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Wednesday, July 26, 2006

1200-year-old prayer book discovered in bog

1200-year-old prayer book discovered in bog
July 26, 2006 - 10:50AM

An ancient prayer book found in an Irish bog is being hailed as one of Ireland's most significant archeological discoveries.

The National Museum of Ireland said fragments of what appeared to be an ancient Psalter or Book of Psalms, written about AD800, were uncovered by a bulldozer in a bog in the south Midlands.

"In discovery terms, this Irish equivalent to the Dead Sea Scrolls is being hailed by the museum's experts as the greatest find ever from a European bog," the museum said in a statement.

The Dead Sea Scrolls, found in the mid 20th century, are considered to be of enormous religious and historical significance since they include some of the earliest known surviving biblical documents.

The Irish discovery, recovered from bogland last Thursday, comprises extensive fragments of what is thought to be an Irish Early Christian Psalter, written on vellum, a fine animal skin parchment.

"In my wildest hopes, I could only have dreamed of a discovery as fragile and rare as this," museum director Pat Wallace said, adding it was not so much the fragments themselves, but what they represented, that was of such "staggering" importance.

"It testifies to the incredible richness of the Early Christian civilisation of this island and to the greatness of ancient Ireland," he said.

The museum said it did not know how the manuscript ended up in the bog.

"It may have been lost in transit or dumped after a raid, possibly more than 1000 to 1200 years ago."

Part of Psalm 83, a lament to God over other nations' attempts to wipe out Israel, is legible but the museum said the extent to which other psalms or additional texts were preserved would be determined only by lengthy work by a team of experts.

Bernard Meehan, Head of Manuscripts at Trinity College Dublin, who was invited to advise on the context and background of the manuscript, said he believed it was the first discovery of an Irish Early Medieval manuscript in two centuries.

Initial impressions placed the composition date of the manuscript at about AD800, a time of Viking raids in Ireland.

Reuters
Story

I think this is most awesome. Tell me God don't still have a sense of humor.

2 Comments:

At July 26, 2006 6:13 PM, Blogger Gayle said...

God does indeed have a sense of humor, Patty. After all, He made us in His own image, didn't he?! :)

 
At July 26, 2006 8:14 PM, Blogger Patty said...

Yeppers. He did although some days I just hate the thought of being in the same species as Mama moonbat or that giant grease ball moore.

 

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