Collection online


  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Description

    Gold lunula. Flat sheet crescent of beaten gold with semi-circular terminals rotated relative to the crescent. It is decorated with an incised geometric pattern. The decoration consists of two or three parallel lines and an accompanying row of triangles parallel to the inner and outer edges. At the centre of each horn is a sequence of six diamond shaped motifs.


  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 2400BC-2000BC (circa)
  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Diameter: 176 millimetres (outer)
    • Diameter: 151.14 millimetres (inner)
    • Width: 22.97 millimetres (body centre)
    • Width: 13.67 millimetres (horn maximum)
    • Width: 1.96 millimetres (horn minimum)
    • Thickness: 0.15 millimetres (body)
    • Length: 9.93 millimetres (terminal)
    • Width: 7.22 millimetres (terminal)
    • Thickness: 0.23 millimetres (terminal)
    • Weight: 22.68 grammes
  • Curator's comments

    Anthony's description of how the two lunula (1849.3-1.22 and 21) were bound together by a pitch-like substance suggests that the lunulae may have been wrapped in cloth or leather. His reference to their fan-like appearance matches the condition of several other lunulae, such as the specimen from near Carrickmore, Co. Tyrone (NMI 1900:50), which is reported to have been found rolled up under a stone. The fan-like effect is the result of rolling up the sheet-gold collar. While early reports suggest that some lunulae have been found rolled up, Anthony's account may indicate that the Sligo lunulae had been unrolled before being deposited in the bog (Cahill 1994, 90-91).


    Cahill, M., 1994. Mr. Anthony's Bog Oak Case of Gold Antiquities, Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy.94C, 53-109.


  • Bibliography

    • Taylor 1970 bibliographic details
    • Murgia et al 2014 bibliographic details
    • Cahill 1994 pp.90-91 bibliographic details
  • Location

    Not on display

  • Exhibition history

    1985 1 Aug-13 Oct, Edinburgh, National Museum of Scotland, Symbols of Power at the Time of Stonehenge
    1984 5 Sep-15 Oct, Belgium, Tournai, Halle aux Drapes, Au Temps de Stonehenge

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Department

    Britain, Europe and Prehistory

  • Registration number


Gold decorated lunula.

Gold decorated lunula.

Image description



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Object reference number: BCB60400

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