God in a Bog!


Senior Member
Jul 7, 2004
Northeast US
Medieval Psalmbook Dug Out of Irish Bog
Wednesday, July 26, 2006

DUBLIN, Ireland — Irish archaeologists Tuesday heralded the discovery of an ancient book of psalms by a construction worker who spotted something while driving the shovel of his backhoe into a bog.

The approximately 20-page book has been dated to the years 800-1000. Trinity College manuscripts expert Bernard Meehan said it was the first discovery of an Irish early medieval document in two centuries.

"This is really a miracle find," said Pat Wallace, director of the National Museum of Ireland, which has the book stored in refrigeration and facing years of painstaking analysis before being put on public display.

"There's two sets of odds that make this discovery really way out. First of all, it's unlikely that something this fragile could survive buried in a bog at all, and then for it to be unearthed and spotted before it was destroyed is incalculably more amazing."

He said an engineer was digging up bogland last week to create commercial potting soil somewhere in Ireland's midlands when, "just beyond the bucket of his bulldozer, he spotted something."

Wallace would not specify where the book was found because a team of archaeologists is still exploring the site.

"The owner of the bog has had dealings with us in past and is very much in favor of archaeological discovery and reporting it," Wallace said.

Crucially, he said, the bog owner covered up the book with damp soil.

Had it been left exposed overnight, he said, "it could have dried out and just vanished, blown away."

The book was found open to a page describing, in Latin script, Psalm 83, in which God hears complaints of other nations' attempts to wipe out the name of Israel.

Wallace said several experts spent Tuesday analyzing only that page — the number of letters on each line, lines on each page, size of page — and the book's binding and cover, which he described as "leather velum, very thick wallet in appearance."

It could take months of study, he said, just to identify the safest way to pry open the pages without damaging or destroying them. He ruled out the use of X-rays to investigate without moving the pages.

Ireland already has several other holy books from the early medieval period, including the ornately illustrated Book of Kells, which has been on display at Trinity College in Dublin since the 19th century.


I am not sure this is not a hoax given the page that the book was open to. Then again, maybe there is a message being sent! Here is the psalm in question:

1 A song; a psalm of Asaph.
2 God, do not be silent; God, be not still and unmoved!
3 See how your enemies rage; your foes proudly raise their heads.
4 They conspire against your people, plot against those you protect.
5 They say, "Come, let us wipe out their nation; let Israel's name be mentioned no more!"
6 They scheme with one mind, in league against you:
7 The tents of Ishmael and Edom, the people of Moab and Hagar,
8 Gebal, Ammon, and Amalek, Philistia and the inhabitants of Tyre.
9 Assyria, too, in league with them gives aid to the descendants of Lot. Selah
10 Deal with them as with Midian; as with Sisera and Jabin at the torrent Kishon,
11 Those destroyed at Endor, who became dung for the ground.
12 Make their nobles like Oreb and Zeeb, all their princes like Zebah and Zalmunna,
13 Who made a plan together, "Let us seize the pastures of God."
14 My God, turn them into withered grass, into chaff flying before the wind.
15 As a fire raging through a forest, a flame setting mountains ablaze,
16 Pursue them with your tempest; terrify them with your storm.
17 Cover their faces with shame, till they pay you homage, LORD.
18 Let them be dismayed and shamed forever; let them perish in disgrace.
19 Show them you alone are the LORD, the Most High over all the earth.

Said1 said:
It wasn't in a tupperware container or anything? Bogs are pretty damp places, with bugs and stuff.........hmmmmmm.
Actually, the Irish peat bogs are famous for archeological finds, including several mummys. I read somewhere that the tannin produced by the copious amounts of rotting vegetable matter go a long way in preserving things.
CSM said:
Actually, the Irish peat bogs are famous for archeological finds, including several mummys. I read somewhere that the tannin produced by the copious amounts of rotting vegetable matter go a long way in preserving things.

Hmmm, still hard to imagine.

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