The Bronze Age in Ireland Part 7

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[Ill.u.s.tration: PLATE IX. Gold Torcs from Clonmacnois and Broighter.

_p. 80._]

One of the greatest difficulties to be contended with in any attempt to arrive at a working chronology for the Prehistoric Period in Ireland is that, though Ireland had a rich Bronze Age, as attested by the magnificent collection of objects preserved in the National Collection, yet in very few cases have any of these objects been found in a.s.sociation. Excavation carried on under scientific supervision was practically unknown in Ireland until quite recent years, and though, no doubt, h.o.a.rds of a.s.sociated objects have been discovered in the country, yet trustworthy particulars as to their finding have hardly ever been preserved, and the objects themselves have generally been scattered.

Under these circ.u.mstances it seemed useful to gather together in the present chapter an account of the finds--unfortunately very few--in which a.s.sociated objects have been discovered, and of which there is indisputable evidence of their a.s.sociation:--

1. Find of a socketed celt, a gouge, a pin, a razor (the last in a simple leather case), a portion of a woollen garment, an ornament of horse-hair, like a ta.s.sel, and some pieces of wood. These objects were found in a bog in the townland of Cromaghs, parish of Armoy, Co.

Antrim, in May, 1904, when cutting turf[33] (Fig. 71, nos. 1-5).

[33] Proc. Royal Irish Academy, vol. xxvi, Sec. C, p. 119.

2. A find of late Bronze-Age objects discovered in a bog in the townland of Lahardoun, Tulla, Co. Clare, in May, 1861. The find contained the following objects:--two small socketed celts, a disk-headed pin, a plain bronze ring, and a bronze fibula[34] (Fig.

71, nos. 6-10).

[34] Proc. Royal Irish Academy, vol. xxvi, Sec. C, 124.

3. Find at Mountrivers, Rylane, Coachford, Co. Cork. This find was made in May, 1907, and contained the following objects:--two socketed bronze celts, two gold fibulae, one fibula of copper or bronze, and eleven amber beads[35] (fig. 62).

[35] Proc. Royal Irish Academy, vol. x.x.x, Sec. C, p. 85.

4. Find at Kilfeakle, Co. Tipperary, made in May, 1906, The find consisted of a bronze socketed celt, a socketed sickle, two chisels, and a gouge[36] (fig. 74).

[36] Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland, vol. x.x.xvii, p. 86.

5. Find of moulds for casting primitive spear-heads. This find was made near Omagh, Co. Tyrone, about 1882, and consisted of seven blocks of sandstone for casting tanged and socketed spear-heads.[37] (See page 39.)

[37] Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland, vol. x.x.xvii, p. 181.

6. Find of moulds made in December, 1910, at Killymeddy, Ballymoney, Co. Antrim. The find contained two complete moulds for casting looped socketed spear-heads, and half a mould for a looped socketed spear-head, a mould for one side of a long dagger-blade, a large mould for casting one side of a leaf-shaped knife, two halves of a mould for casting a sickle, eight fragments of moulds, two sharpening stones, and a stone for hammering or smoothing objects.[38] (See page 40.)

[38] Proc. Royal Irish Academy, vol. x.x.x, Sec. C, p. 83.

7. Find made at Tempo, Co. Fermanagh. This find was made in 1912, and consisted of two leaf-shaped bronze swords with notches below the blades, and a very fine socketed spear-head[39] (figs. 65 and 37).

[39] Proc. Royal Irish Academy, vol. x.x.x, Sec. C, p. 91.

8. Two leaf-shaped spear-heads found together at the Ford, Belturbet, Co. Cavan[40] (fig. 30).

[40] Proc. Royal Irish Academy, vol. x.x.x, Sec. C, p. 93.

9. Large h.o.a.rd found at Dowris, King's Co., about 1825. A small portion of this h.o.a.rd, consisting of two bronze trumpets, seven crotals, five socketed spear-heads, and a socketed gouge, are preserved in the Royal Irish Academy's collection in the National Museum. There are other portions of this h.o.a.rd in the British Museum and at Birr Castle.[41]

[41] "British Museum Bronze-Age Guide," p. 28.

10. Bronze socketed celt, large bronze ring, two smaller rings with lateral-shaped trumpet projections, and a small flat ring all found together near Glenstal, Co. Limerick, about 1901.

11. Large find of objects, formerly in St. Columba's College Collection, all stated to have been found together, in 1830, in a bog at Derryhall, County Antrim. The find comprises fourteen disk-headed bronze pins of late Bronze-Age type, and two bronze pins, with cup-shaped heads, a bronze dagger and two bronze knives (one of the latter being socketed), a socketed celt, nine bronze rings, a bronze ring with side perforations and a double ring, a bronze fibula with three beads; also two late brooches, and two late pins, which are said to have proved part of this find, but whose a.s.sociation with the remaining objects is very doubtful.

[Ill.u.s.tration: Fig. 71.--Two Late Bronze-Age Finds.]

[Ill.u.s.tration: Fig. 72.--Late Bronze-Age horse-hair Fabrics from Armoy, Co. Antrim.]

12. Bronze fibula, and twenty-two bronze rings, found together, about 1876, at Broca, Rochford Bridge, County Westmeath.

13. Socketed bronze celt, bronze fibula, bronze ring, and disk-headed Bronze-Age pin. All found together at Lapoudin, Tulla, County Clare.

14. Three large, seventeen small, eight double bronze rings, and one fragment, probably all found together.

15. Bronze fibula, bronze gouge, and three rings, found together, but locality unrecorded.

16. Six copper celts found together at Cappeen, County Cork.

[Ill.u.s.tration: Fig. 73.--Bronze Implements, Co. Tipperary.]

17. Seven halberds found together at Hillswood, County Galway.[42]

[42] Proc. Royal Irish Academy, vol. xxvii, Sec. C, p. 97.

18. Two bronze rings, a small leaf-shaped spear-head, a socketed celt, and a small gold bulla, said to have been found together in Kinnegoe bog, County Armagh, in 1840. St. Columba's College Collection.

19. Three bronze trumpets, one in two parts, found in a bog in the barony of Moyarta, County Clare.

20. Six bronze trumpets, one in two parts, found in a bog close to Chute Hall, in the townland of Clogher, Clemin, three miles from Tralee, County Kerry.

21. Two trumpets, one in two parts, probably found together in a bog at Carrick O'Gunnell, County Limerick. (These are probably two of those described by Mr. R. Ousley, in the Trans. R.I.A., 1788.)

[Ill.u.s.tration: Fig. 74.--Bronze Implements found at Kilfeakle, Co. Tipperary.]

22. Three trumpets found at Carraconway, near Cloughouter Castle, County Cavan.[43]

[43] Wilde's Catalogue of the Royal Irish Academy's Collection, p. 626.

23. Two trumpets found at Macroom, County Cork.

24. Four trumpets found in the bog of Drumabest, Kilraughts, County Antrim, in 1840.[44]

[44] _Ibid._

25. Two trumpets found in County Cork. (Londesborough collection.)

26. Two trumpets and a part of a third found together, but locality unknown.

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The Bronze Age in Ireland Part 7 summary

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