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Tag Archives | Early Medieval

The Beautiful Gospels of St. Gall

The images below are taken from the beautifully illustrated Gospels of St. Gall. This illuminated manuscript was most likely produced in Ireland during the 8th century AD. It is written in Latin and contains 268 pages, 12 of which are decorated. Detailing the Gospels of Matthew, Luke, Mark and John, it now resides at the Abbey […]

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Medieval burials discovered at Cabinteely, Co. Dublin

A recent archaeological excavation at Cabinteely in Co. Dublin has uncovered a number of human skeletons of probable early medieval date. Directed by Ken Wiggins, on behalf of Judith Carroll & Co, the excavation indentified the remains of at least five individuals, who had been interred in shallow, east-west oriented graves. These newly discovered burials […]

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Early Medieval Tunnel System found in Co. Kildare

A remarkably well-preserved early medieval tunnel-system has been uncovered near the town of Naas in Co. Kildare. Probably over a 1000 years old, it was discovered by two archaeologists, Will O’Siorain and Robert Breen, as they monitored topsoil stripping on behalf of ACSU. Also known as souterrains, early medieval tunnels such as the Naas example […]

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‘You Moulting Desert Ram’: 12 Early Irish Insults

This colourful collection of Irish insults dates from the Early Medieval era and is primarily based on the period’s satirical poetry and prose. The insults are sourced from the electronic Dictionary of the Irish Language  which in this instance relies heavily on Róisín McLaughlin’s ‘Early Irish Satire‘. 1 ‘you moulting desert ram‘ (a reithi folta fasaigh ar fiadh) […]

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Beneath the Tree: A Violent Death in Early Medieval Sligo

Interesting news from Collooney in Co. Sligo where archaeologists working for Sligo-Leitrim Archaeological Services (on behalf of the National Monuments Service) have discovered an early medieval skeleton in unusual circumstances. The body was identified earlier this year beneath a 200 year old beech tree that had blown down during a storm. Slightly bizarrely, the upper part […]

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Early Medieval Tunnel/Souterrain discovered in Co. Kerry

Interesting news from Co. Kerry, where an early medieval tunnel system/souterrain has been uncovered during construction works along the N71 road between Bonane and Glengarrif. Located in Releagh townland, the previously unrecorded tunnel system is cut into the underlying boulder clay/bedrock and contains two internal chambers, which measure circa 4m wide. Also known as souterrains, […]

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The Shrine of St. Lachtin’s Arm

Saint Lachtin’s Arm is an important religious relic that was associated with Donoughmore church in Co. Cork. Dating from circa 1120 AD, it was made to encase a human bone, purportedly belonging to Saint Lachtin.  The shrine’s hereditary guardians were the Healy family and for much of the medieval period they were entrusted with its […]

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Fragments of an Irish-type reliquary discovered in Norway

Two fragments of a house-shaped reliquary of Irish-type have been found in Norway. Most likely dating from the 7th to 9th centuries AD, the pieces probably represent loot that was stolen during Viking raids on Ireland or Scotland. In early medieval Ireland house-shaped reliquaries were used to store saint’s relics and played an important role in […]

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