We created this magnificent Collared Urn using similar tools and techniques to those that the original Bronze Age maker employed when they first handcrafted this vessel around 3600 years ago in Ireland.
In the early to mid part of the Bronze Age, collared urns were an important part of the ritual surrounding burials. These often highly decorative urns with thick elaborate collars of clay adorning the rim of the vessels were used to house the cremated remains of loved ones lost.
Although little is known about the specific rituals performed by these early people, it is believed that they may have stretched a piece of fabric or leather over the top of the collared urn to seal the cremated remains in the urn.
The vessel was then be inverted in clay or stone-lined pits and sealed with a stone slab. The community would then build a mound of stones called a cairn over the burial marking its position and providing some protection from erosion or disruption.
When making this Collared Urn, we based our replica on information from the fabulous book 'The Dating of Food Vessels and Urns In Ireland' by A.L.Brindley. Give to us by Prof. Brenden O'Neill and Prof. Aidan O'Sullivan of UCD School of Archeology.
Smoke fired Terracotta
Approx. 270mm tall 240 mm diameter
As with all my Museum Quality Replicas this pot has been made, as the original would have been, entirely by hand from natural clay and using replicas of the types of tool that the Bronze-Age makers would have used. In keeping with the original pot, the decoration has been applied using hand made lime bast cord
It has been fired to emulate the ancient firing conditions. The original pot would have been fired in an open wood fire, in close contact with the fuel, a process that leaves its mark on the clay as variations in the surface colour. However, the very low temperatures achieved in open firings also results in pots that are relatively weak, so this pot has been fired to a somewhat higher temperature to strengthen it, in a special firing process that allows me to achieve an authentic appearance to the pot. The exterior has been finished with beeswax to give a slight sheen.
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