On the Day of Archaeology blog, Damien Shields recounts the discovery of "one of the most beautiful archaeological objects" he had ever come across. Once thought to be a leather scabbard belt, the artifact proved to be a piece of decorated medieval horse harness. (photos)
The harness was unearthed during excavations at a medieval castle site in Caherduggan, County Cork, and has since been cleaned. The well-preserved strip of leather includes buckles at each end and "hinged heraldic shields mounted along its length." Experts believe it dates to the 14th century.