Faddan More Psalter

John Gillis A visiting Irish manuscript conservator who conserved the Faddan More Psalter–the 8th-century manuscript that was found in a bog in Co. Tipperary in 2006. A lecture about this Treasure from the Bog will be in Colorado Springs: lecture–7 pm, Wednesday, April 30, Gaylord Hall, Worner Center (NW corner of Cascade and Cache L Poudre), Colorado College; and a reception at Heller Center, UCCS, Friday, May 2, 4 – 6 pm. Both events are free and open to the public. For more information, see (for Colorado College lecture): http://www.coloradocollege.edu/events/2014-04-30-treasure-from-the-bog-the-faddan-more-psalter#.U1BdO1yIzFI or (for reception at UCCS): http://www.uccs.edu/heller/events.html or contact: smacaula@uccs.edu

This lecture tells the story of the discovery of the Faddan More Psalter, an early medieval
manuscript unearthed from a peat bog in Co. Tipperary in the summer of 2006. The manuscript was probably written in about 800 in one of a number of monasteries in the area. A unique feature is that the inside of the leather cover is lined with papyrus, probably as a stiffening, an indication of the links between the Irish and Coptic churches at the time

Gillis will discuss the many new and exciting discoveries were made during the lengthy and difficult task of conserving this important archeological find, which had survived in an extreme environment for over a millennium and examine how that same environment was somewhat responsible for its survival. In
conservation terms much of the technique employed was developed as work progressed due to
the unique nature of the project, with little in the way of comparative work existing.
The contents of manuscript will be examined, which contains the fragmented remains of the one hundred and fifty Psalms from the Old Testament and includes areas of illumination and decorated
lettering. We will see the cover in remarkable original condition; possibly the only one of its kind in
Western Europe and one of only a handful of extant original early medieval Western book covers.
Gillis will draw comparisons with structures that hail from lands as far away as Egypt. We will also
look in detail at some of the surprise features from the cover that have raised more questions than
answers but without doubt will play an important role in adding to the history of book making and
monastic life in early medieval Ireland.

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