The Gundestrup Cauldron- Erik Asmus

17 Sep

Upon first glancing over this object in the museum, I was immediately entranced by its meticulously detailed design and impressive size. After further research, I discovered that this artifact was called the “Gundestrup Cauldron”. It was originally found in a Danish bog near the city of Himmeland, Denmark. Despite being found in Denmark, it resides in the National Museum of Ireland. This is namely due to the distinct similarities in appearance to other Irish artifacts, leading to conjecture that it could be of Gualian or Thracian origin. It is impossible to discern the exact silvermaking techniques of the Celts but there is one distinct similarity that we can deduce. This artifact seems to exhibit the renowned Thracian sheet-silver tradition, where the sculptors incorporate famous scenes of history and translate them onto the artifact (in this case, the Gundestrup cauldron). Although this seems to offer a direct connection to Thracian culture, it is impossible to offer a direct correlation as the Celts were known to migrate throughout Europe and were undoubtedly affected by the numerous conquests of the Roman Empire. Therefore, it is safe to assume that this Cauldron is the byproduct of a variety of different cultural metalworking techniques, a metal mélange fused together with a myriad of techniques. I found this piece of information to be particularly interesting, as I assumed to find artifacts of strictly Irish origin within the museum. I believe this could potentially be a commentary on the intellectual pallet of the Irish people. Rather than filling their museums with a blazon of Irish memorabilia in a nationalist fervor, they prefer to showcase an artifact that highlights the best of many cultures, promoting multiculturalism within itself. This speaks volumes for me, as in the US I am accustomed to celebrating and witnessing American and only American artifacts, showing how great our culture is. Needless to say, this is a refreshing perspective to embrace.Image

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