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Unravelling the True Story of the Beautiful Tara Brooch: A Masterpiece of Celtic Metalwork

Saturday, October 8, 2016 20:18
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Copy of the 8th century Tara Brooch.

The Tara Brooch is an artifact that was discovered in Ireland. Today it is considered one of the greatest surviving masterpieces of Celtic metalwork art. Stories about the brooch say that it was discovered at a site known as the Hill of Tara – which was traditionally regarded as the seat of the High Kings of Ireland. However, the association between the brooch and this important Irish location was invented by a jeweler who wanted to increase the value of the artifact.

Finding the Brooch

Rather than the Hill of Tara, the Tara Brooch is recorded to have been found on a beach in Bettystown, near Laytown, County Meath. The peasant woman who allegedly found the brooch in August 1850 claimed that the object was in a box in the sand when she made the discovery.

However, many people don’t believe everything about that story either. They think that the brooch was actually unearthed somewhere inland. But, in order to avoid a legal dispute with a landowner it may be that the woman’s family lied about the location where the brooch was found.

Beach in Bettystown, County Meath.

Beach in Bettystown, County Meath. (Bananenfalter/Public Domain) – Reconstructing the story of humanity’s past


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