Just a very quick blog this week. Most of our time has been spent looking at the purse we found recently but we have also found out something interesting on a couple of piece we removed from the hoard last November.

Among all of the jewellery we've found so far we have two torque halfs that are gold plated copper rather than a thicker gold skin over wood as in the rest of them.  These two were easy to see as being different because they were coated with a gritty green layer of copper corrosion.  One of them in fact was poking out of the side of the hoard and was one of the first things we saw back in 2012.  The second piece, with the double buffer rings at the throat end, was found later in a different area of the hoard.  

I've finally got round to cleaning them as I wanted to be sure if could be done safely before I began.  I couldn't use the manual cleaning technique with the thorns that I successfully used elsewhere because the gold plating is so thin and the copper it sits on is so corroded that it lifts incredibly easily.  Instead I had to do all the corrosion removal with formic acid, carefully applied on cotton wool swabs.  This has worked well and their original gold appearance has been largely restored.  In doing this I found that a slot in the end of one piece was a perfect match for the T bar fitting on the other.  Putting them side to side it became obvious that they are a pair so that's one more complete torque we have now.  We were doing this yesterday and Georgia and I were saying what a great fit they were and how strange it was that despite their coming from different parts of the hoard we hadn't realised they were a pair before.  Viki, my other assistant, came in this morning and when we told her what we'd found she rained on our whole parade by saying yes of course they were a pair, she thought we all knew that already.  I never liked her.

Meanwhile back at the purse we contacted a specialist on archaeological leather and textiles and she got back to us saying how important it potentially was and how it must be recorded as thoroughly as possible.  We stopped work on it therefore and we will leave it alone till she comes over next month.  Hopefully at that time we can work out a strategy for its extraction and study.


That's it for now.  More soon I hope.