Vincent Butler Heritage

Heritage Specialist – Educator – Trainer - Tour Director - Archaeologist

In conjunction with the Heritage Council's
Heritage in Schools Scheme
Heritage focussed workshops for Primary Students

Crate of Curiosities

Have you ever seen a volcanic bomb, a fossil dinosaur bone or a mammoth’s

tooth? Have you ever watched a falling star, and would you like to hold one in
your very own hand? On his worldwide travels Vincent Butler, Archaeologist, Expedition Leader, Heritage Specialist and Author, has collected an impressive array of natural history and geological specimens, curios, and archaeological artifacts. These include dinosaur fossils, minerals, rocks, Ice Age and Medieval animal bones and meteorites.

Each Crate of Curiosity Workshop presentation focuses on a different theme which is explored with the aid of a selection of captivating objects stowed in a vintage wooden crate. The specimens and artifacts are individually unwrapped and shown to the class by Vincent who weaves an engaging narrative around each of the items which have been specially chosen for their individual quality and unique features. Students are actively encouraged to examine these and to participate in discussion.

To book one of Vincent's heritage workshops click here

Pillars of the Earth - Rocks and Minerals
The solid crust of the earth is composed of a myriad of rocks and minerals,
the layers of which can be read like a book by the trained geologist. Ireland has an interesting and varied geology and Vincent will use a selection of samples from his own extensive collection to explain in simple terms how different types of rock have formed and the rich array of minerals of which they are composed. He will also give advice and tips to the students on collecting their own rocks and mineral specimens.

Fossils The Jurassic World and beyond
Fossils – the remains of prehistoric plants and animals preserved in rock – have fascinated people for centuries. Vincent will explain how fossils were formed, the main types that can be found, the geological periods to which they belong and many of the creatures that lived in the far distant past. An outstanding selection of fossils, including dinosaur bone, ammonites, trilobites, belemnites, brachiopods, and teeth from mosasaurs and sharks will be made available for the students to examine. In addition, Vincent will give useful advice and tips on how the students can make their own collection of fossils.

Archaeology – A Load of Old Rubbish

An impressive array of biological samples was retrieved during archaeological excavation of Medieval period deposits in Dublin City. Extremely well preserved, mammal, bird and fish bone, shellfish and remains of plants were found in profusion. As a professional archaeologist for many years, Vincent specialised in the detailed examination of ancient animal bones or zooarchaeology. In this Crate of Curiosities workshop he describes the different techniques archaeologists use to study ancient animal bones , similar in many ways to crime scene forensics, to gather information about the past. He explains how this ‘old rubbish’ provides us with a fascinating insight into everyday life in Dublin over a thousand years ago. Genuine medieval animal bones and other environmental material will be made available for hands-on examination by the students.

After the Ice  Age Ireland
- A mammoth time

A variety of now extinct mammals once inhabited Ireland during warmer phases of  the Ice Age. These included Woolly Mammoth, Reindeer, Irish Giant Deer, Cave Hyaena and Brown Bear.  Vincent will detail these remarkable animals and the Ireland they inhabited tens of thousands of years ago. He will showcase a selection of their ancient bones from his own private collection. Following the end of the Ice Age around 12,000 years ago, our first prehistoric ancestors arrived on the island of Ireland. Vincent will explain about our Stone Age forebears, the Mesolithic hunter-gatherers who initially came here around 8,000 BC and the Neolithic early farmers who were the first to introduce domestic plants and animals to Ireland 6,000 years ago.

Living on the Edge - Sea an Seashore
This ‘Crate of Curiosities’ examines the rich array of marine life found along our coastline and in the sea using a selection of specimens collected by Vincent over a lifetime. Remarkable facts and snippets of information are provided on a wide range of the amazing creatures whose home is the shore and sea. Sea urchins, whales, shellfish, sharks, seabirds, dolphins, crabs, sea anemones, barnacles, cuttlefish, jellyfish, and lots more are detailed. Each tide brings in a new ‘cargo’ of interesting items to the shore where they are left stranded awaiting discovery by the seashore detective. Vincent gives advice on how students can create and display their own collection of the wonderful items they can find.

Sixty Photographs for Simon

Charting Vincent’s world-wide travels working aboard the expedition 
cruise ship, National Geographic Explorer, copies of his book –
‘Sixty Photographs for Simon’ can be purchased online using the link
below. ALL proceeds from the sale of the book go directly to the Simon
Community to help them in their work with our homeless.