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Fragments of Pottery and other objects from Sepulchral Mound at Old Connaught.

are neither the mound, it is mination of several of their having been

one and all, like Dr. Browne, scouted the idea of their having been “brain-balls." From an examination of several specimens subsequently unearthed in the mound, it is quite evident that these balls, or pellets, are neither more nor less than coprolites, as are, most certainly, the supposed “brain-balls" discovered by Mr. Conwell in the carn on Slieve-na-caillighe, near Loughcrew, county Meath, and figured and described by that enthusiastic gentleman in a pamphlet relating to the antiquities, generally, of that mysterious locality, issued by him some years ago. But for Mr. Conwell's publication, no attention would have been attracted to this matter; it is well to have the subject placed in its true light.

On p. 107, figs. 1, 2, 3, and 4 represent hammer-stones, of which a very considerable number occurred in the dark layers of the mound. Such articles are very common in our kitchen-middens and in crannogs. No doubt they were used for the purpose of fracturing bones in order to get at the marrow; they would also very well serve as nut-crackers.

Fig. 6.—The object here figured is, unfortunately, but a fragmentary portion of an earthen mould, which had been used in the casting of metallic objects, possibly daggers or piercers, probably of bronze.

Page 109, fig. 1.--The object here figured is one of extreme interest: it is part of the rim and neck of an earthen vessel, which had obviously been used for cooking purposes. A row of perforations in the neck provided for the escape of steam. In many crannog-skillets of the same class only two holes appear; the number here would seem to be unprecedented, at least no other example can be pointed to.

In fig. 2 is drawn a rim and neck of another earthen vessel. The rim is not ungracefully ornamented with a very early design, almost Etruscan in character. The pattern is very like that impressed upon certain food-holders found on the site of primitive marine settlements on the north-eastern coast, and in crannogs. Several examples have been figured and described by the Rev. George Buick, in the pages of this Journal.

Fig. 3.—Here is etched part of the side of a decorated earthen vessel, which was also, in all probability, a food-holder. The pattern exhibited is not uncommon upon cinerary urns, but it is also found on crannog pottery, which were, certainly, used as food-holders, or cooking utensils.

Fig. 5 represents part of the side of what had been a large vessel, used no doubt for everyday household purposes. It is curiously stamped with horizontal strokes similar to some we occasionally find on bronze celts.

Fig. 9 is another lip and bit of side of an earthen utensil of the same class as No. 5. It is remarkable for the width of its overhanging rim.

Fig. 4 is an etching of an earthen mould which was probably used in the manufacture of some bronze cutting instrument, probably a scian or dagger.

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In fig. 10, page 109, we have an elegantly formed hammer-stone, of small proportions. It was probably used in breaking the shells of nuts, a species of food much used by the early people of Ireland. The originals of figs. 11 and 12 were also, in all likelihood, hammer-stones.

Fig. 13.—Here is the smallest of the stone pendants discovered in the mound.

Figs. 6 and 7 are small articles of bronze. The first is shaped somewhat like a fishing-hook, but is somewhat too flat and clumsy to have answered that purpose. It may have been used to secure the ends of a narrow waist-belt. The second is a mere fragment.

Fig. 8 represents the two broader surfaces of an earthen mould.

Page 111, fig. 1.-Here we have an etching of a goodly sized fragment of pottery, very similar to some found in crannogs. There is nothing very particular about it.

Fig. 2.—Lip of a small earthen vessel with small handle-like projection. A similar object from the sandhills of Portstewart has been figured by Mr. Buick in our Journal.

Fig. 3.-Another piece of pottery from mound. This is remarkable from the peculiar curve at neck.

Fig. 4.—Etching of a large flat stone probably the cover of a cooking vessel.

Fig. 5.-A long hollow worked bone, evidently the handle of some metallic instrument.

Fig. 6.—A well-fashioned stone pendant.
Fig. 7.—Etching of a rude hammer-stone; material granite.

As previously remarked, the fragments of vases discovered at Old Connaught would all appear to have belonged to vessels of the food-holder class. Fig. 1, page 113, represents portion of a rim, rudely marked on its upper surface with hollows which might have been produced by pressure of a finger) top while the clay was still unbaked. Decoration of this peculiar kind is rarely, if indeed ever found on cinerary urns. In that class the only thing seemingly approaching it, is an elliptical indentation generally supposed to have been produced amongst our old potters by using a thumb or other finger nail. The example under notice is extremely rough in texture, and seems to have been hastily and somewhat imperfectly baked. It is heavy and thick, and, as may be observed, destitute of the elegance of form and artistic taste found elsewhere in vessels of the same class. Nevertheless its comparative rudeness need not be taken as evidence of seniority amongst its fellows. In the old time constructive or decorative designs, good, bad, or indifferent, appear to have been concurrent, just as they are with us in the year of Grace, 1895. Be this as it may, many examples of Irish art work, which, by a casual observer, would, on account of their superior fashion, style, and degree of ornamentation, be held to be comparatively late, are, by trained experts, pronounced types

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Fragments of Pottery and other objects from Sepulchral Mound at Old Connaught.

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