Top Ten Tour

Explore 7,000 years of Irish history through 10 exciting artefacts including the gold lunula, Tara Brooch and the Ardagh Chalice

On this page, you can find out what you can do at the Museum, in the classroom and online

At the Museum

Important information

All groups who are coming to the Museum must book their visit with the Bookings Office.

On this tour you can:

  • Span almost 8,000 years of Irish History through 10 exciting objects from the Mesolithic to the Early Christian Period
  • See how people in Mesolithic Ireland caught their fish with our 9,000 year old fish-trap
  • Hear how our first metalworkers turned gold from the soil into stunning neck ornaments shaped like half moons
  • Learn how experts discovered which type of shield was best for prehistoric battle through Experimental Archaeology
  • Discover the stories behind the impressive 'Tara' Brooch

Top Ten Objects

1. Fish-trap, Clowanstown, Co. Meath, 5300-4730 BC.

2. Macehead, passage tomb, Knowth, Co. Meath 3300 BC.

3. Dug-out canoe, Lurgan, Co. Galway, 2500 BC.

4. Macehead, passage tomb, Knowth, Co. Meath 3300 BC.

5. Gold lunula, Rossmore Park, Co. Monaghan, c. 2000 BC

6. Gold torcs, Tara, Co. Meath 1000 BC.

7. Bronze shield, near Lough Gur, Co. Limerick. C.700 BC.

8. Carved stone head, Corleck, Co. Cavan, 200-100 BC.

9. Gold hoard, Broighter, Co. Derry, 100 BC.

10. The ‘Tara’ brooch, Bettystown, Co. Meath, 8th century AD.

11. The Ardagh chalice, Co. Limerick, 8th century AD.

Key Curriculum Strands

SESE History

  • How we find out about the past
  • The work of the historian
  • Our roots in ancient civilization
  • Time and chronology
  • Using evidence
  • Technology and innovation
  • Continuity and change over time
  • Life, society, work and culture in the past

Maximum 30 per group. Duration 50 minutes. Wheelchair accessible.

Tours and workshops should be booked at least two weeks in advance, via the Bookings Office.

To make the most of your visit, we recommend that you plan activities for your students to complete.

In The Classroom

Here are some suggested follow up activities:
Create a timeline using drawings inspired by your Museum visit, such as Mesolithic arrowheads, Bronze Age lunulae or shields. Add to this timeline as more topics are covered.

Useful link: Archaeology in the Classroom


We are continually improving and adding to our online resourses.

Looking for information on exhibitions and collections?

Take a look around:

Download our free guidebook:

Archaeology Guidebook EN  (2.26 MB, Adobe PDF)

Download our free audio-guide:

The Treasury-Celtic and Early Christian Ireland Exhibition    

Looking for a particular object?

Try our Artefacts Search

Information on the Mesolithic Clowanstown Fish-Trap:

Fishtraps article  (1.07 MB, Adobe PDF)

Seanda article on fish traps  (2.08 MB, Adobe PDF)

Information on the Faddan More Psalter:

Faddan More Psalter - Explore the Text  (0.86 MB, Adobe PDF)