Riches of Clare Exhibition - Power 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 Sunflower Pin

This sunflower pin 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.

This bright bronze sunflower or disk headed pin has a bent stem, and the small central boss (11mm in diameter) in the head is surrounded by a series of concentric circles. There is a narrow undecorated area outside this ridge along the edge. (Eogan, 1983). Diameter of head: 4.6cm: Length of pin: 14.6cm.

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.


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

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

Bronze Sunflower Pin, R509

Bronze Sunflower Pin, R509

Bronze Sunflower Pin, R509

Bronze Sunflower Pin, R509

Bronze Sunflower Pin, R509
Click images for high resolution photographs

Photographs appear courtesy of the National Museum of Ireland

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