Ardagh Chalice (underside)

Top Ten Tour

Tara Brooch (detail)

Top Ten Tour

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 ks_guide_web_en.pdf (2.26 MB, Adobe PDF) 

Download our free audio-guide:

The Treasury-Celtic and Early Christian Ireland Exhibition    

Audioguide handset



Looking for a particular object?

Try our Artefacts Search

Information on the Mesolithic Clowanstown Fish-Trap:

Fishtraps article fishtraps.pdf (1.07 MB, Adobe PDF) 

Seanda article on fish traps Seanda Article Fish Traps.pdf (2.08 MB, Adobe PDF) 


Information on the Faddan More Psalter:


psalter folio 22 recto

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

Quick Links

Make  a bookingLinks to external website

Tips for your visit:

For tours and workshops, the maximum number of students per group is 30.

More Tips...

Second Level Resources in other Museums
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