.
Also English translation of (S1).
A. Rogerson (NLA), 30 January 2002.

Before 8 March 2004. Metal-detecting in small area. [2].
Three Roman coins.
See list in file.
A. Rogerson (NLA), 15 April 2004.

See (S2) in file.
E. Darch (NLA), 4 February 2005.

Two fragments of electrum discovered March 2004 declared Treasure.
E. Darch (NLA), 11 March 2005.

(S3) in file.
A. Rogerson (NLA), 14 May 2007.

23 June 2009.
Designation proposal submitted to English Heritage.
D. Gurney (NLA), 7 December 2009.

Monument Types

  • FINDSPOT (Mesolithic - 10000 BC to 4001 BC)
  • FINDSPOT (Neolithic - 4000 BC to 2351 BC)
  • FINDSPOT (Bronze Age - 2350 BC to 701 BC)
  • FINDSPOT (Beaker - 2300 BC to 1700 BC)
  • FINDSPOT (Iron Age - 800 BC to 42 AD)
  • ENCLOSURE (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • FINDSPOT (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • METAL WORKING SITE (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • TEMPLE (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • FINDSPOT (Middle Saxon - 651 AD to 850 AD)
  • FINDSPOT (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • FINDSPOT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • FINDSPOT (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Associated Finds

  • BLADE (Mesolithic - 10000 BC to 4001 BC)
  • BLADE CORE (Mesolithic - 10000 BC to 4001 BC)
  • FLAKE (Mesolithic - 10000 BC to 4001 BC)
  • FLAKED AXEHEAD (Mesolithic - 10000 BC to 4001 BC)
  • MICROLITH (Mesolithic - 10000 BC to 4001 BC)
  • SCRAPER (TOOL) (Mesolithic - 10000 BC to 4001 BC)
  • POT (Neolithic - 4000 BC to 2351 BC)
  • POT (Bronze Age - 2350 BC to 701 BC)
  • SOCKETED AXEHEAD (Bronze Age - 2350 BC to 701 BC)
  • POT (Beaker - 2300 BC to 1700 BC)
  • COIN (Iron Age - 800 BC to 42 AD)
  • HOARD (Iron Age - 800 BC to 42 AD)
  • MINIATURE OBJECT (Iron Age - 800 BC to 42 AD)
  • POT (Iron Age - 800 BC to 42 AD)
  • SHIELD (Iron Age - 800 BC to 42 AD)
  • TORC (Iron Age - 800 BC to 42 AD)
  • COIN (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • FIGURINE (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • INGOT (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • METAL WORKING DEBRIS (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • POT (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • POT (Middle Saxon - 651 AD to 850 AD)
  • POT (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • POT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • POT (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • VESSEL (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Protected Status

  • Scheduled Monument
  • Higher Level Stewardship

Sources and further reading

---Article in serial: Clarke, R. R. 1957. Archaeological Discoveries in Norfolk 1949-54. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol XXXI pp 395-416.
---Photograph: Wicks, D. (NAU). 1989. EWU 5-10.
---Photograph: Wicks, D. (NAU). 1991. FHH 5-16; FHX 16-19.
---Article in serial: The Snettisham Treasure: Excavations in 1990.. Antiquity. Vol 65, No 248. pp 447-464.
---Publication: Current Archaeology. 1991. The Snettisham Treasure. No 126. p 260-262.
---Archive: Ordnance Survey Staff. 1933-1979?. Ordnance Survey Record Cards. TF 63 SE 15 {6].
---Archive: NAU Staff. 1974-1988. Norfolk Archaeological Index Primary Record Card.
---Publication: Materials Characterisation. 1990. The Sheffield Torc. 28, pp109-123.
---Serial: Fundberichte aus Baden. 1987. Goldringe mit eisenkern der jungeren latenezeit.. 12.
---Article in serial: 1948. The Snettisham Find.. The Numismatic Chronicle. Sixth Series, Vilc VIII, pp 233-236.
---Article in serial: 1991. The Snettisham Treasure: Excavations in 1990.. Antiquity. Volume 65, Number 248, pp447-465, September 1991.
---Publication: Myer, R.. 1930. Chats on Old English Tobacco Jars.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 2009. Coming face to face with our rich heritage. 3 October.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 2010. The object is to celebrate our rich history. 13 February.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 2009. EDP2 Feature. 21 December.
---Illustration: Unknown. Drawing of Iron Age ingot bracelets.. Paper. 1:2.
---Illustration: Moss, J.. 1964. Drawing of an Iron Age torc.. Card. 1:1.
---Illustration: Unknown. Drawing of an Iron Age bronze sheet disc.. Card. 1:4.
---Illustration: Unknown. Drawings on an Iron age gold bracelet design.. Card. 2:1.
---Article in serial: I. M. Stead. 1991. The Snettisham Treasure: Excavations in 1990. CBA Group VI Bulletin. No 35 pp 53-56.
---Article in serial: Stead, I. 1995. The Snettisham Treasure. CBA Group VI Bulletin. No 37 pp 52-54.
---Archive: Clarke, R. R. and NCM Staff. 1933-1973. Norwich Castle Museum Record Card - Mesolithic.
---Archive: Clarke, R. R. and NCM Staff. 1933-1973. Norwich Castle Museum Record Card - Neolithic. Snettisham [3].
---Archive: Clarke, R. R. and NCM Staff. 1933-1973. Norwich Castle Museum Record Card - Bronze Age. Snettisham.
---Archive: Clarke, R. R. and NCM Staff. 1933-1973. Norwich Castle Museum Record Card - Iron Age. Snettisham [6].
---Archive: Clarke, R. R. and NCM Staff. 1933-1973. Norwich Castle Museum Record Card - Roman. Snettisham [2].
---Archive: Clarke, R. R. and NCM Staff. 1933-1973. Norwich Castle Museum Record Card - Late Saxon. Snettisham.
---Archive: Clarke, R. R. and NCM Staff. 1933-1973. Norwich Castle Museum Record Card - Medieval. Snettisham.
---Secondary File: Secondary file.
---Article in serial: Sealey, P. R. 1979. The Later History of Icenian Electrum Torcs. Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society. Vol 45 pp 165-178.
---Archive: Clarke, R. R. and NCM Staff. 1933-1973. Norwich Castle Museum Record Card - Middle Saxon. Snettisham.
<S1>Publication: Haffner, A. (ed). 1995. Die Schatzfunde von Snettisham.
<S2>Unpublished document: Hill, J.D. (British Museum). 2004. Report on ingots / casting fragments 2004 T91.
<S3>Unpublished document: Birks, C.. 2006. Chris Birks Archaeological Services Report No. CB047. Project Design for a Programme of Archaeological Works at Ken Hill, Snettisham, Norfolk..
<S4>Article in serial: Clarke, R. R. 1954. The Early Iron Age Treasure from Snettisham, Norfolk. Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society. Vol XX Pt 1 pp 27-86.
<S5>Monograph: Wymer, J. J. and Bonsall, C. J. (eds). 1977. Gazetteer of Mesolithic Sites in England and Wales with a Gazetteer of Upper Palaeolithic Sites in England and Wales. Council for British Archaeology Research Report. No. 20. p 212.
<S6>Archive: R. Jacobi. -. Jacobi Archive. 10283.
<S7>Thesis: Healy, F.. 1978. The Neolithic in Norfolk. p 613.

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