Friday, 30 April 2010

Viking necklace found in Burren Cave

Viking necklace found at Glencrawne caveThe largest ever Viking necklace found in Ireland has been discovered in a cave in the Burren. Dr Marion Dowd of the Sligo Instutite of Technology is leading the excavations at Glencurran Cave, Tullycommon, north of Kilnaboy where the 1,150 year old necklace was found. The excavation is being funded by the Dept of the Environment and the Royal Irish Academy.

The antiquarian T.J. Westropp, writing in 1911, referred to the treasures already found in the caves of Glencurran:

"Several small caves, including the ‘robbers’ cave’ of Sturgaddy (evidently Sturagaddre, 1665), lie along the base of the cliffs to the west of the gorge [Glencurraun], and Poulawillen Cave in the gorge itself. It probably is at the denomination called Powlewollen in 1655, the divisions of ‘Enogh’ (Eanty) being then Moher O’Laghlin, Kerragh, Anaghbeg, Drumliseenysiyach, Kraganalossaf, Powlewollen, Lisananamagh, Enoghbane, ffanaghleane, Stunagaddre (Sturagaddre), Lisneglayragh, Moylan, ffodree, Boolemore, and Cloghbooly. Excavations in these caverns should be profitable both to science and archaeology, to judge from the results of Mr. Richard Ussher’s work in the caves at Edenvale and Newhall in the same part of the county. His slight examination of the caves in Glencurraun yielded evidence of very early human occupation, but his methodical work disclosed relics of a very cold period, the bones of elk, reindeer, lemming, wolves, and huge bears, with primitive human settlements, yielding charcoal layers, flint implements, bone pins, and pierced shells, with possible traces of cannibalism. Of early civilization, bronze and golden bracelets, an inlaid silver belt-clasp, amber and medieval skeans were discovered." Click here for the whole article.

Click here for location of the cave (given as Glencrawne Cave)
Click here for a report in The Irish Times
Click here for a clip on RTE (requires Real Player)