By Fintan O'Toole
Gadgets do not simply have tales, they inform tales. yet what they stated to their contemporaries should be diversified from what they are saying to us. no matter if it is a silver tea urn from Georgian Dublin or an illuminated web page from the booklet of Kells, those gadgets aid us achieve a extra advanced figuring out of our previous. over the last years Fintan O'Toole has selected a hundred items, nearly all of which might be present in the National Museum of eire, to relate a background of the island of Ireland. Read more...
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Additional resources for A history of Ireland in 100 objects
P. Mallory puts it ‘the earliest occupants of Ireland were not merely an extension of their ancestral population, but one that was required to adapt to a very different environment and develop uniquely Irish strategies to survive’. We do not really know where the first people to settle in Ireland came from. One possibility is an area between north Wales and the Solway Firth on the west coast of Britain that was being gradually inundated by rising sea levels and that is now, indeed, under the Irish Sea.
There are other huge hoards from this period, notably one of 200 bronze objects from Dowris, near Birr, in Co. Offaly. That great find gave its name to the major phase of the Late Bronze Age in Ireland. The Dowris hoard was found in or near a body of water called Lough Coura. The lake no longer exists, but in the early-nineteenth century it formed an area of open water. In late prehistoric times it was probably much more extensive. The term hoard was applied to the Dowris find because it was assumed that it represented a collection of objects all deposited at the same time, but the range of material and its watery context suggest that it may have been a diverse set of objects (bronze swords, spears, cauldrons, horns) deposited perhaps over several centuries.
Archaeologist Joseph Fenwick from NUI Galway has suggested that the precision of the carving could have been attained only with a rotary drill, a ‘machine very similar to that used to apply the surface decoration to latter-day prestige objects such as Waterford Crystal’. The association of this extraordinary work with one of the great passage tombs tells us something about the society that constructed those enduringly awe-inspiring monuments. It was rich enough to value highly specialised skills and artistic innovation, and it was becoming increasingly hierarchical with an elite capable of controlling large human and physical resources.
A history of Ireland in 100 objects by Fintan O'Toole