Riches of Clare Exhibition - Power

...to collect, preserve, interpret and display the material culture relating to the history of County Clare, both in the museum building and online,
as an educational resource and a socially inclusive cultural service for the people of Clare and visiting tourists.



Bronze Bracelet

This bronze bracelet was found as part of a Late Bronze Age (1000-600 BC) hoard of ten bronze objects in the townland of Lahardan, parish of Tulla, barony of Tulla Upper on 25 May, 1861. The hoard was found at a depth of 2.13m in a raised bog.

The bracelet or armlet is dull metallic in colour and comprises a solid body of rounded cross-section and solid evenly expanded terminal, the whole measuring 6.25 cms in diameter. It is an object which calls for special notice as they are common in gold in Ireland but rare in bronze. The surface is smooth but on the inside of the body traces of a casting seam survive. (Eogan, 1983).

The expanded ends of these types of bracelets are often cupped, but several are known with plain, flat ends, such as this example. Although this bracelet may go back to an earlier period in time, it was still in use towards the close of the Bronze Age. Width across: 6.7cms; Diameter of terminals 1.3cms; Diameter of body 8cms by 6.5cms.

During the Bronze Age metal objects were deliberately deposited in rivers, bogs and lakes. The act of placing these objects, either in hoards or singly, in water and watery contexts was no doubt overtly ritual and may have been linked to events such as births or deaths in the community. Although depositing the metal was a ritual act, political and economic benefits resulted. It is possible that Bronze Age social hierarchies were in part maintained by controlling the exchange of prestigious items such as metalwork. Ritually depositing metal was public display of the destruction of wealth and could be used to build personal status. At the same time, metal was taken out of circulation thereby controlling its supply and value.

R510

Clare Places: Lahardaun Townland, Tulla Parish
Clare Places: Tulla Parish
Parliamentary Gazetteer of Ireland 1845: Barony of Tulla Upper
The Bronze Age
Clare Archaeology

References:
Eogan, George. 1983. The hoards of the Irish later Bronze Age. University College Dublin, Dublin.

Bronze Bracelet, R510

Bronze Bracelet, R510
Click images for high resolution photographs

Photographs appear courtesy of the National Museum of Ireland


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