Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Archaeology 360: Grey Abbey, Cistercian monastery, Co. Down

Let’s be honest, folks – there are a lot of bad things happening in the world right now … pretty much wherever you are, politics is a roaring dumpster fire of awfulness … we’ve got universities that protect plagiarists on their staff (I see you UCL!) … Keepers of Antiquities that believe private citizens can be ordered about like medieval serfs and claim that you’re an embezzler for expecting something so outlandish as being paid for undertaking work (waves at Maeve Sikora!) … and then there’s the pandemic … it’s all just so depressingly awful.

But do you know what’s brilliant?

Piggy Back Rides!

Sure, they don’t solve any of the above problems, but they are great. That feeling of being carried about is reassuring and throws us back to memories or fantasies of happy, carefree childhoods. How could you improve on all the great things that are encapsulated in the simple joys of the piggy back ride? How about this: a piggy back ride through a great archaeological site!

And that is exactly what we’re going to provide today! (For a given value of both ‘exactly’ and ‘provide’). Yes, from the comfort of your own home and internet connection you too can have a virtual piggy back ride through the ruins of the Cistercian foundation at Grey Abbey, Co. Down. For an account of a Chapple visit to the site in 2014 and a brief account of the site’s history, please see [here].

This spectacular feat of cinematography was achieved through the simple expedient of bolting my trusty 360 degree camera to the top of a bicycle helmet using some fittings for an old GoPro camera. Just stick my Oscar for Innovations in the field of Cinematography in the post, care of Castle Chapple! Unfortunately, the rain came down before I could complete a similar walk-through of the remarkable graveyard beside the Abbey, but we hope to be back again soon.

You can view it on an ordinary browser, but for best results we recommend the immersive experience that comes with an Oculus/Google Cardboard headset. Please feel free to Like and Share the video and Subscribe to the Archaeology 360 channel. If you’re feeling peculiarly generous and wish to help purchase snacks to sustain the Chapples Minor in the field, please drop something in the Tip Jar on the top right of this page.

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Co Carlow: Archaeological Objects at The British Museum

The British Museum holds 10 items identified as coming from Co Carlow. The majority of these (10) are assigned to the Bronze Age. The most common object type represented are vases (3). The material types represented in this assemblage are Pottery (4), along with Stone, Bone, and Metal (2 each).



Neolithic/Bronze Age: Bone item
Ballon Hill, tumulus
pin
19201109.470
Bone pin fragment; looped head of pin; loop worn through; decorated


Neolithic/Bronze Age: Stone item
Ballon Hill
end scraper
19201109.140
Stone end scraper.


Neolithic (?)/Bronze Age (?)/Iron Age (?): Stone item
Ardristan quarry, 2 miles from Ballon Hill
bead
19201109.290
Stone bead (decorated).


Bronze Age: Bone item
Possibly from Ballon Hill cemetery
human cremation
19201109.1b
[as 19201109.1a]


Bronze Age: Metal items
River Barrow
sword
18470113.100
Copper alloy sword handle and blade portion, four rivets in situ. Tang missing. The butt has four rivets one of which retains a rivet stump. Slight ricasso present. The blade is a pointed oval in cross-section and has a ridge parallel to the edges which have suffered some damage. The blade has been broken, apparently in fairly recent times. The surface of the blade is reasonably smooth.

Nurney
socketed axe
WG.1567
Copper alloy socketed axe; cast. Mouth is oval, with bevelled and uneven rim. Loop is set at base of collar, ends extend a little on to body.


Bronze Age: Pottery items
Possibly from Ballon Hill cemetery
bowl
19201109.1a
Pottery tripartite bowl (variant) with incised lines on the rim bevel and broad shallow incised lines on the exterior. Incised or impressed short lines occur just below the rim and on two horizontal ribs. Cremation in a bag mixed with pot sherds.

Ballon Hill, barrow cemetery
vase
19201109.200
Pottery bipartite vase, decorated with chevrons and hatched triangles incised on upper part.

Ballon Hill, barrow cemetery
vase
19201109.300
Pottery bipartite vase with drum-shaped base; restored. Elaborately decorated all over with incised lines, herringbones and lattices.

Ballon Hill, barrow cemetery
vase
19201109.400
Miniature pottery bipartite vase with five lugs at unequal intervals on the shoulder, outside ornamented with incised looped lines, some hatched.

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Archaeology 360: Tullynakill Church, Co. Down

Those of you following our Archaeology 360 video series will know that we first visited the early medieval site at Nendrum [here] and, rather predictably, followed it up with a visit to Mahee Castle [here], just a couple of hundred meters away. For the concluding part of this trilogy (for a trilogy it is!), we visited the slightly less well-known church site at Tullynakill, Co. Down.

 

Tullynakill, although not nearly as well known, is part of the Nendrum story as it took over the former's role of parish church by the late 15th century. While the standing structure is of this date, to a century later, the decorated stonework is all of 17th century manufacture.

 

This is not the first time the Chapples Minor have visited Tullynakill! We were last here in 2015 where I took photographs and they played hide-and-seek [here]. Indeed, the Chapples Minor declared that of all the sites we visited that day, it was the best, but mostly because of the hide-and-seek experience.

 

You can view it on an ordinary browser, but for best results we recommend the immersive experience that comes with an Oculus/Google Cardboard headset. Please feel free to Like and Share the video and Subscribe to the Archaeology 360 channel. If you’re feeling peculiarly generous and wish to help purchase snacks to sustain the Chapples Minor in the field, please drop something in the Tip Jar on the top right of this page.