In the green Ireland peat bogs abound in swampy areas and every so often a peculiar discovery is made. Buried under layers of peat and mud for hundreds and even thousands of years, containers containing a product made by the hand of man appear. It is the Swamp Butter Why did they hide it 2,000 years ago?
The Swamp butter is a waxy substance that has been found in peat bogs and swamps, especially in Ireland and Britain , but also in some places in Continental Europe. Swamp butter is usually made from cow's milk, although blocks made from animal fat have also been found. They are usually found Inside wooden containers such as cubes, plates, barrels or butter beaters to preserve it from contact with water and other elements of the swamp, but we have also found specimens wrapped in fibrous leaves, deer bladders and even a large block of buried swamp butter without any element outside at great depth. In Ireland began to bury the butter in the marshes, systematically, in the 1st century and the peat bogs have preserved it until now in relative good condition, even though there are specimens that are more than 2,000 years old. Historians have asked what was the reason for this custom and have pointed out four possible reasons:
1. As an offering to the gods or as part of a ritual that would seek the protection of both animals and the earth. It is believed that this is the case of the block without cover that weighs more than 10 Kg. And that was found in 2016 at more than 3 meters deep. He was buried more than 2,000 years ago and was found by chance by a man who collected peat to warm himself. The curators of the Cavan Museum said that its smell was similar to that of a strong cheese.
2. To keep it hidden since it was a wealth coveted by thieves and also a good to preserve for times of famines and epidemics of animals. Butter was not only a luxury food, but in medieval Ireland it served as currency to pay taxes, rents, fines and other services. The fact that many containers have been recovered from swamp butter it is believed that it is because the area was occupied by enemies of the original inhabitants who did not pick it up or simply by forgetting.
3. To keep it in good condition and hinder deterioration . The peat bogs, are at very low temperatures and also contain little oxygen, if to this we add a highly acid environment we will get great preservative properties. Laboratory experiments have been carried out to corroborate that the peat bog is functioning as a modern freezer.
4. The last hypothesis points to an attempt to achieve a way to process food to get a better taste in a natural way.
Had you heard about the swamp butter ? Why do you think they hid it in the peat bogs? What hypothesis convinces you more? If you want to know other ancient foods, we invite you to read the post: Eggs of 1000 years? In China, they consume .