The History of Tara Brooch Celtic Symbol and Meaning

The Tara Brooch is considered one of the most important extant artifacts of early Christian-era Irish Celtic art, and is housed and displayed in the National Museum of Ireland in Dublin. What does a tara brooch represent? Made in about 700 AD, the Celtic symbol brooch is composed primarily of white brass and is embellished with intricate abstract decoration (termed “Celtic knotwork”) both front and back. The design, the techniques of workmanship (including filigree and inlaying) and the gold, silver, copper, amber and glass are all of high quality, and exemplify the advanced state of goldsmithing in Ireland in the seventh century. Although the brooch is named after the Hill of Tara, seat of the mythological High Kings of Ireland, the meaning of the Tara Brooch in fact has no known connection to either the Hill of Tara or the High Kings of Ireland, and was discovered in County Meath in Laytown along the seashore.

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