Ór - Ireland's Gold

The National Museum of Ireland's collection of prehistoric goldwork, ranging in date between 2200 BC and 500 BC, is one of the largest and most important in western Europe. Most are pieces of jewellery but the precise function of some is unknown.

During the Early Bronze Age the principal products were made from sheet gold, and include sundiscs and the crescentic gold collars called lunulae. Around 1200 BC new gold working techniques were developed. During this time a great variety of torcs were made by twisting bars or strips of gold.

Styles changed again around 900 BC and the goldwork of this period can be divided into two main types. Solid objects such as bracelets and dress-fasteners contrast dramatically with large sheet gold collars and delicate ear-spools.

Location: National Museum of Ireland - Archaeology, Ground Floor, Kildare Street, Dublin 2.

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