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Chemical investigations suggest that raw material for Ireland’s prehistoric gold hoard may have been sourced from near neighbours. An alternative explanation is that there are forgotten Irish deposits rich in gold. Visit the National Museum on Kildare Street, Dublin, and you will be struck by the sheer number of gold objects. The desire for this precious metal was strong in prehistoric, pagan Ireland. The array of gold ornaments includes collars, torcs and bracelets, mostly from the Bronze Age, 2,200 to 800 BC.

“It is highly significant in European terms and disproportionately large given the size of the country,” says Mary Cahill, curator of the museum’s Bronze Age collection. Yet Ireland is not renowned for its gold deposits, so where this gold came from has puzzled archaeologists. Read more.

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