Superfluous Travel

21 Sep

SAM_1356

Maybe it was because it was biggest artifact I could find or maybe it just had the most attractive lighting, but either way, at 15 m long and nearly 61 cm wide, the Dugout Canoe was certainly hard to ignore. The Bronze Age canoe at the National Museum of Ireland tells the story of a much different Ireland than we experience today. The boat’s size alone lends evidence to the idea that at some point, Ireland had a much warmer climate, much more suitable for large trees and wildlife.

So the real question is: what was the Lurgan canoe used for exactly?

Its massive Oak frame was pulled from the Lurgan bog in 1901 in Addergoole, Co Galway and dated back to 2000 BC. According to the common conjecture, larger boats were reserved for long-distance travel and canoes were used to navigate smaller lakes or rivers. The Bronze Age canoe, however, lies somewhere in between.  With its structure and size giving away fairly little, the effort it would have required to build must be taken into account as well. Because of its incredible magnitude, it’s fair to say the average Neolithic Irishman wouldn’t have constructed the Lurgan or one like it for any of their simplistic needs.  Scholars of the National Museum and other archaeologists believe looking into the boat may, in fact, give the best clue as to what exactly this massive creation was really built for. The inconvenient length and the string of paired holes running along the inside of the boat give off an heir of superfluous travel. Of course, the holes in this theory are assumed to fit and hold the chair or rig of a royal of some sort.  And thus, it can be deemed the Pre-Christian Ferrari. 

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