Vincent Butler with vertebrae from a large whale species found on Achill Island
An archeology expert, who works onboard the expedition cruise ship the National Geographic Explorer, has opened up his collection of precious artifacts to the public online.
Newbridge resident Vincent Butler has set up a blog called ‘Cabinet of Curiosities’ which includes information on dinosaur fossils, meteorites, prehistoric artifacts, slave tokens, volcanic bombs, skulls, whale teeth and Viking animal bones.
Vincent spent several years analysing archaeological animal bones recovered on excavations, such as the Wood Quay Viking site in Dublin.
He explained: “Natural history and antiquities have always fascinated people. Since boyhood I have been an avid collector and to date have amassed a considerable eclectic collection of items reflecting my broad spectrum of interests.”
He added: “If nothing else, the blog will serve as a pleasant, interesting distraction from the current health situation we find ourselves caught up in and also help parents who can use them with their children to explore the subjects and items I will be showcasing.
“Young students at home will find something to engage their interest and this hopefully will encourage them to study the material on their own.
“The blog will be a valuable resource for teachers and will be ideal for mini-projects, particularly for national school students.”
Vincent is a professional archaeologist and lecturer who received his BA in geography and archaeology and Master’s Degree in environmental archaeology from University College, Dublin.
He has lectured widely on cultural, geographical, and archaeological subjects.
Two years ago, Vincent compiled a photography book - Sixty Photographs For Simon - and all proceeds went to the Simon Community.
The book was a selection of images collected over a period of two decades during work-related travel to 25 territories including the Arctic, Scandinavia, Europe, Africa, South America, Antarctica and Asia.
Each image is accompanied by the story behind it such as the Franklin expedition graves in the Canadian Arctic; a Gentoo penguin with her chicks on the Antarctic Peninsula; a traditional Andean cottage in Peru and Saharan sand dunes in Morocco. The foreword was written by Tim Severin, the explorer who sailed across the North Atlantic in a skin-covered boat, the St Brendan, in the 1970s.
View the Cabinet of Curiosities blog at: vincentbutlerheritage.geography.ie
A slave token, which was a form of currency
A cluster of fossilized Ammonites
A piece of meteorite which hurtled through space before falling to Earth