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Food

Can't believe it! 2,000-year-old butter found in Irish bog

Mmmmmm....2,000-year-old butter.

An Irish man made a pungent discovery last week in the Emlagh bog near his home in County Meath when he unearthed a 22-pound orb of butter covered in dirt that is believed to be about 2,000 years old, according to the Cavan County Museum.

Turf cutter Jack Conway contacted the museum after finding the waxy blob about 12 feet below the surface in the bog. The giant butter football has been sent to Ireland's National Museum for preservation and analysis.

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The low temperature, low oxygen and highly acidic environment make bogs perfect for preservation, according to the Cavan County Museum. Butter was often used as payment for taxes and rents and sometimes as offerings to the gods in medieval Ireland, who clearly had no concerns about their cholesterol.

Finding butter in bogs is apparently fairly common in Ireland and Scotland, although it's usually inside a wooden casket or an animal hide, the National Museum's Andy Halpin told The Irish Times.

Before you start imagining spreading some bog butter on your toast, it might not be a good idea.

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Archaeology experts described the butter as "crumbly and with an odorous and distinctive smell like strong cheese,'' according to The Irish Times.

"Theoretically the stuff is still edible but we wouldn't say it's advisable," Halpin said.

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