© Swiss National Museum

Name of Object:

Erstfeld treasure


Zurich, Switzerland

Holding Museum:

Swiss National Museum


4th century BC

Type of object:

Neck ring

Museum Inventory Number:



H/L: 16.3cm, W: 13.5cm, Diameter: 17.3cm, Weight :128.7g

Period / Dynasty:

Iron Age


Switzerland, Erstfeld


The Erstfeld (UR) treasure is discovered by chance in a rock crevice in August 1962. The extraordinary assemblage is one of the most prominent masterpieces of Celtic goldsmithing. It consists of four torques and three arm rings made of high-carat gold (up to 95%) weighing 640 g in total. The rings are decorated with figural friezes, plant motifs and mythical creatures. One of the motifs shows the «Lord/Lady of the wild animals»: this deity is widely known, both in the Celtic tradition and in the mythology of the Mediterranean region.The gold rings are made in the 4th century BC in a workshop on the Swiss Plateau or in southern Germany. The gold treasure is quite probably a votive offering to a deity to ask for a safe crossing of the Alps.

Current Owner:

Swiss Confederation

How date and origin were established:

Stylistic and typological analysis

How Object was obtained:

Found in Erstfeld, Switzerland

Citation of this web page:

 "Erstfeld treasure" in MWNF GALLERIES , Museum With No Frontiers, 2018. http://www.museumwnf.org/thematicgallery/thg_galleries/database_item.php?itemId=objects;GALLERIES;sw;Mus01;2;en&id=archaeological_objects

MWNF Working Number: CH_GAL_002