October 4

This morning I was served tea (the best pot I've had in along time. I poured myself three cups!!), fresh squeezed orange juice, brown soda bread toasted (to DIE for!), fruit salad and poached eggs with three bacon shaped but thicker pieces of smoked salmon (I only managed to eat two).

I arrived at the Museum of Archaeology and History this morning at 10:05. The entrance to all four national museums is free. Amazing. They called the Irish antiquities officer who led me through the exhibit in the museum proper, then took me down through the research lab into the bowels of the building, past shelves and shelves and shelves of artifacts. Then she led me to the locker of the Newgrange objects. She had, as per my previous request, looked for the two objects I am interested in but had only found one. Together, we pawed through several lockers (boxes and boxes of small bits of 5000 year old flint flakes) but didn’t find it. She then left me at my own little table to handle and photograph the objects as much as I liked. (Unfortunately, I cannot post those photos. I signed a waiver saying I wouldn't reproduce them except for my own research purposes. But come visit me, and I'll show you!)

It was incredible handling these objects made and used by new stone age people. It was perhaps even more incredible to believe that they could keep track of the thousands and thousands and bits and pieces (some of them huge slabs of carved stone) from all over the country. My contact and guide was telling me that before Ireland took control of itself, and when the British ran the museum, the whole building was used for historical artifacts of the world. There was only one small room for Ireland. Now, though there is a lovely Egyptian exhibit, almost the entire building is Ireland through its various, fascinating ages.

Anyway, my soup is getting cold! This afternoon I'll spend at the Royal Society of Antiquarians of Ireland library, reading up in all those books and journals I couldn't get at home.

No rain yet!

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