Gallic treasure from Tayac (Gironde): gold torque and coins

Late 2nd – early 1st century B.C.? Torque: Museum of Aquitaine Inv. no.: 60.17.2 Coins: Loan from Municipal Coin Collection, Bordeaux Municipal Library, Inv. coll. D.91.6.

In December 1893, a labourer discovered two terracotta vases containing an assemblage of gold objects: a solid gold torque –a kind of rigid open collar – weighing 762 g, 73 small gold ingots each weighing 7.3 g, a coil of gold thread, a flat oval ingot, a square ingot, and around 325 Gallic gold coins. Only one ingot and 26 staters or quarter staters, some of them coins only prepared for striking or only struck on one side, could be acquired by the Town of Bordeaux. The most recent of the coins were dated to 90-80 B.C.

The torque was produced from a shaft with a cross-shaped section, which was twisted to produce a spiral effect. The added ends are large and hollow. The decoration around them ensures an aesthetic interface with the spirals of the torque body. Originally discovered broken into only two pieces, the torque, like the rest of this treasure, must have been deposited intentionally. It represents a considerable fortune.

We do not know the reasons why this deposit was made. We tend to believe today that it was a votive, cult offering as this type of deposit is most often found near a spring or a watercourse.


Gallic treasure from Tayac (Gironde): gold torque and coins (c) mairie de Bordeaux