The National Museum of Ireland – Archaeology is the national repository for all archaeological objects found in Ireland and home to over two million artefacts.
The National Museum of Ireland – Archaeology, on Kildare Street in Dublin, first opened its doors in 1890 and since then it has been filling in the blanks for us through its extensive archaeological collections.
Take time at The Treasury which features outstanding examples of Celtic and Medieval art, such as the famous Ardagh Chalice, the Tara Brooch and the Derrynaflan Hoard. Gaze in wonder at the finest collection of prehistoric gold artefacts in Europe, which is to be found in Or, Ireland’s Gold. Ramble through prehistoric Ireland and experience life at the same time as the Vikings in Viking Age Ireland. Medieval Ireland 1150-1550, documents life in Ireland in the age of cathedrals, monasteries and castles.
Admission is free. You can get to the National Museum of Ireland from the Dublin Citi Hotel in just 10 minutes. They are open from Tuesday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., on Sundays from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
This section contains artefacts from the earliest period of human habitation in Ireland (just after the Last Ice Age) up to the Celtic Iron Age. There are numerous stone implements created by the first hunter-gatherer colonists beginning around 7000 BC, then moving on to the tools, pottery and burial objects of the Neolithic farmers. Some notable artefacts include four rare Jadeite axeheads imported from the Alps of Neolithic Italy and the unique ceremonial macehead discovered at the tomb of Knowth. The exhibit then covers the introduction of metallurgy into Ireland around 2500 BC, with early copper implements. From the later Bronze Age period, there is an impressive array of bronze axes, daggers, swords, shields, cauldrons and cast bronze horns (the earliest known Irish musical instruments). There are a few very early Iron weapons. Wooden objects include a large dugout logboat, wooden wheels and cauldrons and ancient reed fishing equipment.
Ór – Ireland’s Gold
The central area of the museum contains one of the finest collections of Bronze Age gold objects in Europe. The goldwork ranges in date between 2200 BC and 500 BC, most of it probably being jewellery, but with many objects of unknown (possibly ritual) function. In the early Bronze Age, most artefacts were made from sheet gold and include sun discs and crescent-shaped collars called lunulae. In the middle Bronze Age new gold working techniques were developed; starting around 1200 BC a great variety of torcs were produced from twisting bars of gold. Items from the late Bronze Age, starting in 900 BC, include solid gold bracelets and dress-fasteners as well as large sheet gold collars, ear-spools and a necklace of hollow golden balls.