44Sayers, William. "A cut above. Ration and station in an Irish king’s hall." Food and Foodways, vol. 4, no. 2, 1990, p. 93.
Sayers commented on the ritual of meat distribution: "According to the logic of ritual acts, each ox and pig carved in the tribal king’s hall not only returned that society to its origins but also reaffirmed its basic structure." (p. 105)

In his guidebook to the monuments on the Hill of Tara, Seán P. Ó Ríordáin pointed out that in the Banquet Hall illustration "...much of the text is obscure by reason of the number of words which have not been interpreted–in particular words relating to food..." (Ó Ríordáin, Seán P. Tara: the Monuments on the Hill. Dundalgan Press, 1969, pp. 22-3.) Our animated illustration attempts to add additional (very tentative) translations to the text. The primary source of the additional terms translated from the Book of Leinster illustration of the Banquet Hall was William Sayers (above). We are grateful for additional research assistance generously provided by Dr. Clodagh Downey and Dr. Andrea Palandri.

Thanks to The Board of Trinity College Dublin for allowing the use of the high-resolution image from the Book of Leinster. This image may not be further reproduced from software. For reproduction, application must be made to the Head of Digital Resources and Imaging Services, by post to Trinity College Library Dublin, College Street, Dublin 2, Ireland; or by email at digitalresources@tcd.ie.