A Visit to the National Museum of Ireland – Archaeology

Our visit to Dublin included a morning in the National Museum of Ireland’s Archaeology building. Fittingly, the structure of the space combined elegant nineteenth-century cast iron with modern additions.

Inside the National Museum of Ireland

This flint knife, ringed by other pieces of sharpened stone, struck me as a bit like a king being bowed to by lords and ladies.

First King of Knifes?

These woven metal buttons are incredible pieces of detailed structure built from many hours of human effort. Funny to think that we marvel over the structures produced by techniques like 3D printing, when humans have been inventive with forms and materials for millenia.

Woven Buttons

This array of Viking-era swords, in various states of oxidation, has a delightful rhythm.

All the Old Swords

Among them, this sword and its hilt of non-ferrous metal is excitingly less degraded.


Too much Tolkien makes every dark stone bracelet look a bit sinister.

Dark Bracelet

On a lighter note, the runes carved into this deer antler read, “DEER ANTLER.”

The Runes Read "Deer Antler"


Deer Play

That perfect, after-dinner dusk moment: the deer (and the bugs) are out to play, and everything is quiet in the last un-Rayleigh-scattered rays of sunlight. Among the weathered fenceposts and glacier-carved rocks, deer are out to play. I’m interested by the idea that children play, and animals play, but the idea of “play” as something that adult humans do takes on a different meaning in the context of adult human culture. The concept of responsibility brings with it a parallel idea that to play is to behave irresponsibly, doesn’t it?

But don’t dwell on that. The sunset is enchanting and the deer are having fun. I will, too.

Deer Play