A couple who found a 4,500-year-old arrowhead on a mountain trail say they would like to see it go on display in Cork.
Suzi Kennefick and Jim Twomey, from Kildinan in north Cork, reported their remarkable early Bronze-age find to the National Museum of Ireland and are liaising with its antiquities experts to arrange for its transport to Dublin for a detailed examination.
Ms Kennefick said they knew that under the National Monuments Act, they had to report their find.
“We are sad to let it go but it’s the right thing to do,” she said.
“The National Museum has sent us out some forms, which we are filling out, and we are arranging for the arrowhead to be delivered to Dublin, or for them to collect it.
“But we have asked them if it could be housed or displayed in Cork.”
It is hoped that arrangements could be made for the artefact to go on display through a permanent loan to the Cork public museum.
Suzi and Jim were hiking with their collie, Blue, along a trail in the Nagle Mountains on Saturday when something to the edge of the stony path caught Jim’s eye.
“We both looked down and thought it was unusual, that this could be something, but we were absolutely shocked when we had a closer look. Apart from a tiny chip off the point, it’s absolutely perfect,” Suzi said.
The 7cm long arrowhead, which dates from the time of the pyramids of Giza, was trapped beneath a thin layer of ice. It may have been washed onto the path during recent heavy rain.
They brought it home and reported the find to the National Museum which has now confirmed from an initial assessment of Suzi’s photos that it is a tanged chert arrowhead, which most likely dates from 2,500 to 2,200BC - the early Bronze Age.
The barbs clearly show how it has been shaped by human hands before being mounted on the tip of a wooden shaft for use in hunting, or even warfare.
The early Bronze Age in Ireland saw the introduction of several significant innovations, most notably the development of metalworking.
Copper and gold were amongst the earliest metals used but bronze, a mixture of tin and copper - highly prized and costly commodities - became a fashionable choice for metalworkers, with access to the materials probably confined to the elite.
Flint scrapers, knives, and polished stone axes were used daily. The megalithic tomb known as ‘wedge tomb’ was used for burial and was the main burial rite for the next 1,000 years.
Ms Kennefick said they have found numerous fossils while out walking the hills over the years, including one cylindrical fossil of organic origin which baffled experts in England and Ireland, but never something as remarkable as this arrowhead.
They are in line for a discretionary reward for reporting their find and discharging their duties under the National Monuments Act.