Unlocking the code: hidden messages in medieval jewelery and dress

October 2012

Medieval jewellery and dress can be revealing in more ways than one. Some of these meanings are clear from historical written accounts but others which would have been clear to a contemporary viewer, must be deciphered and interpreted by the modern researcher. Religion, magic, social status and morality are just some of the themes which can be explored through a multidisciplinary study of the history, art history and archaeology of late medieval jewellery and dress (c. 13th-15th century).

A silver brooch discovered at Boyerstown, Co. Meath, in advance of the M3 scheme, is an exquisite example of the mysteries that remain to be unlocked from medieval jewellery and dress.


Mary-DeevyMary Deevy is an archaeologist with the National Roads Authority and is Project Archaeologist for the M3 Clonee to Nth of Kells Motorway Scheme. Current work includes bringing the archaeology discovered on the scheme to publication. The next volume, ‘Harvesting the Star: A pagan temple at Lismullin, Co. Meath’, authored by the excavator Aidan O’Connell, is in press. Her MA research was on medieval ring brooches, published by Wordwell in 1998.

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Date 2012-11-20 Filesize 610.56 KB Download 8358

What is the Heritage Series?

In its Heritage Lectures the Lismullin Institute seeks to explore various aspects of our local heritage so that visitors to the Lismullin Conference Centre and our neighbours will have a greater knowledge and appreciation of the history and attractions of their surroundings. The Lismullin Institute is pleased to invite you to some or all of these public, stand-alone lectures in Lismullin Conference Centre. The Lectures will begin at 8pm and light refreshments will be served afterwards.

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