Story Archaeology

Uncovering the layers of Irish Mythology through a regular podcast and related articles.

Tag Archives: Iron Age

The Corlea Trackway

The Irish bog is a remarkable environment. Not only is there a wide diversity of flora and fauna to be found,  but these wetlands also provide a rich resource  for archaeological discoveries. Things survive under the bog. Materials that would generally perish ,  wood, leather, and even the soft tissue of a human body, may …

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Dindshenchas 11: Tocmarc Étaíne 3 – A Game of Fidchell

As we reach the final section of “The Wooing of Étaín”, a game of fidchell leads to some epic gains and losses.  There will be archaic poetry, incest, a War of the Worlds and some civil engineering. Join the Story Archaeologists as they encounter a tale where text and archaeology come together in an extraordinary …

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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 …

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The mead-circling hall ~ roundhouses and their stories

I have always liked round houses. Since, as a child, I first discovered that there were mysterious wicker chests of red-gold gem stories tucked away, unregarded, behind the marbled classical tales of fabled Greek heroes, I wanted to know more. But the stories from Wales and, above all, Ireland were hard to find, and even …

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Bricriu’s feasting hall ~ a description

He would make them an invitation that they could not refuse. He would set the conceited heroes of Ireland, one against the other and then sit back and watch the fur fly. But firstly he needed a suitable setting, a theatre worthy of this fine jest. Bricriu began to plan the building of a magnificent …

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Metal Crafting ~ Some notes

The descriptions of the preparation for the battle of Moytura by the various skilled craftsmen lead to intriguing speculation about  the skills and technologies of the builders and weapon-makers within the story. For example, Section 122, which describes the daily restoration of the Dé Danann weapons, creates an entertaining and “high-octane action” picture of the …

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