Investigating the manufacturing technology of later Iron Age torus torcs
Recent work (Machling and Williamson 2016; 2018; 2019) has identified a previously unrecognised method of sheet-working manufacture for many British gold alloy torus torcs. It was thought terminals were cast onto the neck-ring wire using a lost wax process, however, research has shown that, in addition to sheet terminals, there are two casting methods used for torus torc terminals – those that are separately cast and those that are directly cast-on. Recent X-radiography proved the Newark torc terminals to be of cast production but with elements of sheet/hammered technology and this new evidence is presented here. This paper examines the manufacturing of gold torus torcs and revises the understanding of their distribution, arguing for the origins of the sheet metal tradition beyond East Anglia. It is proposed that cast torcs are copying sheet-worked designs and this attempt at creating something designed to be made using a different technology proved unsuccessful.
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