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Houses of Viking Age in Eire

Nature volume 142, page 638 (08 October 1938) | Download Citation

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Abstract

PROVISION for archæological exploration and research continues to be made as part of the measures for the relief of unemployment put into operation by the Government of Eire. In the systematic plan of archaeological investigation which it has been possible to frame as a result of the resources, financial and other, made available in this manner, the exploration of the forts, which form such an important class of Irish antiquities, naturally take a prominent place. An account of the results obtained in an examination of one such site on Lough Gur, Co. Limerick, of which the excavation was carried out under the supervision of Prof. S. P. O'Riordain in the present season, is given by a correspondent of The Times in the issue of October 3. These results are of special interest as the excavation of the fort brought to light evidence of the character of the house in Ireland in, it would appear from the associated finds, the period of the Vikings about A.D. 800-1000. Both inside the fort and outside its walls were the remains of several houses built of stone. One of them, outside the southern rampart, was a long rectangular structure, built in such a way that the face of the wall of the fort formed a wall of the house. The houses outside the wall to the north were provided with yards. Although of different types, all were of stone. They were paved, and in some of the rooms were hearths. In one building the roof had been supported by timber posts, for which the holes were found. A large number of objects for everyday use, of iron, bronze, stone, and bone were found, which serve to date the site as of the Viking period. A coin has been identified as an imitation, or copy, of a coin of Constantine, such as continued to be made in Britain long after the Roman period. A hoard of Viking silver would appear to have belonged to a metal worker, and included silver bracelets which had been broken up preparatory to being melted down.

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https://doi.org/10.1038/142638c0

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