The Lurgan Lugboat

3 Oct

As I walked through the Irish National Museum, I took in the history of Ireland, only to be stopped in my place when I came across the peculiar looking Lurgan Logboat. I questioned why there was a crowd hovering around this ancient artifact until I realized the massive size of the boat that has been preserved for nearly 4,500 years. It was discovered over a hundred years ago in a bog in Galway, which explains why it was able to be conserved- after all, if a bog can preserve bodies then why not boats too? The logboat itself stretches a full 15.2 m and was carved out of one oak tree trunk. In the modern age, a tree of this size is extremely rare in Ireland, which illustrates the environmental changes that have occurred over the years. Not only has the climate changed, but so has transportation and communication in general. Logboats like this one were used to travel through the water to different parts of Ireland for trading purposes, bringing home food, and efficiency. Canoes were invented long before the wheel and other types of land transportation, which made them extremely necessary in order to survive during ancient times. This logboat in particular reveals a sense of cultural customs of the time as it is predicted to be used for ceremonial means rather than fishing purposes. These boats were essentially a type of technology that is seen as antique nowadays but centuries ago, it depicted a time of advancement where the first signs of technology were emerging. Ireland today is clearly not how it used to be thousands of years ago, and to see it from this perspective is simply incredible.

-Prachi Gupta

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