Irish Archaeology website

16th century Irish Hipsters

I recently spotted what appeared to be remarkably modern looking haircuts in Albrecht Druer’s woodcut of 1521 AD[i]. This image shows a group of Irish soldiers[ii], most likely mercenaries, who were fighting on the European continent during the early 1520s. I soon discovered that, far from being unusual, this distinctive hairstyle was actually very popular […]

Through the millennia: Irish Archaeology in photos

Here is another selection of  amazing images from our Photography Competition, this time spanning the entire breadth of Irish archaeology. Don’t forget there are also specific posts showing some of the Prehistoric, Early Medieval, Late Medieval and Foreign Archaeology photos. All of the images used in this blog post are copyright of the respective photographers, please respect this. ‘Starry Night at […]

Castles and Abbeys: Medieval Ireland in Photos

Here is a selection of some of the fantastic images that have been entered into our Photography Competition, this time with an emphasis on Medieval sites. Don’t forget there are also blog posts on the Prehistoric and Early Medieval photos. All of the images used in this blog post are copyright of the respective photographers, […]

Early Medieval Ireland in Photos

Early Medieval Ireland in Photos. A small selection of some of the brilliant images that have been entered into our Photography Competition, this time with an emphasis on Early Medieval sites. You can seen a selection of Prehistoric photos here. The competition runs until the 31st of July, so don’t be afraid to enter.  All of […]

Prehistoric Ireland in Photos

Prehistoric Ireland in Photos. In  case you didn’t know it already, Irish Archaeology.ie are running a photography competition for the month of July. So far there has been an amazing response and the standard of entries has been fantastic.  Below are just a small selection of these photos, with an emphasis on prehistoric sites. The competition runs […]

Mount Sandel, a Mesolithic Campsite

Approximately 9,000 years ago, a small band of Mesolithic hunter-gathers chose a high ridge over-looking the River Bann in modern day Co. Derry as their home. Here, in a forest clearing, they erected a series of tent-like structures, fashioned out of wooden posts and covered in hides or thatch. These simple buildings represent Ireland’s very […]

Thor’s Wood, a sacred grove near Viking Age Dublin?

In late December 999 AD Brian Bóruma, king of Munster, decisively defeated the Viking’s of Dublin[i] at the battle of Glen Máma[ii]. This bloody contest was a severe set-back for the Hiberno-Norse inhabitants of the city, and their king, Sitric Silkbeard, was forced to flee. The following day Brian’s troops marched on Dublin, which they […]

Poulnabrone Tomb: Life and Death in the Burren

Standing proud in the stark landscape of the Burren Co. Clare, the iconic megalithic tomb at Poulnabrone is one of Ireland’s most photographed archaeological sites. Dating from the Neolithic period, this distinctive monument has revealed a wealth of information about the lives and burial customs of Ireland’s very first farming communities. Poulnabrone is classified as […]

The Lisdrumturk Cauldron

Discovered in 1854, by turf-cutters digging in a Co. Monaghan bog, the Lisdrumturk Cauldron is an exceptional example of Late Bronze Age metal-working. It was undoubtedly a high status object and its burial in a bog may be indicative of ritual activity. Finally crafted, the cauldron measures 29.5cm high by 50cm in diameter. It is made from […]

Toy Viking boat

A Viking Age toy boat from Dublin

This image shows a wooden replica of an ocean-going Viking longboat that was discovered during the National Museum of Ireland’s excavations at Winetavern Street, Dublin. Most likely a toy, the vessel measures approximately 37 cm in length by a maximum of 8.5 cm in width. Originally the boat would have had a mast and a […]

Recent News

Research by Dublin based scientists reveals that ancient Europeans were lactose intolerant

Analysis of DNA extracted from the inner ear bones (petrous bones) of ancient Europeans has led two Dublin based scientists to suggest that these people remained intolerant to lactose (a natural sugar in the milk of mammals) for 5,000 years after the adoption of agriculture. According to Professor Ron Pinhasi from the UCD Earth Institute and UCD School […]

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Henry VIII’s Cap of Maintenance, Waterford City

This early 16th century cap of maintenance is thought to be the only item of Henry VIII’s wardrobe that survives. A formal piece of clothing, it was originally worn beneath the royal crown. However, in 1536, Henry VIII sent it to Ireland, along with a ceremonial sword, as a gift to the the Mayor of […]

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The Lurgan Canoe, an Early Bronze Age boat from Galway

Over 4000 years old, the Lurgan canoe was discovered in 1901 by Patrick Coen as he worked in a Co. Galway bog that had once been a shallow lake. It is carved from a giant oak trunk and measures over 14 m (45ft) long by 1 m wide.  The boat is easily the largest artefact […]

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Old Photos of Irish Archaeological Sites from the British Royal Collection

I recently stumbled across some fantastic old images of Irish archaeological sites, which are now stored at the British Royal Collection. The photos were taken in 1861 and 1903 during two royal visits to Ireland, when firstly Queen Victoria and subsequently her son Edward VII toured the country.  A selection of the photos can be viewed […]

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Aerial Views of Ireland’s Ancient Royal Sites

These fantastic aerial photos illustrate five of Ireland’s great early royal sites, Dún Ailline, Navan Fort, Tara, Cashel and Rathcroghan. The images were taken from satellite images provided by both Bing and Google maps. 1. Dún Ailinne, Co. Kildare (image Bing maps) This large hilltop enclosure is associated with the Kings of Leinster. Approximately 13 hectares […]

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Ancient Ski Discovered in Norway

This is a pretty amazing find from Norway (as reported by NRK). It is a largely complete wooden ski, which recently emerged from a glacier. The ski measures 172 cm in length by 14.5 cm in width and contains leather straps for securing the foot. It is estimated to be c. 1300 years old and was […]

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What’s that in the ashes? The Tullahennell Brooch

What’s that in the ashes? The Tullahennell brooch dates from the early 7th century AD and was discovered in 2010 by Kerry woman, Mrs Sheila Edgeworth, in very unusual circumstances.  She found it in the waste ashes of her Stanley Range after turf from a nearby bog had been used as fuel. The brooch must […]

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New bog body found in Rossan, Co. Meath

Exciting news. The partial remains of a bog body has been uncovered in Rossan bog in Co. Meath. The find was discovered by Bord na Móna workers and subsequently excavated by a team of archaeologists, led by Maeve Sikora of the National Museum of Ireland. Although as yet undated the remains were found in an […]

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Plans to make historic Inis Cealtra island more accessible to the public

  Plans are afoot to make the historic monastic site on Inis Cealtra (Holy Island), Lough Derg more accessible to the public. The Chief Executive of Waterways Ireland has said her organisation would be delighted to work in partnership with Clare County Council to develop improved access to Inis Cealtra/Holy Island. Dawn Livingstone was speaking following a […]

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Rocking through the Ages

This week’s Friday fun contains a selection of images of famous musicians hanging out at archaeological sites. Hope you enjoy them! 1. A  1961 New York Times photo, showing Louis Armstrong playing trumpet for his wife, Lucille, in front of the Great Sphinx and pyramids in Giza, Egypt.    2. A very young looking U2 […]

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Crios Cords: traditional Irish woven belts

By Alva Mac Gowan I was fortunate enough to have been raised by parents who had a huge appreciation for traditional Irish craft. Despite them both being from Dublin, we spent our summers exploring Ireland’s diverse and unique, rural heritage. You see, my father is an artist, and he would take us to the most […]

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Viking Blacksmith’s Grave Uncovered in Norway

The spectacular remains of what appears to be a Viking grave, most likely belonging to a blacksmith, has been uncovered in Sogndalsdalen, Norway (as reported by NRK). The grave was found by Mr Leif Arne Norberg, under a series of stone slabs in his back garden. Mr Norberg had been carrying out landscaping works when he […]

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A Mesolithic cemetery: Ireland’s oldest burials

  On a bend of the River Shannon, Ireland’s largest watercourse, a small band of hunter-gathers came to together nearly […]

Images of Newgrange through the ages

The Neolithic  passage tomb at Newgrange is the most visited archaeological site in Ireland. Over 5000 years old it pre-dates the first phase of […]

The Broighter hoard

The remarkable Broighter hoard, arguably the finest treasure trove of the Irish Iron Age, was discovered on a February evening […]

The Oseberg Viking ship burial

  In 1904 a remarkable archaeological site was uncovered at Oseberg, Norway. It consisted of an astonishingly well-preserved Viking ship […]

The death of an elephant, Dublin, 1681

I stumbled across a curious 17th century account of an elephant in Dublin city recently. Yes, you read right, an […]

Dublin’s lost buildings: The Dutch Billy

  Strolling through some of Dublin streets at the begining of the 18th century, an English visitor to the city […]