TWO gold bracelets found in a stream near Tadcaster have become the torc of historians.
Less than three inches in diameter the two gold bracelets could give a clearer understanding of Britain’s prehistoric era.
The popularity of torcs - neck rings or bracelets made of metal wire twisted together - extended across Europe from the eighth century BC to the third century AD.
Staff at York-based Yorkshire Museum - where the two pieces have gone on show this week until the end of January - are aiming to raise £60,000 to buy them.
But if the five-figure sum is not reached, the bracelets could be auctioned off and then kept in a private collection.
The museum’s assistant curator of archaeology, Natalie McCaul, said: “The bracelets have the potential to tell us so much more about the Iron Age.
“They show the creativity and technology that was around at the time to produce jewellery like this, and the people who owned the pieces would have been extremely wealthy.
“The perception is often that history in York and the surrounding area simply began with the arrival of the Romans. But that is certainly not the case, as these bracelets prove.
“It is opening up a whole new chapter to explore the area’s history.
“To think that the bracelets could be lost to a private collection and that we wouldn’t have the opportunity to put them on public display would be heartbreaking.”
The torcs, one dated between 100BC and 70BC, were found within a few feet of each other on two separate occasions by metal detectorists, Andrew Green and Shaun Scott, near Towton.