'Stunning' Viking necklace found in Clare


AN ARCHAEOLOGIST has expressed amazement at the “bizarre” discovery of a 1,150-year-old Viking necklace in a Burren cave. Dr Marion Dowd of Sligo IT is leading the excavation of Glencurran cave in the Burren National Park, which she yesterday described as a “treasure trove” for archaeologists.

One of the major items discovered in the dig funded by the Department of the Environment and the Royal Irish Academy is the largest ever Viking necklace discovered in Ireland, described as a “stunning piece of jewellery” by Dr Dowd. “The necklace is the largest Viking necklace to have been found in Ireland. Normally, Viking necklaces that have been found have five to six glass beads, but this has 71 glass beads covered with gold foil,” she said.

“It really is bizarre how this necklace from a high status Viking came to be in a cave in the Burren. There is no parallel for it in Ireland and it is puzzling on a number of fronts.”

She said the necklace could have been the result of a trade with Vikings from Limerick and Gaelic chieftains in the Burren.