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10.04.2021

Derrinboy Hoard

The Derrinboy wristbands are a pair of magnificent gold bracelets that were found deep in the Offaly County Swamp in 1959. Dating back to the Late Bronze Age, these precious artifacts were part of a small hoard of objects that were discovered by Mr. Patrick McGovern while he was digging the sod. The sod, about 4 meters below the surface of the swamp, consisted of two gold wristbands, two gold rings, and an unusual necklace made of gold and leather. Surrounded by a sturdy piece of copper wire, these golden artifacts had lain in the peat depths for more than 3,000 years.

The most spectacular exhibits were undoubtedly the gold armbands. They were made of gold leaf, beautifully decorated with sculptures and perforated motifs.

The treasure of Derrynboy marks the arrival of a new mass style of art in Ireland, from Central Europe to France. This new style quickly came into vogue and completely changed the ornaments. The date of the demise of the cup people with their linear geometrically decorated leaf ornaments is not clear, but the massive style gained popularity sometime after 1400 and before 1200 BC. (uncalibrated). The mechanism by which this change in fashion was achieved eludes us at present, but the division seems clear and forms a demarcation line between the Early and Late Bronze Age in the British Isles. It seems likely that there was no significant change in population because areas where ornamentation was concentrated during the Mensurian period became focal points in the later period for similar concentrations.

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