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Jan 22

Ancient history

Posted on Thursday, January 22, 2009 in Little known facts, Strange and Unusual, Wicklow walks


I went Dolmen hunting today.  There are rumours around here that there is one hiding in one of four potential spots, so I covered two of them this morning, primed with Google Earth and a SatNav programmed with various coordinates relating to spurious grey patches on the satellite image.  Fuck all use that turned out to be.

I did find an abandoned farm with a collie puppy chained to a wall, whom my dog made friends with instantly.   Car parts were scattered everywhere and somebody had sprayed the message ‘The road ends here kids” on a dilapidated wall.  I climbed gates and trudged through marshes, I climbed up and down various hills and had a dodgy encounter with a deer  (when is rutting season anyway?).  I found a swamp full of cars dating back to the 50’s, and an upside-down bus in a gorse patch in the middle of nowhere, roughly around the same time I realized I was completely lost.  It was quite a surreal little adventure.

The thought occurred to me that I could have been standing on top of the dolmen at any point, given that thousands of years have past.  It’s quite likely that I’d never find it, but I had it in my head that it would be an amazing project to discover it and rally the help of a few locals to clear it up and get it registered.

I wish I’d paid more attention to those Archaeology lectures, I might know now what signs to look out for.  I wish Google Earth had a rock density gradient built into its programming.

Right now though, I wish for a dry pair of socks.

Bring on the comments

  1. There was one near where I grew up on the Galtys. It was in a creepy part of the woods though. All cleared now, so the magic is gone and it stands (small) surrounded by scrub and newly planted connifers.

  2. susan says:

    We’ve got a whole forest park and burren full of them here in Cavan, so if you’re every bored come on out for the weekend–ours are signposted in hopes of tourists, which we don’t get because we’re ten gajillion miles from anything else in this country.

    Anyhow, as EVERYONE knows, the dolmens are really the homes of fairies, and EVERYONE knows that fairies love Cheerios, so just take a box with you next time and scatter a few on the ground when you think you’re close. The fairies will have to disengage the cloaking devices around the dolmens to come get the Cheerios, and voila! you’ll be able to see them.

    Works for me anyhow.

  3. K8 says:

    Thriftcriminal; There’s one slap bang in the middle of a housing estate in Ballybrack… to my knowledge it’s never been graffitti’d on! Respect for the ancients maybe?

    Susan; They didn’t tell me about Cheerios in college!!! Makes so much logical sense too… I’ll give it a go! Must make sure not to use fairy liquid for a few hours beforehand also, in case they smell it off me and get offended.

  4. tuli says:

    Lost or not, it sounds like a fun adventure was had!

  5. K8 says:

    Tuli; Especially by poor exercise deprived dog :) I love trespassing.

    NaRocRoc; Heee :) I totally dig Archaeology.

  6. If you caught one, would you have to let it go again, or could you take it home?

  7. Maxi Cane says:

    Why put so much effort into something that doesn’t involve sitting on the couch?

  8. Holemaster says:

    Sounds like you were lucky to get out of there alive K8. Not like all those those people whos cars and buses were swallowed by the swamp ditch, never to be seen again. The deer was trying to warn you off, he was the one who wrote on the wall.

  9. Susan’s right, it has to be Cavan. We’re dead mythical up here doncherknow.

    BTW, congrats on the nomination. Tough competition this year, girly xx

  10. Baino says:

    Interesting that you have incidents of dumped cars rusting things in ponds. I always find our countryside littered with useless crap that people just never get round to disposing of properly . . .no dolmens here, just the odd midden. . .

  11. Grandad says:

    Will you please stop poking around my landfill site?

  12. K8 says:

    Xbox; I don’t think I’d bring one home, it’d cost me a fortune in Cheerios.

    Maxi Cane; No couch yet, just outspan boxes – not very good for lounging on.

    Holemaster; *shudder* The Dolmens Have Eyes. Never thought of that.

    English Mum; Thank you!!! Ah sure it’s only a bit of craic, like.

    Baino; It’s kind of dodgy knowing that we’re all drinking rusty ground water around here. Oh well. You lot probably don’t have Dolmens because your Megalithic people had sunshine. Ours didn’t, so spent their time eating magic mushrooms and lugging rocks around to stay warm.

    Grandad; I’ve no desire to re-visit your heap of decomposing tourists in the near future… it was quite funky. I thought that was just the smell of fresh country air!

  13. warrior says:

    Rutting is in September if I remember rightly. But then It’s so long since I have been rutting how the hell would I know !

  14. Kirk M says:

    Susan; Do you get any better results with Honey Nut Cheerios vs. the plain? I’m planning a trip to Ireland some day and I’d love to see some fairies before all the magic goes away entirely.

    K8; Hope you found some dry socks by now. And fresh country air? That was manure. A compost of manure, old straw and stable scrapings works much better in dissolving tourists than just burying them. Even the bones are gone within two weeks. I’m sure Grandad makes use of this process.

  15. Grandad says:

    Kirk M – A good dollop of quicklime is great too.

  16. Kirk M says:

    Grandad; Oh, without a doubt and it helps so much when a quick decomposition is wanted in case the authorities come out of their stupor long enough to get a whiff of trouble in the air…so to speak.

  17. Grandad says:

    Kirk M – It concerns me that the old buses and cars are still there though. Know any quick way to rot them down?

  18. Kirk M says:

    Let’s see here…there’s a few ways that I know of. Depends on what kind of land the wrecks are laying, buried, sunk in, etc:

    Diluted bleach in a spray bottle works fairly well. I suggest using one of those strap on your back weed sprayers that you can pressurize. Swimming pool “shock” treatment (10% chlorine) can also be used. Not very healthy for the wildlife though.

    Good old rock salt of course but it plays hell with the soil.

    Ammonium/calcium nitrate does a good job of rusting steel. Besides, with a bit of potassium chloride and a bit of sulfur who knows what fun can be had?

    A concentrated plasma beam works great…and quickly too. Unfortunately, I haven’t quite figured out how to keep it from disintegrating itself in the process yet.

  19. K8 says:

    Warrior; I’m glad you don’t work for Santa.

    Kirk M and Dad; As much as a concentrated plasma beam sounds like fun, maybe the building of an Iron Giant to eat the scrap metal (with concentrated plasma beams for eyes) would be a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon? He could also be used to ease traffic problems!

  20. Kirk M says:

    He could also be used to ease traffic problems!

    Or cause them…

    …and then ease them (such fun to be had).

    Might also be good for culling out your government as well.

  21. […] wrote a while ago (here) about my search for a […]

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