A find in the Bog Down in the Valley-oh!

A very good article here on the Fadden More Psalter (a copy of the biblical Psalms) which was miraculously discovered in an Irish bog (at Fadden More) back in 2006. It was pure chance the operator of a peat-harvesting machine noticed it in his machine bucket and had the nous to contact the National Museum.

The Psalter itself holds 150 psalm (the opening letter in each, marked by a capital letter) and comprises sixty vellum sheets in total. Testing revealed that the text was written with iron gall ink, and a number of other decorative pigments. It’s estimated to be 1200 years old. It’s not the oldest writing material in Ireland but it’s certainly the most important literary find of the last few decades

I did quite a lot of research on Irish paleography (the study of ancient and medieval scripts) and codicology (the study of ancient and medieval books) while writing Beara: Dark Legends. That was one of the reasons it took me over two and a half years to complete the novel. To be honets, I was just completely fascinated by the technical side of it and it amazed me how much you could glean from both an analysis of the text as well as the book itself as a physical object.
It’s a bit of a shame but many of the ancient Irish manuscripts (or the remaining fragments of them) are held in overseas universities – often for very relevant reasons.

But that’s another story.

You can find the link HERE