Butter in bog may be 2,500 years old

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BOG BUTTER found in a timber vessel in a bog at Shancloon near Caherlistrane, north Galway, could be 2,000 to 2,500 years old, according to a specialist from the National Museum of Ireland.

The butter, weighing almost two stone, was found in a timber keg which may have been hewn from a tree trunk and shaped into a barrel using early Iron Age implements.

The container of bog butter was found in a plot of bog where Ray Moylan from Liss, Headford, was having his annual supply of turf cut by local contractor Declan McDonagh.

Mr Moylan, a part-time bus driver, contacted the Office of Public Works, Headland Archaeology in Galway and the National Museum of Ireland regarding the discovery.

The keg of bog butter was found at a depth of 3-4ft. While the mechanical bucket of the turf cutting machine hit the vessel, it only caused damage to part of the barrel and the butter remained intact.

As he surveyed the find in the Galway bog this week, Padraig Clancy, an assistant keeper with the National Museum of Ireland, said it could be anything up to 2,500 years old. ....

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