The Bronze Age inhabitants of Ireland loved their gold! Many artifacts such as these have been found in burial sites and in other caches throughout Ireland.
Everything you see in the above two photos was found at the same super treasure trove site in Co. Clare. And this is only part of the hoard! All of these fine pieces were made in the Late Bronze Age.
As these early goldsmiths improved their skills, their pieces became more and more refined like this beautiful necklace of twisted gold.
This lovely brooch, known as the Brooch of Tara, is thought to have belonged to one of the kings of Tara. There are interlaced animal and geometric designs fashioned of gold filigree on the front as well as inlaid pieces of glass and amber. It is made of both silver and gold.
Of all the stunning gold jewelry on display, these simple, hollow gold balls were my favorites. Each ball is a little smaller than a tennis ball and is pierced so as to be worn on a piece of rope or leather as a necklace. You can see there are a few missing, and no, I didn't bring them home with me! I think anyone wearing this dramatic necklace would have commanded a lot of attention and respect.
This gold jewelry is definitely the show-stopper at the museum, but it's not why I was so eager to visit. I'll share that reason with you in my next blog post.