Story Archaeology

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Dressed to the nines! ~ a gallery of finery.

Fled Bricrenn is rich in its descriptions of finery. In its feasting halls, heroes and horse harness, detail is embelished with  vivid detail. Our text is, of course largely ninth century CE but the story telling recalls an earlier heroic age of epic deeds.  It is possible to identify memories of a mthologised pre-christian world throughout the story.

I thought it might be interesting to provide a small gallery of items from  the 1st -2nd century CE as well as the 7th – 9th century, closer to the date of the text.

Trumpet, from Loughnashade, County Armagh (bronze)

First century CE bronze trumpet from Loughnashade


First or second century CE headdress (Original location unknown)

Items from the Broighter hoard. (First century CE.)

Items from the Broighter hoard. (First century CE.)

And my special favourite, the very local to us,  Keshcarrigan bowl


The first Century CE bronze Keshcarrigan bowl

Horse harness from this period can be equally elaborate.

Decorated horse harness from the first century CE

Decorated horse harness from the first century CE

For comparison, here are a few items from a date closer to the date of our text.

Derrynaflan chalice

The Derrynaflan chalice

Tara broach

The familiar Tara broach, a little earlier in date than our text.

Moylough Belt Shrine

The Moylough belt shrine, another magnificent pirce of ceremonial finery.

Around seven hundred years or so separate the creation of some of these highly decorated items and yet they each demonstrate a unity of style, and above all, perhaps, an artisic integrity also inherent in the saga itself.

Agust 13

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