Early Christian brooch found in Irish turf

A zoomorphic penannular brooch dating to the 7th century has been discovered in a clump of turf cut for burning in Mantara, Ireland. The Brooch is believed to have belonged to an early Christian clergyman. (photos)

According to Joe Edgewort, whose wife found the brooch,  “Sheila found it while cleaning the grate. ‘What in the name of God is this?’ she asked me. I said it looked like half a donkey’s mouth-bit, as they were always drawing turf out with donkeys. It was blackened from the fire, but as we looked at it closer and cleaned it up I had a good idea it was a brooch, because it was similar to the ones I had seen in books.”

Experts believe that the brooch belonged to a clergyman because it was decorated with crosses on its terminals.