VIEW 3D ARTIFACTS

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Ballyaghagan Stone

In 2011 the Belfast Hills Partnership undertook a Community Archaeology Dig at Ballyaghagan, within Belfast City Councils Cave Hill Country Park. Amongst the finds was a piece of sandstone which was inscribed with a unique design. On one side is an oval shape with segments, while on the other appears to have a cross etched into it. Experts are unsure what its purpose was – it is thought it could […]

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Cream Pot

This cream pot was found on the Black Mountain by the National Trust warden Dermot McCann, but originates from Wigtownshire Creamery in Ballymoney, Co Antrim.  It would have held fresh cream. It dates to about 1910.

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Bronze Age Pot

During the Bronze Age (c.2500-600BC) pottery vessels were produced in a range of different styles with the most well preserved examples coming from graves. All Bronze Age pots are all coiled built and could be elaborately decorated. This type is known as a ‘food vessel’, perhaps conveying the idea that it held food for the deceased in the afterlife. It has been ‘reconstructed’ (not unlike doing a jigsaw puzzle) with […]

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Cave Hill Diamond

The diamond, as it is grandly referred to, is actually quartz and has been surrounded by myth and legend since the late1880s. The Cave Hill ‘diamond’ bears all the hallmarks of a splendid Victorian hoax, and a tall tale that took on a life of its own.

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Clay Pipe

This decorative head of a clay pipe was found on the Black Mountain as part of a community archaeology dig held in 2013.Clay pipes have been used in this country from the late sixteenth century onwards. Clay pipes were made and exported from Hamilton’s factory in Winetavern Street Belfast in the early 1900s. Clay pipes had a short life expectancy and, once broken, were of no further use and discarded […]

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Flint Scraper

A range of flint tools have been found over the Belfast hills which must indicate the presence of our Neolithic ancestors (4000-2500BC). Flint occurs in abundance along the county Antrim coastline. It was ‘knapped’ and worked into a variety of implements, many of these referred to as scrapers. This particular example may have been used to work and clean animal skins. If you were out field walking and found flints […]

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Plesiosaur vertebra Fossil

This fossil was found in Colin Glen Forest Park’s river bank by Education Ranger Paul Bennett. It is the fossilised vertebra of plesiosaur, a long necked carnivorous sea reptile which is thought to be approximately 200 million years old! This is an important find as fossils of this nature are very scarce in Northern Ireland and they have never been discovered in the Belfast area before.

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Gold Dress Fastener

Ireland produced an impressive range of prehistoric Bronze Age gold jewellery like this item which was discovered on Cave Hill in 1993 and is on display in the Ulster Museum. The cups at either end may have functioned to secure clothing as the name ‘dress fastener’ suggests, though it may also have been used as a bracelet. Objects of this type are virtually unknown outside of Ireland and date to […]

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Mortar

This object is the end piece of a two-inch mortar bomb which was used during the Second World War. It was found on Divis Mountain by the National Trust warden Dermot McCann.The two-inch mortar was developed shortly after World War One. Its objective was to replace the rifle-launched grenade and provide the platoon with more mobile fire power. A typical platoon mortar team consisted of two members. One man carried […]

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Polished Stone Axe

One of the most frequently found artefacts used by the first farmers in the Neolithic period (4000-2500BC) was the stone axe. These axes were ground and polished to create a smooth surface and cutting edge. Polished stone axes were made in a range of sizes and the majority must have been used in a practical way for cutting wood as in this small axe from the Belfast hills. In marked contrast are the giant sized axes discovered from the Malone Road in Belfast, which are on display in the Ulster Museum. As they are so heavy and in such good condition, it appears they were never intended to be used like a normal axe.

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