Ogham stones digitised for new databaseWednesday 08 May 2013 19.28
A new website containing a database of 3D images of Ogham stones from all around Ireland has been launched in Dublin.
The Ogham 3D Project, based at the Dublin Institute of Advanced Studies, has used laser scanning equipment to capture and digitise more than 50 Ogham stones across the country.
The images, along with maps, background and other information about each of the stones have been placed on a free website, ogham.celt.dias.ie.
It is hoped the catalogue, which will be added to over time, will be used by academics, archaeologists, tourists and students as a resource into the future.
It is thought there are around 400 Ogham stones in Ireland.
The perpendicular cut stones carry inscriptions in the uniquely Irish alphabet, using a system of notches and horizontal or diagonal lines and scores to represent an early form of the Irish language.
The stones were often inscribed with the names of prominent people and sometimes tribal affiliations or geographical areas.
The inscriptions are considered to be the earliest recorded form of Irish and date back to the 5th Century.
The project has been funded by the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.