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Postby Declan Kenny on Thu Feb 03, 2011 8:03 am

Just heard this on the wires:

* The redevelopment at the Irish national heritage park at Ferrycarrig
where archaeologist Ronan O'Flaherty is advising the park on how to
dismantle and rebuild the various houses and structures that form the
story of Irish settlement from neolithic to Norman times
* What was found at Lismullin Co. Meath on the M3 motorway route after
the data from the dig by ACS Ltd in 2007 was analysed . The programme
will feature work by Dr Frank Prendergast of DIT/UCD showing the beauty
of the design of the ritual site and positing an alignment on the
Pleiades cluster of stars during harvest time .
* And experimental archaeology by UCC post grad student Alan Hawkes on
fulacht fiadh . He and a friend built two of them in a farmyard and
last summer cooked a leg of lamb in one and took a steam bath in
another by building a mud & wattle structure above the fulacht . See
how they got on ...watch Nationwide RTE1 7pm on February 7th .
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Re: Ferrycarrig

Postby consmiles on Sat Feb 05, 2011 8:47 pm

Hi, three bits of good news.
Best wishes to Ronan as he fine tunes the structural reconstruction displays at Ferrycarrig.
Many human bones were cast aside at the nra destruction of Tara Valley. The henge itself was only discovered because Opus Dei protected the graves of the Black Friars attached to Lismullin and thereby caused the forced toll road to be pushed to the east exposing the henge and causing its destruction. The image below appeared for a while on the nra site and then disappeared. The Lismullin Henge, as an astronomical observatory in such a high quality of preservation - the damn road should have been stopped.
Eating meat from a fulacht fiadh means all the juices are wasted to a mud mix. MJ O'Kelly (rip) suggested the fulacht fiadh as a cooking method a long time ago as the knowledge of Sweat Lodges was negligible at the time. The nra have since exposed what appears to the excavators to be a Sweat Lodge or Teach Allais - Kilkenny Issue 2 Seanda with what was usually called a fulacht fiadh.... There are even some modern shamans in Meath who destroy meat in a hot mud bath.... Such meat may be edible but with all the juices mixed with mud there is a lot of waste... did they waste the meat juices back then????
LismullinHenge.jpg (81.27 KiB) Viewed 5694 times
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Re: Ferrycarrig

Postby the_power on Sat Feb 05, 2011 10:34 pm

Declan, any idea if the Ferrycarraig guys need unskilled labour on the rebuild ?

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Re: Ferrycarrig

Postby Declan Kenny on Sun Feb 06, 2011 11:38 am

Hi John,
I suspect they would be happy to have extra hands, but we would need to find out more from the Park. I imagine money is tight too.
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Re: Ferrycarrig

Postby brendan on Mon Feb 07, 2011 10:44 am

@John: Insurance will probably be important for anyone on a site, and if it is considered a building site we would probably need safe pass certs or the like (think thats what its called)

I do remember working on the wattle fence around the crannog a few years back, it was a great way to spend a weekend and learn a skill, very sociable and no need to intereact with public as we were there to do a job.

@Con: On fulacht fiadh, well there are a bunch of theories. And I am not sure whether any can be definitely be proved or disproved. I suppose the problem with the cooking experiment is that it tends to be done by people who spend their lives in trenches rather than kitchens.
In terms of road building and archaeology, well road building can be serendipitous. The choice of the route and whether or how special interest groups influenced it are largely academic at this stage. The fact is that a huge amount of what we know about our past is as a result of the national obsession with building latter day megaliths.
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Re: Ferrycarrig

Postby Dave Mooney on Mon Feb 07, 2011 9:21 pm

@ John, I'd be nearly certain that Safe Pass will be deeded if the are constructing over head. The safe pass is a joke of a course and can be sat in an afternoon. Book it via FAS.

Fullacht Fia now suffer the curse of the cooking pit. Just because one can cook in it doesn't mean they did. The Polynesian luau cooking pit would be much more practical. This is a dry pit of hot rocks. Someone holds a stick in contact with a rock in the centre of the pit. A layer of sand, in our case some earth, is used to then insulate the food from the hot stones. The food is wrapped well to keep it clean with grasses and leaves and is sat in the pit on top of this layer but near to the stick. More grasses and then earth is piled on to get a seal. It is packed a bit to make it cake. There is a reason for this. You can then pull the stick out of the mound without the earth caving in. Pour a small amount of water, I'm guessing about two mugs full, down the hole and plug it with earth immediately. The water hits the rocks and turns to steam. Instant steam cooker. You can then take off and do other more important stuff like have a beer with yer mates etc.

The sweat lodge is more likely than wet pit boiling at any rate but the newer thinking is that, due to the self (seasonal) filling and distribution factors that they were used for either fibre dying or more likely again leather production.
Dave Mooney.
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