Ireland is famous for its peat bogs – peat is definitely an accumulation of partially decayed vegetation or organic matter. Those are the most effective carbon sink on the planet and cover 1.4 million square miles of the world. Additionally they have a tendency to preserve bodies and artifacts that end up in them, so that they are a great supply of archaeological findings of the Neolithic and Iron Age periods.
Peat bogs don't normally result in the top lists of things to see and do while in Ireland, but they're a window into the past. Another attraction in Ireland is Sean's Bar – it is reputed to be the oldest pub in Europe having been established in 900 AD.
The Development of The Peat Bogs Of Ireland
Bogs are one of the stuff that characterize Ireland. They cover around 1,200,000 hectares or around a sixth of the island. Only Finland has more bogs relative to its size than Ireland in Europe.
There are two very distinctive types of bogs blanket bogs bogs.
- Blanket Bogs: Expensive And usually Form In Wet or Upland Areas
- Raised Bogs: Smaller And usually Form In Lowland Areas
Blanket bogs are located wherever there's high rainfall and in Ireland, that's especially in the west. They're by far the largest in Ireland and have formed due to human interaction.
After the Ice Age, Ireland was slowly colonized and engrossed in forests and by 4000 BC Ireland was almost entirely forested. Then your Neolithic Age farmers came and started to clear the land to construct farms. First, they cleared the upland areas because forests were not so thick there. But without the trees, the nutrients in the soil became washing out (or leached). The soil became more acidic and also the land became waterlogged.
By the Bronze Age around 500 BC, farmers were clearing the low lands as the uplands weren't any longer usable. But the debris didn't decompose along with a layer of peat started to develop. The peat also buried the remains from the Neolithic farms.
By the Norman era around 1,000 AD, the lowlands were almost completely devoid of forests and blanket bogs were well-established.
Preserved Kings, Sacrifices, and Artifacts Within the Bogs
Go to the National Museum of Ireland and something will see the Kingship and Sacrifice exhibit. It is the consequence of findings from the museum's Bog Bodies Research study. The work was initiated following a discovery of two Iron Age bog bodies at Oldcroghan, Co. Offaly, and Clonycavan, Co. Meath.
The remains of these bodies were dated to between 40 BC and 200 BC and were notable to be inside a good state of preservation.
The museum offers exhibits in line with the theory that human sacrifice and the deposition from the victims in bogs along tribal boundaries is related to sovereignty and kingship rituals during the Iron Age.
- Preserved Bog Bodies: Gallagh Man (Co. Galway) Baronstown West Man (Co. Kildare)
Some exhibits include preserved bodies, royal regalia, weapons, boundary markers, horse trappings, and other artifacts. The exhibits also delve into what's been discovered in other Iron Age bogs in Denmark, Germany, Holland, and England.
One may study about Cashel Man. He was discovered naked in a minimum of two meters of peat with his head, neck, and left arm were removed through the milling machine.
- Age: 20-25 Years
- Oldest: One Of the Oldest Bog Bodies In Europe
- Date: 2,000 BC
He would be a teen male and the wounds on his body suggest he'd been the victim of human sacrifice (there have been injuries on the lower back and a broken arm). Although the reason for death was not easy to know due to the damage from the milling machine.
It is known that previously the ritual killing of teenagers happened in ancient Ireland.
Céide Fields – Neolithic Farms
The Céide Fields is definitely an archaeological site in the western world of Ireland and is described as the most extensive Neolithic site in Ireland. Her oldest known field system of all over the world and is thought to be around 5,500 years old.
Today it is on UNESCO's tentative list to be World Heritage-listed and was originally discovered within the 1930s.
It wasn't for an additional 40 years that they are studied archaeologically. That which was discovered under the peat bog was a complex of fields, houses, and megalithic tombs concealed by the development of blanket bogs during the period of hundreds of years.
The people who lived there have been farmers who cleared large regions of forest to farm.
- Admission Fee: Adult EUR5.00
- Address: Glenurla, Ballycastle, Co. Mayo
- Opening Hours: 10.00 am to 5.00 pm
As of times of writing the site is closed towards the public because of ongoing work, check their website for current information.