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The Iron Age


Bronze mirror (replica)

Iron Age

This is a replica of a bronze mirror which was found at Balmaclellan in Kirkcudbrightshire in a hoard with sheet bronze mounts wrapped in four cloth parcels.

It was a valuable object, important for display as well as for grooming. The curving patterns on the back, and the openwork triskele pattern in the handle, belong to a Late Iron Age style called La Tene.

This replica was commissioned by the Museum and created by a Mr Mancini of Edinburgh, a beautifully decorated object it shows the skills used by local Iron Age craftsmen.

Recent archaeologists have suggested that mirrors should be seen as symbols of female status and power, making as significant a statement for women as swords did for men. However, there is very little evidence to tell us which sex used mirrors, or if they were used exclusively by one sex or another.

Dumfries Museum & Camera Obscura
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Dumfries & Galloway Council
Early Celtic Art in North Britain: a study of decorative metalwork from the 3rd century BC to the 3rd century AD" by Morna MacGregor. Leicester University Press, 1976. Item numbers 273 and 342 to 348. [this lists other references]

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