Collection online


  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Description

    Gold lunula. Flat sheet crescent of beaten gold with spatulate terminals rotated relative to the crescent. It is decorated with an incised geometric pattern. The centre of the horns is decorated with a narrow central space together with opposite triangles, parallel horizontal lines and void spaces. Four horizontal lines decorated with a series of vertical lines and triangles separate the horns from the rest of the body. The body’s inner and outer edges are decorated with a series of horizontal lines, triangles and oblique lines. The surface of the lunula is highly crinkled rather than smooth, perhaps indicating that it has been folded or rolled in the past.


  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 2400BC-2000BC (circa)
  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Diameter: 185 millimetres (outer)
    • Diameter: 148.74 millimetres (inner)
    • Width: 32.58 millimetres (body centre)
    • Width: 19.03 millimetres (horn maximum)
    • Width: 3.21 millimetres (horn minimum)
    • Thickness: 0.26 millimetres (body)
    • Length: 11.8 millimetres (teerminal)
    • Width: 9.36 millimetres (terminal)
    • Thickness: 0.14 millimetres (terminal)
    • Weight: 40.76 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
  • Location

    Not on display

  • 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: BCB60399

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