Warwick's Giant Deer Skeleton is having a makeover - The Leamington Observer

Warwick's Giant Deer Skeleton is having a makeover

Leamington Editorial 18th May, 2023   0

THE GIANT Irish Deer skeleton who lives at Warwick’s Market Hall Museum is being treated to a makeover.

The skeleton, named Oisin, was originally assembled in the mid nineteenth century following excavation from a peat bog in Ireland. Since then, the 13,000-year-old skeleton has developed a few creaks and cracks, partly due to the weight of the skull and antlers, and the process of constructing the original iron mounts.

A commissioned professional conservator is working to right a few of the wrongs, make good a few cracks and chips, and generally clean up the skeleton, which has accumulated a lot of ground-in dirt and dust over the decades. The makeover also involves, temporarily, removing Oisin’s head and antlers.

The Giant Deer lived roughly 500,000 to 8,000 years ago, ranging from Siberia to Ireland. They measured up to 2.1metres at the shoulder with impressive antlers measuring up to 3.6metres from tip to tip. Their remains are best known from Ireland, where countless skeletons and bones turned up in the peat bogs as they were dug on a large scale for fuel.

Warwick Museum’s Irish Giant Deer was named ‘Oisin’ – Gaelic for ‘young deer’ – by public vote in 2010.

And Oisin is now something of a celebrity on Twitter, where he comments on museum activities, news, natural history, archaeology and more.

Warwickshire County Council’s culture spokeswoman Coun Heather Timms, said: “It is of great importance that our expert curators conserve and protect Warwickshire’s museum collections for the continual enjoyment of residents and visitors alike. I look forward to seeing Oisin back at his best by the end of spring.”

Market Hall Museum is open Tuesday to Saturday, 10am until 5pm. Entrance to the museum is free.


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