Carving the Gortnacrannagh Idol at Craggaunowen: Saturday July 16th

June 2022
Carving the Gortnacrannagh Idol at Craggaunowen: Saturday July 16th

Join us on July 16th, as Ros O Maolduin and his team of Archaeologists return to Craggaunowen to carve out a replica of the Gortnacrannagh Idol.


During the Summer of 2020, a team of archaeologists from AMS consultancy found a 3m high wooden Iron Age Idol while excavating sites in advance of the new N5 route through north Roscommon. Likely an image of a pagan deity, this 1,600-year-old find offers us insight into the ritual and religion in Ireland before Christianity. It is now in UCD undergoing conservation. 

In 2021 a team from AMS, UCD centre for experimental archaeology, the TII and the UCC Pallasboy project carved a replica in here at Craggaunowen (see attached photos by Brian Mac Domhnaill). That replica is now standing near the site of the find, at the Rathcroghan centre in Tulsk, Co. Roscommon. 

The archaeologists are now returning to Craggaunowen to complete a second copy that will stay here at Craggaunowen. The archaeologists will be using replica Iron Age tools and are hoping that by making these replicas and leaving them to decay in different environments they will better understand the idol, and appreciate how it was made and how it was displayed and eventually deposited. The work will be led by Dr Eve Cambell and Dr Ros Ó Maoldúin of AMS. They will have some details of the original find with them on the day and be available to answer questions about it