What is a carnyx?
A replica of the Deskford Carnyx, found in Aberdeenshire in 1816. The war horn was intended to inspire troops and terrify the enemy, but was also used at feasts, festivals and on holy days. PIC: NMS. What, you may ask, is a carnyx? It’s a crazy thing – an Iron Age war horn as tall as a person with an animal-shaped head, often a boar.
Where can I find references to the carnyx?
Apart from literary sources, references to the carnyx have also been found on pieces of art and coins. Lastly, remains of this musical instrument have occasionally been found during archaeological excavations.
Where to buy the carnyx in Iron Age Europe?
The Carnyx in Iron Age Europe by Dr Fraser Hunter is now available from NMS, priced £79.99. This article first appeared on the NMS blog.
Is the carnyx war horn Scotland’s national treasure?
Dr Fraser Hunter, principal curator of Iron Age and Roman collections at National Museum of Scotland, explains his long – and often frustrating – global search for the carnyx war horn, one which is held in Edinburgh and considered to be a true national treasure. A replica of the Deskford Carnyx, found in Aberdeenshire in 1816.