2,000-year-old Irish bog butter still edible, experts claim

By @ritwikroy1985 on
Butter
A woman carries a tray filled with butter lamps during celebrations on the birth anniversary of Buddha, also known as Vesak Day, in Kathmandu, Nepal, May 21, 2016. Reuters/Navesh Chitrakar

A massive 10kg (more than 20 pounds) ball of 2,000 years old butter has been found hidden in a bog. Experts have said that the creamy ball is still edible. A turf cutter found the “bog butter” in Emlagh bog in County Meath, Ireland. The ancient Irish butter is still perfectly preserved.

As bogs are oxygen-poor and cool environments, they were often used to preserve food stuff. However, this particular giant rugby ball-shaped butter may have been an offering to the gods, experts at the Cavan County Museum said.

According to Irish Times, Jack Conway from Maghera in County Cavan found the creamy, white dairy product that smells like a strong cheese. The ball of butter has been handed over to the National Museum in Dublin for preservation and carbon-dating.

The museum’s Irish Antiquities Division’s assistant keeper, Andy Halpin, said that the discovery is significant mainly because it was found in the Drakerath area where 11 townlands and the boundaries of three ancient baronies met.

“These bogs in those times were inaccessible, mysterious places. It is at the juncture of three separate kingdoms, and politically it was like a no-man’s-land - that is where it all hangs together,” he added.

Such finds are common in Scotland and Ireland. The edibles were often placed inside animal hide or wooden caskets before being buried. This ball of butter was 12-16 feet below the surface. Haplin added that even though the butter is theoretically still edible, he wouldn’t advise consumption.

“It’s very noteworthy. Butter, a long time ago, was very valuable – it was seen as a luxury,” curator of the Cavan County Museum, Savina Donohoe, told FoxNews.com.

Even after so many years underground, the chunk still smells like butter. There was a strong smell from Donohoe’s hands after she touched it.