Length 60 cm, Width 34.5 cm, Depth 9.6 cm
This losset is from the collection of the National Museum of Ireland, and was found at a depth of four feet in a bog in Tullyard townland, Co. Donegal. The Irish name for Tullyard is Tulaigh Árd which means a high hill. While the 19th century map does not indicate any ruins or building remains within the boundary of Tullyard townland, the remains of a fort are visible on the map a short distance away to the south, in the townland of Kilrean Upper. Lough Ananima in the north east, and the Owencar river in the south of Tullyard townland, may have made this otherwise remote region somewhat more habitable in the past.
References in the Literature
The newspaper clipping from the Derry Journal, October 31st 1938, mentions the discovery of the object as part of work being carried out on the regions bogs. The reference to a silver mounting was later discovered by museum staff to have been 'overstated' by reporters at the time, with no silver mounting or trace of any metal found with the object. An unpublished drawing of the object in the National Museum of Ireland collection archives indicates that the planer distortions visible in the model above occurred some time after its discovery. This is most likely as a result of the object drying and shrinking. No other published record of the object has been found at this time.
The object is described in the museum notes as being made from ash, and the large pores visible in the end grain of the wood in the model above do not contradict this conclusion. Scanning electron microscope images of a small wood sample collected from the losset will be analysed in the months ahead to clarify and confirm the origin of the wood used to make this object.
Derry Journal (1938) October 31st, p.3. Accessed 20/11/2017 at https://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk