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old, old irish pots

updated mon 12 apr 99


The Slack-DeBrock Family on sun 11 apr 99

Hello to all. I thought I would provide the update on my search for ancient
Irish pottery, and to once again thank all of you who provided tips and
ideas and sources. I returned to Ireland in February, and concentrated on
the stone age people and their pottery...........had set up an appointment
at the Ulster Museum in Belfast, where I was given the honor to photograph
and actually touch pots made up to 5,000 years ago!!! It is so hard to
describe the feeling of holding these pieces, tracing the designs with a
finger, noticing the forming technique- and realizing we are not so
different, really. The span from 5,000 BC to about 1000 BC included pots of
all sizes and shapes, and the intricacies of design were as varied as the
forms. Most were used for burial purposes...which led me then on to
exploring the "passage tombs" in which most of these pots were discovered.
I re-visited Newgrange, at least 5,000 years old, and then went on to
Loughcrew (Hill of the Sorceress), then up to Sligo, and the fantastic
groupings of cairns and ritual sites of Carrowkeel and Carrowmore. At some,
we were able to crawl into the inner chamber (about 20 feet on hands and
knees), then I sat facing the entrance which, at this particular site, is
aligned to the sunset on the summer solstice. The rock art and the
corresponding markings on the pottery has led to some marvelous reading
and, of course, the more I read, the more there is to learn. So, next trip
will be an archaeology class in Glencolmcille, up in Co. Donegal, and
further exploration of ancient sites and the potters who lived there!
Thanks again to all of you who helped with information and leads...and if I
can be of any help to anyone along these lines, just let me know!

Joan (Siobhan in the Gaelic)!

Joan Slack-DeBrock/River Run Pottery
P.O.Box 95
McNaughton, WI 54543