Dunmore Cave is a cave system in County Kilkenny, Eire, shaped over thousands and thousands of years by glacial meltwater chemically dissolving the permeable decrease carboniferous limestone.
The cave is considered one of Eire’s largest pure caves, working for round 402 metres to a depth of 46 metres. The inside incorporates quite a few tremendous calcite formations, such because the Market Cross, a big calcite cross-shaped column that reaches a peak of 5.8 metres.
The earliest historic reference to the cave is within the Trecheng Breth Féne “A Triad of Judgments of the Irish”, extra extensively often called “The Triads of Eire”. The Triads are a sequence of manuscripts that date from the 14th to the nineteenth century AD, describing Dunmore Cave (written as “Dearc Fearna”) as considered one of “the three darkest locations in Eire”.
This can be in reference to occasions within the “Annals of the 4 Masters”, a chronicle of medieval Irish historical past compiled between 1632 and 1636. The Annals file Dunmore Cave as being the positioning of a fantastic Viking bloodbath through the yr tenth century AD.
In response to the textual content, Gofraid ua Ímair, a Hiberno-Scandinavian and Viking chief of Dublin, “demolished and plundered Dearc Fearna (Dunmore Cave), the place one thousand individuals had been killed on this yr as is acknowledged within the quatrain: 9 hundred years with out sorrow, twenty-eight, it has been proved, ‘Since Christ got here to our aid, to the plundering of Dearc-Fearna.”
Archaeological proof is unable to reliably affirm the occasions described within the Annals, nonetheless, giant portions of human bones have been recovered from the cave inside throughout an excavation in 1869. In 1973, archaeologists discovered additional stays of 19 adults and 25 kids, along with an related hoard of silver cash dated to round AD 930.
In response to one interpretation by archaeologist, Neil Jackman, the Vikings discovered a gaggle of villagers taking shelter within the cave. Unable to pressure them out for seize, they lit giant fires on the cave entrance that disadvantaged them of oxygen. This resulted within the villagers slowly suffocating to loss of life.
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