Amazing gold treasure found in “chance discovery” by civilian in County Donegal, Ireland. Eight years after a necklace was found in the dumpster.
Four gold rings believed to date from the Bronze Age, 4,000 years ago, have been found by chance in County Donegal. A rare find such as this is usually unearthed by archaeological experts after much research and digging but these were found by a civilian, by accident, at an undisclosed location in the north-west county.
The National Museum of Ireland, home to the country’s archaeological treasures, located on Kildare Street, Dublin, were informed about this unusual find on June 27. On hearing that the gold rings, which are large enough to fit around an adult’s wrist, dated from between 2,500 to 500BC experts from the museum traveled to the site.
An investigation is being carried out in the area in an effort to find how the archaeological treasure came to be left there.
Following a full investigation into the location and the rings themselves they will be put on display at the National Museum of Ireland.
Speaking to the Irish Times, Maeve Sikora, the museum’s keeper of Irish antiquities, explained that discovery of the gold items had been a “chance discovery”. She also said they will play an important role in adding to the history of the Bronze Age in Ireland.
Sikora said “Every archaeological find tells you something new about a particular period. For us it’s not just about the objects but also the context – it’s the whole package…
“It’s an important archaeological find and will reveal something new about the area, that period of time and will add to our understanding of prehistoric Ireland and how rich the culture was then.”
Due to the unusual nature of the discovery, Sikora explained, the museum could not reveal the exact location of the find in Donegal.
The Director of the National Museum, Lynn Scarf, thanked the “finders” and local Donegal community for their co-operation and said the museum was delighted by the find.
She said “We would also like to acknowledge our colleagues at the Donegal County Museum for their collaboration and assistance with this discovery, and look forward to working closely with them in relation to this find over the coming months.”
Ireland’s Minister for Heritage Josepha Madigan said her department was working closely with the national museum in their initial investigations.
The discovery of Bronze Age treasure in recent years in Ireland has been far from dull. In 2010 hoard of items, including a necklace called a lunala, was discovered in a dumpster in Dublin.