Irish Archaeologist Unearths "Find of his Life"

U TV: A 6"x10" bronze shrine, originally constructed to hold a bell, has been discovered at an excavation of Celtic site bear Ballycastle in Northern Ireland. Brian Williams, joint excavation director of the Environment and Heritage Service, found a small, bronze bell shrine while working on a site in County Antrim. Williams said: "I was digging in a pit and the soil just fell away from it, and I could see the side of it and realised immediately it was going to be a very important piece. Then I removed it, and I just felt it was the find of my life."

The shrine , which is dedicated to a local saint, is thought to have been hidden in a fortified site to keep it safe for a nearby church. The piece originally housed a bell and was backed by a cross, both now, sadly, missing. The front of the shrine features the crucified Christ, and the side panels display shamrocks.

The shrine, which dates from 1180 and was produced locally, will be taken to the Ulster Museum for further study.

To read the entire article, click on the header.