I found myself interested in the Oval Brooches of Irish women while walking through the Irish Viking section of the museum. These brooches (shown in the picture below) were worn as jewelry by woman of importance during the 9th century (Viking Age).
The Viking Age in Ireland took place between nearly 800 AD to about 1150 AD. The brooches are made out of hollow cast copper and were the most common form of jewelry for women during the Viking Age. Many types of feminine jewelry such as brooches like these have typically been found in important women’s graves that date back to the Viking Age. Pins and brooches from these burials are directly related to Irish manufacture and point to the possibility that the Vikings of Dublin picked up on Irish trends of fashion, including jewelry and dress during the 9th century. The oval brooches had been worn in pairs upon the shoulders of women in order to tighten and hold the shoulder straps on their dresses. Often, you would find a string of beads (shown in the picture above) hanging between the two. Vikings of Dublin produced the brooches by the masses in their native lands. These pieces of evidence (along with materials, ornaments, and weapons found in Viking graves from Ireland) were the first to prove a connection between the Vikings and Ireland.
Written by Alex Dfouni