By Maev Kennedy
Gigantic item found by a metal detectorist is among recent finds in England and Wales reported to archaeological authorities
A gigantic gold torc, so big one expert thinks it may have been worn to protect a pregnant woman, has been found by a metal detectorist in a ploughed field in Cambridgeshire. It was made from 730 grams of almost pure gold more than 3,000 years ago, and is regarded as the best found in England in more than a century.
The workmanship closely resembles one from nearby Grunty Fen, found in 1844 by a man cutting peat, now in the collection of the archaeology museum of Cambridge University. However, like many torcs that were apparently buried for ritual reasons, that one had been coiled up.