Abstract Teibí -not easily recognizable, non-figurative. Anthropomorphic



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Foclóir - GLOSSARY

The sword hilt or handle from Ballyshannon Bay, Co. Donegal, c.100 BC, is anthropomorphic in design
Abstract - Teibí -not easily recognizable, non-figurative.

Anthropomorphic - Antrapamorfachas -stylized representation of human characteristics.

Amulet - Amláid -an object that possesses the power to protect a person from trouble.

Alloy - Cóimhiotail -a combination of metal mixed together to create a new material.

Alluvial - Glárach -silt or gravel of mountainous rivers and streams.

Artefact - Déantúsán-a portable object created or modified by humans.

Beaker Pottery Potaireacht Beaker -a beaker is a drinking vessel. ‘Beaker pottery’ refers to highly decorated, flat-bottomed vessels.

Bishopsland Phase Treimhse Bishopsland-Middle Bronze Age 1350-1200 BC, so called after the Bishopsland hoard from Co. Kildare, a hoard of metalworking tools and other possessions of a smith.

Boss - Basáil -a protubing circular dot or stud.

Bronze – Cré –Úmhaí -an alloy of copper and tin.

Buffer Torc - Toirc Maolán -a Celtic Iron Age neck-ring, whose terminals are flat, circular expansions facing one another, eg. The Broighter Collar.

Casting - Múnlú - liquid metal poured into a prepared mold and removed when solid.

Champlevé- powdered enamel Cruan is applied to cells or spaces that are carved/cast into the surface of metal and the enamel is fused into place by heat.

Chevron - Rachtán -a v-shaped or inverted v-shaped pattern.

Cloisenné -a three dimensional, decorated stud, made with dividing strips of silver and filled with enamel of different colours.

Conical – Cónúil - having the three dimensional shape of a cone.

Concentric – Comhlárnach - a shape repeatedly within each other – often circular.

Copper fluting - Cuisliú Copar - an open copper tube.

Corbelled - Coirbéalta - roof structure used in chambers of Irish passage tombs such as Newgrange in which the stones project slightly out from the wall and overlap to support the weight overhead.

Corporeal Relic - Taise Corpartha a relic which contains body parts of holy people.

Cruciform - Croschruthach having the shape of a cross.

Curvilinear - Cuarlíneach decoration consisting of flowing curved linear forms.

Cylindrical – Sorcóireach a circular solid or hollow object.

Dowris Phase – Late Bronze Age 900-600 BC, named after the Dowris Hoard, found in Doorosheath, Co. Offaly, which is the largest collection of bronze objects ever found in Ireland and originally comprised of over 200 objects.

Dressed - Cóirithe chipping or carving stone to create an even texture.

Enamel - Cruan a glassy material which is applied in a powder form and then fused by heat to a metal surface. Metal oxides are used to turn it different colours.

Engraving - Greanadh incising into the surface of the metal with a hard object.

Flange Twisting - Casadh Féire a method of twisting gold into scuptural spirals.

Flint - Breochloch a hard stone used to carve softer stone.

Filigree - Fíolagrán fine open ornament created by applying thin strips of wire or metals to a metal background.

Geometric - Geoiméadracht not from nature, characterized by shapes from geometry such as regular pattern of lines, circles, shapes and dots.

Gilding - Órú- the application of a thin layer of gold to an object.

Gilt - Óraithe covered thinly with gold leaf or silver, over lead or bronze.

Gorget - Scornán a large decorative gold neck ornament from the Late Bronze Age.

Granulation - Gránúcháin- the soldering of grains of metal to a background, usually the same metal .

Grave Goods - Taisce Uaighe objects such as pottery and jewellery buried with human remains.

Hallstatt- the earlier phase of Celtic Culture (c. 1200-600 BC) which is named after a distinct Celtic burial site in Hallstatt, Austria where this culture was first identified. (There is little or no Hallstatt in Ireland).

Herringbone – Cnámh Scadán a pattern consisting of columns of short parallel oblique lines.

Hiberno-Norse-a mixture of native Irish and Scandinavian or Viking artwork

Hoard - Taisce deliberately buried groups of valuables or artefacts.

Incision - Gearradh to mark or cut a fine line into the surface… of an artefact, bone, wood, stone, metal.

Ingot – Uingí - A quantity of metal, usually in the form of a block or bar.

Interwoven Strapwork / Interlace – Bandáil idirfite - an interwoven linear pattern.

Insular La Téne - La Téne oileánach refers to the broad and chunky ornamentation of the Iron Age.

Kerbschnitt – a method of casting which imitates wood carving.

La Tène – the second phase of Celtic culture (ca. 500-600 BC) which is named after a great votive deposit at La Tène on Lake Neuchâtel in Switzerland. In terms of art it refers to the distinct, curvilinear, vegetal and organic style of the Celtic tribes during the later half of the Iron Age.

Lathe – Deil - a tool designed to spin wood or metal.

Lentoid - Liontoideach- pointed oval shape.

Linear - Líneach

Lunula – Leath Gealaí - literally means ‘little moon’. A crescent shape made from sheet gold.

Macehead - Ceann Más carved stone tool or weapon mounted onto a wooden stick.

Megalithic Art – Ealaín Meigiliteach- art found on the exterior and interior structural stones from the Neolithic Neoiliteach and Early Bronze Age in Western Europe. Megalithic art can be found on passage tombs.

Millefiori – a gathering of coloured glass rods heated and fused together - stretched into a long thin rod and cut across to reveal a pattern when viewed in cross-section.

Mold - Múnla – a hollow mold used to give shape to hot liquid metal when it hardens.

Motif - Móitíf – a design or pattern used to decorate an artefact.


Figure 1-Detail on the back of the Tara Brooch
Neolithic - Neoiliteach - the Late Stone Age (c. 4600-2500 BC).

Niello – a mixture of metallic sulphides that combine to form a paste which can be rubbed into engraved incisions or formed into panels as for example on the back of the Tara brooch (fig.1).

Oblique - Fiar - placed at an angle, parallel oblique lines used as decoration in Bronze Age.

Pelta Spiral - Bís Pealta a double spiral joined together.

Pennanular – Neasfháinneach – almost circular. This term refers to early medieval ring brooches with a gap in the ring where a free swivelling pin can slip through.

Polychrome – Polacrómach - multiple colours.

Pseudopenannular - Neasfháinneach Bréagach this refers to a fully circular brooch where there is no gap in the ring as for example, the Tara brooch.

Punch - Sciúr a sharp pointed instrument used to punch a circular mark.

Repoussé – decoration hammered into relief from the reverse side of the metal

Ribbon Twisting – Casadh Ribín gold beaten into a band and twisted into spirals

Ringerike- a style of Scandinavian art. It uses lions and snales of earlier Sacndinavia/Viking art but also uses vegetal and foilage elements.

Rivets - Ribheád a short metal pin or bolt for holding together two plates of metal.

Rope moulding - Munlóireacht Rópa decoration which imitates a rope -like texture.

Roundels - Cruinneán a decorative concave disc as for example on the Petrie Crown.

Semi-abstract - Leath Theibí recognisable without being realistic.

Shrine - Scrín a holy memorial to a saint or religious person.

Soldered - Sádár a fusing method for joining metals together.

Stylised - Stílúil treated or depicted in a nonrealistic or natural style - yet still recognisable.

Torc - Toirc – from the Latin torquere meaning to twist, a torc refers to an ornament consisting of a band of twisted metal. Usually in the form of neck ornaments.

Trumpet end – Deireadh Troimpéad a bulbous end to a spiral or linear decoration.

Triskele – Triscéil -a motif of three scrolls that spring from the same point and turn in the same direction.

Ultimate La Téne – La Téne Déanach - refers to the elongated curvilinear ornamentation of the Iron Age and Early Christian period as for example on the back of the Tara brooch (fig.1).

Urnes Style –named after a wooden church in Sogn, Norway, this is a style of Scandinavian art which is typified by zoomorphic decoration, namely four legged beasts with oval eyes in combat with snakes, in an elongated thin linear style. A new version of this, which was a hiberno-norse fusion of this style, combining Romanesque and native Irish elements, arose in the late 11th century.

Votive Offering - Ofráil Mhóideach a ritualistic offering left in a sacred or natural place which was never meant to be retrieved.

Zoomorphic - Mhíolchruthach decoration of stylized animal or beast forms.


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