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Prehistory

Prehistory

These are the ten objects that have been chosen to represent the story of prehistory in Fermanagh.

1. Stone Macehead found in Lisgoole/Drumsna

National Museums Northern Ireland

Maceheads are commonly found in Megalithic tombs, water channels and bogs. It is thought that they were crafted for ritual purposed and were used ceremonially. This macehead is beautifully carved from quartzite and is one of the most ornate maceheads to be found in Ireland, rivaled only by the macehead discovered at Knowth in Co. Meath.

 BELUM.A8.1987 ©National Museums Northern Ireland Collection Ulster Museum. jpg


©National Museums Northern Ireland. Collection Ulster Museum

2. Rock Art in Reyfad

In situ in Reyfad, Boho

Rock art is one of the most ancient artforms and is said to predate the artwork seen at neolithic passage tombs; such as Newgrange. The Reyfad rock art is spread across five large boulders and is made up of cup and ring marks and crosses.

Researcher: Christiaan Corlett

Reyfad Stone FS ©NIEA

©Northern Ireland Environment Agency

3. Gold Lunula, found in Cooltrain, North East of Enniskillen

National Museums Northern Ireland

Gold artwork is seen in Ireland from the Early Bronze Age. This piece dates to the Late Bronze Age and is unique in that it does not follow the standard design that is seen from other Lunulas in Ireland. The Cooltrain Lunuala is similar in style to others discovered in mainland Britain. 

Researcher: Mary Cahill

 BELUMA1571926 View2 2113 Copyright National Museums Northern Ireland Collection Ulster Museum Online Use

©National Museums Northern Ireland. Collection Ulster Museum

4. Bronze Age Dagger with gold Pommel, found at Topped Mountain cairn

National Museum of Ireland

This triangular bronze dagger dates to the Bronze Age and was found along with bones in a cist grave at Topped Mountain. This piece is significant as there was a small gold band found with the dagger that would have been attached to a wooden handle when first made. Gold findings are rare in Bronze Age burials with this find being only one of three in Ireland.

Researcher: Mary Cahill

5. Gold Torc found in Corrard near Belle Isle

National Museums Northern Ireland

Gold ornaments or jewellery, made from twisting a square gold bar, became popular in Ireland during the Middle Bronze Age. This type of torc from Corrard, dates to c.1300-1100BC. The word torc is derived from the Latin ‘to twist’.

Researcher: Dr Greer Ramsey

BELUMA20131 1958Nationalmuseumsnorthernirelandcollectionulstermuseumsmall 

©National Museums Northern Ireland. Collection Ulster Museum

6. Bronze Age Hoard from Dreenan

Ashmolean Museum

Hoards are common features of the Bronze Age. In Fermanagh there were seven hoards found that date to the Late Bronze Age. The largest of these is the Dreenan Hoard which consists of axeheads, spearheads, and a sword fragment amongst others.

Researcher: Professor George Eogan

Dreenan Bronze Hoard Copyright Ashmolean Museum AN 1927 2908 2916 A M Online Small

© Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford

7. Bronze Fibula Brooch found in Modeenagh near Tempo

National Museum of Ireland

Fibula brooches replaced the simpler pin brooches that were used in the Bronze Age. This brooch dates to the Iron Age and was discovered in Moodenagh. Fibula brooches were used to fasten cloaks or garments and were generally made from one or two pieces of metal.

Researcher: Richard Warner

8. Fragment of a Rotary Quern Stone from Fermanagh

Fermanagh County Museum

Querns stones such as this one date to the Iron Age. These stones were used for grinding cereals and corn. The invention of the rotary quern allowing a continuous rotary motion was significant in that it allowed for a large volume to be ground.

Beehive Stone Co Fermanagh

© Fermanagh County Museum

9. Bronze Spearhead found in bog at Boho

National Museum of Ireland

This spearhead dates to the Iron Age. It was discovered in a bog in Boho. It is a leaf shaped spearhead with an octagonal socket for the handle. The spearhead is very ornate with incised lines and concentric circles on both sides.

Researcher: Richard Warner

10. Iron Age Log Boat found in Crevenish Bay near Kesh

Northern Ireland Environment Agency

Log or cot boats are commonly found in Fermanagh. Due to the large expanses of water that surround the county boats were a necessary mode of transport. This log boat would have been fashioned from one large tree trunk. This log boat is the second largest in Ireland and the British Isles.

Researcher: Dr Brian Scott

Men Carrying Dugout Canoe Crevinish 21208 FS NIEA Copyright Email

© Northern Ireland Environment Agency

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