National Museum – GOLD COLLARS or “GORGETS”

5 Feb

This first thing that caught my attention when walking into the National Museum of Ireland were all the gold artifacts located in the center of the first floor, specifically the large gold neck collars or gorgets. The thing that fascinated me the most about them was how large and heavy they looked. It could not have been comfortable to have worn these collars for more then hour. These golden artifacts were dated back to the time of 800-600 BC. In the Bronze Age, goldsmiths excelled in products made from goldsheet, specifically these golden collars and golden ear-spools. The gold collar shown below was one of the collars I found to be in the best shape. Many of the other collars, although still nice to look at, are tarnished or have unwanted indents, which makes the collar look as if it has been crushed or almost destroyed. These golden collars were made from at least five to seven pieces of gold. This collar in specific has two circular discs located on the end of each side with more circular design on the inside. From those two circle discs, a golden crescent shaped piece of gold is fastened. There are indentations, which provide a design throughout the collar. The most well known collar was found in Glenisheen, Co. Clare in 1932 in a rock crevice. There are only 9 known collars that survived, the rest have either been lost or destroyed. It is said that at the time collars were either worn as a protection from the dangers of life or show a certain status or rank. It was discovered that gold and other valued artifacts were buried with the dead. The golden collars found in the tombs were discovered to have been folded in half as part of the burial ritual. Seeing that these artifacts were buried, that could be the reason as to why there are not many left to existence. Image

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