Two friends that were out "treasure hunting" have indeed struck gold. Several gold torcs from the Iron Age – including a bracelet and three necklaces – and believed to be around 2,500 years old, were recently discovered in Staffordshire, England.
The pieces, all made from gold, were thought to be the oldest pieces found in Britain that hail back to the Iron Age, BBC News reported Tuesday. Two friends – Joe Kania and Mark Hambleton – were out in the Staffordshire Moorlands with a metal detector when they discovered the pieces last December. Each piece was separate from one another, but all nearby and buried at the surface, according to BBC News.
“I was just about to give up for the day when Joe said he thought he had found something,” Hambleton had said via BBC News. “We both looked at it and were speechless.”
Curator of the British Museum Julia Farley determined that the pieces were of “international importance,” claimed that the men’s discovery “dates to around 400-250 B.C. and is probably the earliest Iron Age work ever discovered in Britain.”
Farley guessed that the pieces would have been worn by “wealthy and powerful women” who had married into the community at the time.
The jewelry is now in the possession of the Portable Antiquities Scheme, which is linked to the Birmingham Museum. The pieces were to be evaluated for potential worth. The Portable Antiquities Scheme documents thousands of archaeological discoveries in Britain every year, according to The Guardian.
While the torcs could be some of the oldest gold in Britain, the oldest piece of gold was thought to have come from Bulgaria. Last August, a small gold bead –measuring in at about an eighth of an inch in diameter – was said to have come from a pre-historic settlement in Bulgaria. Bulgarian archeologists said that the piece would have dated back to 4,500-4,600 B.C. which could have come from the Bulgarian Black Sea city, Varna, Reuters reported.
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