The Mullamast Stone

17 Apr

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            The artifact that caught my eye when roaming around the museum was the mullamast stone. The mullamast stone is a limestone boulder. This rock has spiral carvings all around it. decorated overall with la tene designs. Alike the designs found on metal dress pins and brooches of the period. The stones carvings have a special representation. The symbolism the spiral carvings convey are the continuity in one of the most resonant Celtic rituals: the sword in the stone. Unlike so many rituals found in Ireland this particular one has no importance on religion. Not saying that religion wasn’t an important key in everyday life at the time but with the particular stone it took a back seat to other traditions that survived and thrived within the culture. The Mullamast stone may have been considered to have magical properties, and deep score-marks suggest that weapons were sharpened on it, perhaps to ensure success in battle. The Mullamast Stone has four blade marks on the left hand side and two very deep ones on the top. The new king seems have struck or sharpened his stone against the stone as a key part of the inauguration ritual. At some point during the Iron Age the Celts invaded territory in Ireland. The Celts brought to Ireland a new culture which the native Irish adopted and made their own – Celtic language, customs and Art. The new style of Art which the Celts brought to Ireland is called La Tene. This is an abstract curvilinear style of decoration. One would find the designs on metal dress pins and broaches; The Petrie Crown is a fine example of Celtic Iron Age metalworking which displays the curvilinear repeated patterning typical of the La Tene style. It is made of Bronze pieces which are riveted together. The base is a bronze band which was bent into a circular shape that fits onto the head. The Broighter Collar: The collar is one of the finest examples of la Tene metal craftsmanship in Europe. This hollow collar is made from two plates of thin gold soldered together in tubular form and bent into a circular shape to fit around a neck. The La Tene style decoration was made using the repousse technique.

 

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