2,000 Year Old Enormous Chunk Of Butter Uncovered In Ireland

Posted: Jun 15 2016, 4:13am CDT | by , Updated: Jun 16 2016, 9:48am CDT, in News | Latest Science News

2,000 Year Old Enormous Chunk of Butter Uncovered in Ireland
The 2,000 year-old bog butter found in Emlagh Bog, County Meath. Credit: Cavan County Museum

The 22-pound bog butter was found by an Irish farmer when he was cutting turf for fuel.

How does it feel to find something from ancient times? It must be a thrilling experience even if it is a piece of butter.

Recently, an Irish farmer has discovered a large, prehistoric chunk of butter buried about 16 feet down in a bog. The farmer named Jack Conway was cutting turf for fuel in Emlagh Bog a couple of weeks ago when he came across a 22-pound ball of butter. According to Irish Times, the bog butter is estimated to be 2,000 years old but it still smells good and feels like butter.

The bog butter is a type of butter which is made from the usual ingredient – cow’s milk - but placed in a bog where it remained preserved for thousands of years.

Finding bog butter in Ireland is not too unusual. Early inhabitants of Ireland and Great Britain used to put butter in wood containers and bury it underneath the ground for preservation. Then, they remove 'waxy substance' from the bog when needed.

But the latest discovery is different in terms of preserving method. It was not buried in the wooden container or keg, which was normal practice for storing bog butter. Researchers suspect that it may be an offering to the gods in the hope of renewed prosperity.

What makes the discovery more significant is its location. The bog butter was found at the boundaries of three separate kingdoms of ancient times, making it look it was not intended to be unearthed once placed under the ground.

“These bogs in those times were inaccessible, mysterious places.” Andy Halpin, keeper in the museum's Irish Antiquities Division said.

The oldest known butter ball was about 100 pound and dated back to around 5,000 years ago. In 2009, a 3,000 years old oak barrel stuffed with 77 pound of butter was unearthed.

The newly-discovered bog butter has now been sent to National Museum of Ireland for further estimations and researchers.

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The Author

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/47" rel="author">Hira Bashir</a>
The latest discoveries in science are the passion of Hira Bashir (). With years of experience, she is able to spot the most interesting new achievements of scientists around the world and cover them in easy to understand reporting.




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