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Mountrivers, Co. Cork - A variety of objects including an amber necklace.


Finds from the South of Ireland can be seen in the National Museum of Ireland, Dublin.  Finds from the North of Ireland can be seen at the Ulster Museum, Belfast.

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Shield found at Lough Gur, Co. Limerick one of the few finds of Bronze shields known in Ireland.

Most of our knowledge of the artefacts from the Bronze and Iron Ages come from the discovery of hoards of objects either hidden from marauders or deposited in boggy waterlogged areas as offerings to the gods. 

These objects were preserved in the bogs, including wooden and leather objects which in dry conditions eventually biodegrade into the earth.  There were many 'finds' of these artefacts in the preceding centuries many by accident, such as that at 'the great Clare find' of 1854 made when the West Clare narrow gauge railway was being constructed.  

Unfortunately many of the known 146 gold objects found close to Mooghaun North hillfort were stolen by the railway workers and other persons and melted down.  The National Museum in Dublin had casts made of these ornaments which are on display in their main 'gold gallery'  

There are some superb examples of gold work such as the lock-rings found in a hoard at Gorteenreagh, Co. Clare, which shows that expertise in gold-work was much admired. 

The hoards listed below span from Mesolithic times up to the late Medieval times.




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The Great Clare Find/Mooghaun, Co. Clare

Gorteenreagh, Co. Clare


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Dowris, Co. Offaly Derrinboy, Co. Offaly Newgrange,Co.Meath

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Ballytegan, Co. Laois Clones, Co. Monaghan Glenisheen,Co.Clare

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Mountrivers, Co. Cork

Lisnacroghera, Co. Antrim


Loughnashade, Co. Armagh

Derrynaflan, Co. Tipperary Capeen, Co. Cork

Tooradoo, Co. Limerick

Ardagh, Co. Limerick


Ardcrony, Co. Tipperary

Banemore, Co. Kerry


Ballinrees, Co. Derry

Downpatrick, Co. Down


Knocknagur, Co. Galway

Monastery, Co. Wicklow



Sources: Irish Archaeology Illustrated edited by Michael Ryan pub. Dublin 1994

Harbison, Peter -

Pre-christian Ireland, from the first settlers to the Early Celts, pub. Thames&Hudson 1998.


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