Thursday, October 7, 2010


You know, it's a good thing that I realized that October 9th, the day I go to Oxford, is in fact Saturday, and not Sunday, as I had thought until about 10 o'clock this morning.

Yesterday I played hooky from the library and went to the National History and Archeology Museum instead. It was super interesting. I was able to do the whole first floor, which included all the prehistory stuff, plus the Treasury and an exhibit on kingship and human sacrifice. Prehistory, in Ireland, basically includes everything before the Norman invasion in 1169, and certainly everything before Saint Patrick in 431. So all of the Gaelic culture even at its most developed is included in that.

It was really cool, and very well laid out. There was an exhibit on goldwork, one on excavations on the Hill of Tara, some stuff on the various types of living and burial conditions, and other stuff. The treasury room has some amazing metal work, mostly late medieval religious items (bell covers, chalices, crosses). But I think the coolest thing of all was in the Kingship exhibit - I actually got to see, in real life, the naturally preserved partial remains of guys who had died or been killed and then tossed into peat bogs. The peat preserved their tissues and leatherized the skin, so that their fingernails, organs, hair, skin, clothes, everything are all still quite recognizable. It was really neat.

I had to stop after the first floor though, because my back was hurting too much from standing on the marble floor. So I walked down to Merrion Square, which is a lovely park, and which contains the single most hideous piece of art in known existence: a colored statue of Oscar Wilde reclining on a rock. I headed back to the museum after about an hour to try the Viking and Medieval exhibit on the upper level, but my back was still hurting too much so I ended up going home. Though, I also realized that I was being a total moron sticking myself inside on a lovely sunny day, so I'll have to go back on a crappy rainy day to finish the museum. It's free, so I can take as much time to see it as I want.

October so far has been as fabulous, weather-wise, as September was terrible. Let's hope it keeps up.

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