Irish

Irish

Dig to explore medieval town and plantation in Northern Ireland

Experts in Antrim County, Northern Ireland, are intrigued by evidence of a "lost" medieval town beneath a plantation-era Gaelic Scottish settlement and a 16th century castle. The evidence consists of a metal buckle and a silver groat, both dating to the 1550s.

Green Vikings

Artifacts unearthed from an 11th century Viking settlement near Cork, Ireland show evidence that the settlers were good at recycling and land reclamation. A new report, Archaeological Excavations at South Main Street 2003-2005 by Ciara Brett and Maurice F Hurley, has been published by the Cork City Council.

Viking burial research project draws to a close

In 1999, Stephen Harrison and Raghnall Ó Floinn have headed a project to catalog Viking burials beneath the city of Dublin. Their work has produced an 800-page book entitled Viking Graves and Grave Goods in Ireland. The site is now considered the largest Viking burial zone in western Europe outside of Scandinavia.

Scottish burial may be 10th century King of Dublin

In 2005, archaeologists unearthed the remains of a person of importance near Auldhame in East Lothian, Scotland. Now experts believe that the burial might be that of the 10th Century Irish Viking King Olaf Guthfrithsson, who led raids in the area and reigned as King of Dublin and Northumbria.

Master Ark's Jewellery

Master Ark has been creating authentic Medieval jewelry for over 25 years. His cloak clasps, pennanular brooches, fibulas, Thor's hammers, brooches, and pendants are worn throughout the Known World.

You can now keep current with what Master Ark is doing by following his Facebook page.

Irish brew

In honor of Saint Patrick's Day 2014, journalist - and beer connoisseur - Reuben Gray looks at the history of the delightful drink from its prehistoric days to its worldwide modern revival.

Carrickfergus Castle dig "full of surprises"

"We can see the whole 750 years of garrison life here in the castle, from medieval wall foundations to a late Victorian munitions rail that was used to bring munitions in from the pier beside the castle right into the inner ward," said QUB assistant excavation director Ruairí Ó Baoill.

13th century Irish castle laid low by storms

A sad fact of archaeology is that not all historic sites can be saved. The winter storms of 2013-2014 laid waste to one such site, Coolbanagher Castle near Portlaoise, Ireland. The castle collapsed and was later demolished. (photos)

Blarney Stone mystery solved - by the Scots!

The origins of Ireland's Blarney Stone, famous for bestowing the "gift of gab" to anyone willing to kiss it, has been the subject of controversy for centuries. Now a team of scientists from the University of Glasgow's Hunterian Museum have found the answer using a 19th century rock sample.

Excavations show connections between Paganism and early Christianity in Ireland

Recent excavations at Caherconnell, County Clare, by the Caherconnell Archaeology Field School are shedding light on the transition from Paganism to Christianity in 5th century Ireland. Burials found in stone cists show that mourners used a combination of both religions to honor their dead.

O'Neill clan to be celebrated by renovation of Tullaghoge Fort

A UK£4 million renovation project will help Tullaghoge Fort, near Cookstown in Co Tyrone, Northern Ireland, to be developed into a major tourist attraction. The fort was the crowning place of the kings of Ulster, the O'Neills, until the 17th century.

Ogham stones digitized in 3D

The iconic Ogham stones of Ireland are being digitized in 3D using Artec Studio 9 software thanks to the partnership of The Discovery Programme and the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies. The stones, bearing the Irish Ogham alphabet, will now be available to view in 3D online. (photos)

Weights important tool in Viking trade

Much of the trade during the Viking Age was international in nature, leading merchants to depend on the balance weight scale and its weights as an important tool. In Ireland, these weights were often made of small, decorative items, apparently broken off of larger objects, usually from churches or monasteries.

Site of "national importance" trumps carpark in Donegal

“I am hugely excited by the discovery. We have definitely put it up there to be possibly on a par with Clonmacnoise or Inishmurray,” said archaeologist Mick Drumm of Wolfhound Archaeology about the recent discovery of a 7th century monastery at Drumholm, near Ballintra, Co Donegal, Ireland. (photo)

Remains of Irish mother and children considered "significant"

Experts from the Caherconnell Archaeological School are pondering the discovery of the remains of a “45-year-old plus” woman" and two infants beneath the remains of the 10th century cashel (fort). The archaeologists believe that the remains belong to a wealthy family, possibly the local Gaelic rulers, the O’Loughlins.

Vikings "stole by the armload"

Sometimes Vikings are just Vikings. Studies of jewelry created by Viking artists show that objects gold and jewels used in the objects originated in the churches and monasteries of Ireland. Now Dr Griffin Murray of the Department of Archaeology at UCC asks that Irish loot be returned - in the form of a temporary exhibition.

Unique horse harness found at Cork castle dig

Archaeologists working on excavations at Caherduggan, near Doneraile, Co Cork, Ireland, have discovered a gilt-covered leather harness with heraldic symbols dating to the 13th-14th century, the only "intact example ever found in Britain or Ireland."

Irish Ogham stones digitized

Researchers of Ogham stones in Ireland may not have to actually travel to the country thanks to experts at the Dublin Institute of Advanced Studies, who have "used laser scanning equipment to capture and digitise more than 50 Ogham stones across the country." The Ogham 3D Project provides 3D images of Ogham stones from all around Ireland.

Viking gold "part of the big jigsaw of the history" in Ireland

Metal detector enthusiast Tom Crawford had a good day recently when he discovered a Viking gold ingot and a medieval silver ring brooch in a farmer's field in County Down, Northern Ireland. The ingot dates to the 9th and 10th centuries, while the brooch is somewhat later. (photo)

Monks chronicled 1200 years of volcanic activity

A new report, published in the journal Environmental Research Letters, finds that 1200 years of volcanic activity was chronicled in the texts of irish monks. The report was the work of an international team led by Dr Francis Ludlow from Harvard University.

"Mysterious" skeleton found in Irish crannog

Archaeologists are pondering the cause of death of a 15th century teenager buried in an "irregular" manner on a crannog, a man made island settlement, in County Fermanagh, Ireland. The remains of the young woman seem to indicate a hasty burial, leading experts to consider foul play.

Research article compares historical and mythical versions of Saint Patrick

According to an article by Laurel A. Rockefeller, "Saint" Bishop Patrick as we think of him is far more myth than history.

Dublin Toy Boat

A small wooden replica of a Viking longboat was unearthed in Dublin.

Book of Kells now online

The Trinity College Library in Dublib, Ireland has announced that the Book of Kells is now available to view, thanks to the library's Digital Resources and Imaging Services. An iPad app of the book is also available.

Fermanagh crannog reveals wealth of Irish history

An archaeological dig at a crannog in County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland, has yielded a wealth of new insight into the living conditions of medieval families on the artifical island.

Early Irish monastery discovery "beyond wildest dreams"

Archaeologists are excited by the discovery of an early medieval monastery in Carrowmore, Co Donegal, Ireland. The site was previously known as an early Christian settlement, but the discovery of a circular boundary wall leads experts to believe that a monastery was located there.

Decorated medieval horse harness found in Ireland

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)

Irish crannog reveals early medieval treasures

A road crew excavating near Enniskillen, County Fermanagh in Northern Ireland has unearthed a crannog, complete with human remains and a wealth of artifacts dating to the 9th century. Items found included a carefully-crafted, fine-toothed nit comb. (photo)

Medieval Irish landscape shaped by tsunamis

In the latest edition of the Journal of the Kerry Archaeological and Historical Society, Alan E Hayden presented a theory that the islands off the coast of Kerry, Ireland were shaped by medieval earthquakes and tsunamis.

Excavations reveal medieval trading center in Northern Ireland

Dr Philip MacDonald, leader of an archaeological excavation on Dunnyneil Island in Strangford Lough, Northern Ireland, believe he has found the "Holy Grail of retail" with the discovery of a 7th century trading emporium visited by merchants from around the world.