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  1. #1
    Thranduil Thranduil is offline

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    Ireland, Golden Isle

    The ancient Irish were enthusiastic goldsmiths. The earliest golden ornaments found were Lunulae dating back as far as 2000 B.C, very thinly beaten sheets of metal worn around the neck, these in particular were primarily associated with Ireland and there are several dozen in the country. Even with some golden hoards that have been found outside Ireland, the gold itself was said to have originated here based on metallurgical testing.

    Somerset Gold Hoard

    Today we have one of the largest collections of ancient gold in Europe. Here is a Lunula.



    What is interesting is that more Bronze-Age golden hoards have been discovered in Ireland than anywhere else in Europe, unfortunately the most important ones were discovered in the 17thC and melted down.

    Later golden artifacts from the 1st Millenium A.D that have been found are astonishing in the intricacy of their craftsmanship, such as the Ardagh Chalice and the Tara Brooch.



    I wonder what these discoveries reveal about the people of those ancient times, obviously they used the gold as a status symbol, for decoration and to show affluence, likely for trading too. Was all this gold found here or brought here by raids elsewhere? Is it possible that Ireland being settled relatively lately (or to put that another way it's people learned to mine and work gold at a later date) gave up it's own indigenous gold hoards at a later date than other places which had been stripmined millenia before so that it seemed in the few millenia BC that the emerald isle was actually the golden isle? The annals speak of Ucadan, a legendary goldsmith who is said to have worked at Wicklow, in 1796 a large hoard of gold was found at this spot.

    Then as people know, a 1200 year old psalter washed up in a bog recently, so many discoveries were made by people accidentally. So much must have been lost too with Viking raids, Tudor era raids on monasteries, Cromwell etc - and simple human industry - a farmer finds a golden artifact and sells it to a jeweler - still there must be a lot still yet to be found, who knows if it will find it's way to national awareness even if it is. The Celtic craftsmen who lived here from 1AD to 1000 AD were astonishingly giften in all areas of the arts, from giving us the oldest known tradition of vernacular poetry in Europe to the illuminated manuscripts to the discovery of ancient musical instruments and these golden artifacts.
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  2. #2
    He3 He3 is offline

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    Are there any pictures of the later creations?

    I'm thinking of the relatively recent ones - the golden handcuffs, the golden parachute, and now the greatest of them all (so far) the golden plank.
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  3. #3
    peadarmc peadarmc is offline

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    Honestly mate, i looked at the title and thought this was a thread about golden handshakes and golden circles!

    Nice to actually have something different for a change!
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  4. #4
    spidermom spidermom is offline
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    So nice to remember we weren't always a pack of banksters!

    Although gold is always a safe commodity bet!!!!!
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  5. #5
    advertismo advertismo is offline

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    Two guys with metal detectors found the Derrynaflan Hoard in the eighties (anybody else watch this evening's 'Nationwide' ?). Apparantly the locals had been saying for years that there was treasure hidden somewhere in the area.
    Have a look around old ecclesiastical sites (where the monks hid stuff), or in ancient ponds (where they were dropped as votive offerings).
    You never know.
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  6. #6
    Gabha Óir Gabha Óir is offline
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    They used to use sheepskins in the filtering process and are now able to trace the gold to where it came from. Kill a sheep and get out there in the streams. Bring it back to Gabha Óir and he'll make you a beautiful torc and sacrifice you in the nearest Turlach.

    excellent post by the way
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  7. #7
    Twin Towers Twin Towers is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by advertismo View Post
    Two guys with metal detectors found the Derrynaflan Hoard in the eighties (anybody else watch this evening's 'Nationwide' ?). Apparantly the locals had been saying for years that there was treasure hidden somewhere in the area.
    Since that find metal detectors have been banned in Ireland, you can buy one but you can't use one. Most restrictive laws in Europe apparently. Mind you can dig the hell what you like with a JCB but a metal detector is a no-no.
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  8. #8
    peadarmc peadarmc is offline

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    Quote Originally Posted by Twin Towers View Post
    Since that find metal detectors have been banned in Ireland, you can buy one but you can't use one. Most restrictive laws in Europe apparently. Mind you can dig the hell what you like with a JCB but a metal detector is a no-no.
    yea similarly you can buy a radio scanner, you're just not allowed to listen to it! (so someone told me anyway - nothing would surprise me!)
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  9. #9
    He3 He3 is offline

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    Quote Originally Posted by He3 View Post
    Are there any pictures of the later creations?

    I'm thinking of the relatively recent ones - the golden handcuffs, the golden parachute, and now the greatest of them all (so far) the golden plank.
    d'oh I forgot one.

    The golden circle.
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  10. #10
    Thranduil Thranduil is offline

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    Quote Originally Posted by spidermom View Post
    So nice to remember we weren't always a pack of banksters!

    Although gold is always a safe commodity bet!!!!!
    I don't think we were ever good with money at all, in the beginning this wasn't a problem because we only used barter - we were still using barter nearly a thousand years after the English had switched to coins. I think of us as a drink loving, artistic, creative, right-brain-sided people who always had a better chance at having a go at the arts than the sciences - and when you think of it, it explains why our leaders can run rings around us so easily on matters financial and why we owe over a trillion in personal debt to those outside Ireland (and let's not forget we passed on some genes to the Icelandic people in the past).

    They used to use sheepskins in the filtering process and are now able to trace the gold to where it came from. Kill a sheep and get out there in the streams. Bring it back to Gabha Óir and he'll make you a beautiful torc and sacrifice you in the nearest Turlach.
    Yep there's a short video showing the process here if anyone is interested...

    LANDSCAPE MYSTERIES: In Search Of Irish Gold - showing on The History Channel

    They even found a few suspect particles after a short period.

    Also, it is said that Brian Boru wore a sword with a beautiful golden hilt at the battle of Clontarf. In fact it is more than 'it was said' according to the following article the sword was in the possession of an Irish familly up until the 1960's before it was stolen...

    The O'Brien Clan

    This is the replica...



    Very surprised to read it, i had never heard anything about this before... A good question is what the hell it was doing in private hands in the first place, should have been in a museum.
    Last edited by Thranduil; 17th February 2009 at 10:30 PM.
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