National Museum of Ireland
Among the many shiny and bright artifacts in the National Museum of Ireland, a display of coins from the 920s and 990s caught my eye. I can’t even fathom how long ago that was or what the world would have been like. Seeing the coins, which is something that is so common for us, made that old world a little more real for me. It is so interesting to think about what types of people made and used these coins just as we do today. Some were whole coins and some were just fragments but it is amazing that they staid in tact so long. Even the markings on the coins are still there and were pretty clear and easy to see.
Some of the coins were discovered in the Dunmore Cave hoard. They were Anglo-Saxon and Arabic coins, as well as coins that were made by the Vikings of York. Others were discovered in the Lough Lene hoard and date back to the 990s. The coins show that people even as long ago as that were using the same monetary system as we are today. Their ideas and inventions are what shaped the world we live in today and influenced that way the world developed. If it were not for people creating a system of trade, our history would be very different.
The design of the Irish coins today were based off of the design on these ancient coins. The significance of these coins to Irish history is that the Vikings who created these coins were part of the creation of a monetary system that would be used forever in Ireland. Money and coins were a new way of trading without just exchanging objects. Money allows someone to buy something of their choice later on instead of immediately giving an object away and getting something in return. It is an amazing invention that we take for granted today.