On Monday moring we uncovered one end of the solid gold torque and it had a bit of a surprise for us. We've been debating for ages whether we would find a beautiful, ornate terminal at both ends or whether the torque would turn out to have been chopped up for scrap and we'd therefore find a crudely cut or sawn end. What we actually found you can see in the picture above. It appears to be a joint. There is a hole right through the cylinder for a pin and the squared off end is hollowed out. What we don't know is if this is a join so that two pieces could be fitted together around a neck or whether (perhaps most likely) it's the fitting where a terminal would have once been pushed on. We won't know until we uncover the rest of the torque over the next couple of weeks.
We also uncovered our first gold stater coin. It was sweet actually because we found it while a school party was visiting the lab and Viki got a round of applause while showing it to them. According to our coin guru Phil DeJersey the coin dates from around 70BC and comes from the Baiocasses tribe. Doing a bit of research he found an example in France that had been struck from the same dies which was interesting.
We also found a loop of flattened copper which looks identical to a partial one found elsewhere on the hoard a while ago. This was the first time we have come across an object other than a coin inside the hoard and it was chance to test a new scanning procedure we are pioneering. We've been building up a three dimensional computer hoard model made out of the measured and numbered discs of every coin we remove. We have now used the laser scanner to record the loop in situ before we took it out. Because we can place this scan accurately by using the same reference points we use for the coin measuring we can "insert" the 3D loop model into the overall coin model. In future therefore the model will include all such objects we find, recorded to the same 50 micron accuracy as each of the coins.
I'll get back again soon to let you know what else we've found.