National Museum Task by Molly Starobin

23 Sep

It was a battle that killed between seven thousand and ten thousand men. However, when I saw the replica of the Gokstad Faering, a boat   that had a vital role in the Battle of Clontarf, I was quite taken aback. War ships nowadays are enormous, fixed with many intricate features. Yet, the Gokstad Faering seemed to be nothing like the boats used today. The replica of the Gokstad Faering looked a lot like a canoe in my experience. It seemed to have been carved right out of a tree. There was a large, very prominent flag attached to the top of the replica, as if it was a sail or a flag for the warship. Out of all of the artifacts in the museum, this one was quite unique. There were many tombs, jewelry, and medieval treasures found throughout the museum. However, there was only one large boat and that is why it really stuck out to me and had a lasting impression. I think that this artifact represents this period of Irish history well. Being that the Vikings were one of the major settling groups in Ireland, it is quite fitting that there be such a large artifact dedicated to them and their battles in the Irish National Museum. This battle is considered a pivotal moment in Irish history because it is seen as the battle that freed the Irish from foreign rule. Therefore, this boat can vary in meaning from one person to another. That is what I found very interesting about this artifact. To some this artifact may be insignificant, if they cannot see the history behind it, while to others this ship can be an emblem of freedom. This is very inspiring, especially to me, because I am Irish. Realizing the blood and tears fought for this recognition of being free and being our own country, is so important, and surprisingly this small boat can represent all of that.

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