Sliotars Dating back to the 12th Century


These Sliotars above are from a new exhibit Hair hurling balls: Earliest artefacts of our national game, at  National Museum of Ireland – Country Life in Castlebar. The earliest was made in the second half of the twelfth century.

The balls are made from matted cow hair with a plaited horsehair covering.  The National Museum of Ireland claim there is a link between the name ‘sliotar’ and the Irish word ‘liotar’, meaning ‘hair’.


Via Meath Chronicle and Nótaí Imill

Woven Silver Cone from 10th Century Dublin

There are three separate strands of silver, each composed of between 15 and 18 wires. Yet, Halpin says, it is very hard to find where all these wires end. The visual effect is that of a single thread turning endlessly around itself. There are traces of some kind of organic material inside the cone, probably a wax shape around which the wires were woven. The visual imagination and the physical deftness required to do so are of the highest order.

This artefact is housed in the National Museum of Ireland and the text and image above come from the Irish Times’ History of Ireland in 100 objects

Documentary About 8th Century Book Found in a Bog

Treasure from the Bog is an RTE documentary about the Faddan More Psalter. The book is described as:

a fragmented illuminated vellum manuscript encased in an unusual leather binding, a book of psalms dating back to the late eighth century. This unprecedented find, the first manuscript to be found in a water-logged state in a bog, posed unique and profound difficulties for the Conservation Department at the National Museum.

The image above is a screen grab from the documentary showing scraps of words recovered form the book. Larger sections of the book were also recovered including full pages and the cover which was lined with the only piece of papyrus ever discovered in Ireland.