Saturday, July 24, 2021

Archaeology 360: Boa Island Figures, Co Fermanagh


As part of the Chapple Family trip through Fermanagh & Tyrone, we stopped off at the unassuming graveyard of Caldragh on Boa Island. In amongst the small, uninscribed stones and the handful of 19th and 20th century headstones is one of the gems of Irish archaeology – the Boa Island figure. This is a so-called ‘Janus’ figure with a face on either side of the stone as wells as the Lustymore Idol – a figure sculpture moved here from a nearby island. Both are probable representations of Iron Age deities and are much better described and explained by Wikipedia [here]. The last time I was here with the Chapples Minor was in the summer of 2013. It was a gorgeous day, with wonderful light and I managed to get some acceptable photos of the carvings [here]. Unfortunately, the light wasn’t nearly as good on our October 2020 visit and the resulting video doesn’t do justice to these remarkable carvings. However, it does provide the opportunity for a few minutes of relaxation in a virtual world with winter morning’s light and the slow sway of treetops in the gentle breeze.

You can view it on an ordinary browser or on the dedicated YouTube app, 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.