Irish Archeological Finds & Theories

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#1
Maybe this should go in New Science but I think I'll park it here.

Donegal skeletons may offer clue on cystic fibrosis
http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/sci ... 33440.html

Thu, Mar 11, 2010

WHAT COULD A collection of medieval human skeletons found in south Donegal tell us about cystic fibrosis in Ireland? A new study plans to find out – by analysing DNA from the skeletons’ teeth for mutations in the cystic fibrosis (CF) gene, writes CLAIRE O'CONNELL

Archaeologists unearthed the 1,250 skeletons during excavations in late 2003 along along the route of the N15 Bundoran-Ballyshannon bypass at Ballyhanna.

The site is thought to have been used for burials around the 12th century AD, and for several years researchers at IT Sligo and Queen’s University Belfast have been analysing the remains for evidence of diet and health, in a project funded by the National Roads Authority.

A new aspect of the study will now seek to find out how frequently the medieval humans carried a particular DNA mutation that contributes to cystic fibrosis.

“We are trying to find out was there a difference in the mutation 800 or 900 years ago,” says Dr Jeremy Bird, head of science at IT Sligo.

We all carry two copies of the gene associated with CF, but the condition arises when a person carries mutations in both copies that stop the gene from working normally. The incidence of such “homozygous” CF in Ireland is one of the highest in the world, at one in 1,353 at birth. And within the Irish population, one person in around 19 carries a mutation in one copy of the gene.

“We are looking for the carriers of one particular mutation, F508, which is the predominant one [currently] in the Irish and most Caucasian populations in Europe,” says Bird. “And because the carriers are one in 19, if we look at 100 individuals from Ballyhanna and then predict on a modern basis you would expect to find five individuals carrying it.”

But what’s not known is whether the ratio of carriers was the same back then, and the fortuitous discovery of the Ballyhanna bones offers an opportunity to find out, he notes.

“We have got an ancient collection of material that allows the numbers to be done, there’s little point in looking at one skeleton.

“We have access to a large amount of material – here we have 1,250 individuals who may represent a medieval Gaelic population that would have seen relatively little movement at the time.

“Dublin would have been more confused; you’d have Viking migration, so there are more questions there. But in the north-west of Ireland it is seen as a population that has not been interfered with by plantation or Nordic populations.”

The researchers are collaborating on the project with Prof Philip Farrell at the University of Wisconsin, whose group is looking at the history of CF mutations across Europe.

But just taking some DNA samples from the skeletons and identifying the genetic mutation is not as straightforward an exercise as it sounds, because the ancient DNA could be contaminated with more recent genetic material, according to Bird.

“Modern DNA is ubiquitous in the environment – run your finger along a shelf and you’ll pick up dust that’s principally epithelial cells from humans, so modern DNA is everywhere,” he says. “You can recover DNA, but have you got ancient DNA?”

However, initial studies on teeth found at the Ballyhanna site indicate that the medieval DNA is suitable for the study, and under licence from the National Museum of Ireland the project will now analyse DNA samples from molars in 60 individuals for the delta F508 mutation.

“If the indicator ratio is exactly the same, then that’s good to know,” says Bird. “But if there’s a major change – if it’s not one in 19, if it’s one in 50 or one in 10, you have to think what are the candidates for this.

“The populations were becoming urbanised, there were major changes and there were new diseases coming on the scene, such as TB, which had a huge impact on urban populations. So there were all kinds of selective pressures happening. It opens up debate.”
 
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#2
Skelligs settlement may predate monastery
http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ire ... 70202.html
LORNA SIGGINS Marine Correspondent

Tue, Aug 10, 2010

SKELLIG MICHAEL’S settlement history may be “far more complex” than previously thought, according to a Connemara archaeologist who has discovered several additional stairways on the Kerry rock.

The previously unidentified sets of steps were discovered recently by archaeologist Michael Gibbons on the northern and southern flanks of Skellig Michael, a Unesco world heritage site.

Gibbons believes the networks of stairways indicate several phases to Skellig Michael’s occupation, believed to date from the sixth to eighth centuries when monks settled there – with the last permanent residents being lightkeepers from the 1820s until the lighthouse automation there in April 1987.

Remains of a fort above the existing monastery indicate the monks could have moved into a “pre-existing citadel”, Gibbons says. This structure may have been one of a number of “high forts” that are known to have existed on the Dingle peninsula and on the Blasket islands.

The set of more than two dozen steps found by Gibbons on the southeast approach, or “Monk’s landing”, is to the east of a smaller set identified some years ago by Valentia Island historian Des Lavelle.

The newly discovered northern stairway is below “Christ’s saddle”, the small valley 130m above sea level between the rock’s two distinctive peaks.

Both flights can be seen from sea, but are beyond the general visitor’s route and are only accessible with mountaineering equipment. He has also found an earlier variant of the eastern steps.

Skellig Michael already has three recognised stairways, linking three landing places to “Christ’s saddle”.

From there, one flight leads up to the monastery, comprising walled enclosures with dry-stone cells and oratories looking out from a ledge on to Little Skellig and the Kerry coastline.

There is also a set of steps up the precipitous 218m south peak to a hermitage, which has been controversially restored by the Office of Public Works and Department of the Environment.

Visitors to the rock are not permitted up this stairway, which has been fenced off by the OPW.

Last year Gibbons discovered a previously hidden staircase above the lighthouse, along with a rock-hewn cross and several additional clocháns or huts.

While dozens of crosses of various sizes have been found on Skellig Michael, only a handful have been carved directly from a rock foundation.

The cross, close to a clochán, may have marked a prayer station on the route to the monastery – or may predate the monastery, says Gibbons.

The independent archaeologist, who has been critical of the OPW’s style of conservation or restoration, has appealed to the State body to take a sensitive approach to new discoveries.

Three years ago Unesco criticised the State for the absence of a management plan, and found that conservation work on the south peak had “dramatically” transformed the appearance of monastic remains.

The report found that such work was “justifiable” and the “outstanding universal values” of the monument remained intact once such conservation work was documented in an academic publication.

The OPW was unable to confirm yesterday if such documentation has been published.

Gibbons also believes the network of staircases deserves considerably more research. “Staircases are the key to Skellig Michael’s historical chronology, since the sixth century or further back, and up until the period when the Commissioners of Irish Lights would also have created access routes,” he explains.

“The different staircases may indicate a far more complex pattern of settlement than previously documented, or they may also indicate a far more daring pilgrimage circuit was created on the island, at a time when it was a pilgrimage site.”

Viking raids, a shifting climate and more numerous storms, and a change in the management of the Irish church from a monastic to a diocesan structure were factors that contributed to the eventual abandonment of Skellig Michael’s monastery, some 11.6km west of Kerry’s Bolus Head.
 

Kondoru

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#3
Id love to go one day.

I have already been to the 9th century site on N Rona as you know

Its amazing what these guys did. there is even a small chapel on Sulaseiger.
 
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Skellig Michael's first sea steps found
http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ire ... 31653.html
ANNE LUCEY

Tue, Sep 14, 2010

A NEWLY discovered set of steps, carved out of stone on the north-east monastery area of the island, is likely to be the earliest sea entrance to the sixth-century monastic island of Skellig Michael, a Unesco world heritage site, the Office of Public Work has said.

The new sea access steps on the northeastern edge of the island were stumbled upon by the Skellig’s resident rope man and safety expert, New Zealander Colin McGorlick just weeks ago, as a team of architects, archaeologists and masons was completing the restoration and excavation of the hermitage on the steep southern peak on the opposite side of the island.

Senior OPW architect Grellan O’Rourke, who has overseen work on the Skellig for over 30 years, said: “This is really exciting because I think they are of great antiquity. They have been abandoned a very long time.”

Other new finds include a hitherto unknown route involving a challenging 40m climb up an almost vertical gully on the South Peak in which there are a series of rock-cut steps and hand holds.

“This route clearly predates the previously published one and indicates the initial focus of the monks was on the ascent of the summit itself,” archaeologist Alan Hayden said.

There will be limited access, but details have yet to be finalised.

The specialist study had revealed the remarkable degree by which the monks altered the physical landscape of the South Peak and how they used geology to their advantage, Mr Hayden said.

It has also provided a detailed insight into how the monks quarried, gathered and transported stone up the peak for the building of the terraces and other structures.

A series of shallow rock-cut depressions, which would have held the base of a large tripod used by the monks to lift the stones, was “an exciting and new discovery”, Mr Hayden said.

Dry stone mason Patrick O’Shea, the OPW charge-hand for two decades on the restoration work, rejects criticisms of over-restoration, saying the materials used are found alongside the traditional methods. All the stone had to be pulled up by hand or with a pulley wheel where the oratory had slipped.

Mr O’Shea said no money would pay a person for this kind of work. “You have to have a good head for heights, a liking for the place and a love of the island,” he said.
 
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#5
10,000-year-old settlement unearthed in Cork
http://www.irishexaminer.com/ireland/10 ... 51299.html

Monday, December 02, 2013

The earliest known settlers in Co Cork were hunter-gatherers who lived near Fermoy more than 10,100 years ago.

Artist's impression of early medieval settlement based on a site at Ballynacarriga on the N25 Youghal bypass.
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By Sean O’Riordan

That’s according to archaeologists who will reveal a wealth of information about our ancestors when they launch a book published by the National Roads Authority on Dec 10 at UCC.

It details illustrated accounts of the 114 significant excavations undertaken in the county, revealing a wealth of previously unrecorded sites, each adding to our understanding of the story of Cork — going back to the county’s first known settlers, more than 500 generations ago.

While the 8,100BC settlement in Fermoy, uncovered during the construction of the M8, is deemed to be the oldest, evidence of similarly ancient hunter-gatherers was discovered near Ballincollig and Youghal.

NRA project archaeologist Ken Hanley, who edited the book, said a lakeside wooden hunting platform and an antler from a giant elk, which had been fashioned into a tool by humans, were found at the oldest known site at Corrin, Fermoy.

He said there was evidence that, around that time, part of a large forest in the area was burned down to make way for a settlement.

Houses built by Cork’s first farmers (c.3,900BC) were found near Ballincollig and Fermoy, while a substantial Bronze Age settlement was found near Rathcormac.

The most exceptional discovery was the Mitchelstown Face Cup, dating to the Bronze Age.

“This is the oldest known three-dimensional representation of a person ever discovered in Ireland,” said Mr Haney. “It was radio carbon-dated to 1,800BC. It is unique. It came as a complete surprise. It was a spectacular find.”

A sauna dating to 1,400BC was uncovered at Scartbarry, near Watergrasshill.

“Two substantial early medieval settlements were discovered at Curraheen, near Bishopstown and at Ballynacarriga on Youghal bypass. Both date to the seventh century AD,” said Mr Hanley.

An Anglo-Norman moated settlement, built in the 13th century, was unearthed at Ballinvinny South, north-east of Glanmire.

The same settlement was later occupied in the 17th century and held a horde of James II coins.

“These weren’t ordinary coins,” said Mr Hanely. “[James] had no money. Instead of using gold and silver coins he smelted coins from cheaper metals to pay his soldiers.”

The tokens were to be redeemed for real money if he won the war against William of Orange, but he didn’t and so they were worthless.

All the finds were made courtesy of NRA funding in five road projects: Glanmire-Watergrasshill bypass (N8); Rathcormac-Fermoy motorway (M8); Mitchelstown Relief Roads (N8/N73); Ballincollig bypass (N22); and Youghal bypass (N25).

The NRA has funded more than 2,000 excavations on national road projects since it was established in 1994.

lThe book, which costs €35, will be launched by Dr Ann Lynch of the Department of Arts, Heritage, and the Gaeltacht at UCC, at 7pm on Dec 10.
 

Heckler

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#6
Crikey must've been small people if their whole town would have fitted in the neck of a bottle.
 
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#7
Ancient trackway found within ‘drowned forest’ in Connemara
http://www.irishtimes.com/news/ireland/ ... -1.1750856

Oak structure confirms human habitation before Galway Bay was formed

The 7,500-year-old-tree remains at a drowned forrest exposed by storms in Spiddal, Co. Galway. Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy

Lorna Siggins

Sat, Apr 5, 2014, 01:00

Fragments of an oak trackway suggesting human habitation have been found within the 7,500-year-old “drowned forest” on the north Galway shoreline.

The track could be between 3,500 and 4,500 years old, and may have been built when the sea level was rising and was gradually enveloping the forest that pre-dated Galway Bay.

NUI Galway (NUIG) geologist Prof Mike Williams, who has researched the “drowned forest”, comprising a layer of peat and tree stumps uncovered by the winter storms, examined the trackway or “togher” this week.
He was alerted to it by a Spiddal resident, Alan Keogh, who discovered it when walking on the south-east Connemara shore.

Mr Keogh said that he had heard about the drowned forest, recently reported in this newspaper, and recognised the significance of what appeared to be a “symmetrical structure” below a line of peat, about 1.5m by 1m.

“Together with the Bearna canoe, this is the first evidence of human habitation within these forests and lagoons in this area,” said Prof Williams.

“It could have been built during the late Neolithic or early Bronze age era, and may have been ceremonial or may have been built across wetland which was decaying forest, forming into bog.”

This would make it older than the Corlea “togher”, the Iron Age track across the boglands of Longford, close to the River Shannon.

The Corlea oak road, which was excavated by Prof Barry Raftery of University College Dublin, is the largest of its kind to have been uncovered in Europe.
Prof Williams is awaiting further archaeological examination of the section, which has a north-west orientation and is on a storm beach near Furbo, looking south to the Burren and Black Head.

The Bearna canoe was found on the shore near Bearna by Brian and Rónán Ó Carra in December 2002, and is preserved in the Galway Atlantaquaria in Salthill.

The canoe was found to be 4,740 years old when radiocarbon-dated and Mr Ó Carra believes the trackway may be of a similar age.

“The canoe was freshwater, and these people used them for fishing and as a form of transport – like our stand-up paddle-boards,” he said.

Mr Ó Carra recently found the skull of a red deer in the same area and this is being examined by the National Museum of Ireland.

The New-Year hurricane-force winds and sea swell stripped away layers of sand and stone on the shoreline. This revealed the peat and stump remains of the lagoon and a woodland landscape that had been populated by bears, people and wolves.

The stumps visible around Spiddal are in their original growth position, which would suggest they died quite quickly, Prof Williams says.

Ireland experienced a series of sea-level rises up to 5,000 years ago.
Prof Williams says the fragile habitats may be covered again within months, as the Atlantic replenishes the shore with stone and sand.
 

rynner2

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#10
Yet more post storm discoveries.

Winter storm aftermath continues to yield more artefacts

Archaeologists have identified yet more historic material thrown up by the new year storms on the Atlantic seaboard, including a pink granite quern, or hand mill, estimated to be several thousand years old; several Mesolithic stone axes; a late medieval harbour; and early Christian burial grounds.

The volume of artefacts thrown up by the extreme weather, which also damaged existing heritage sites and transformed parts of the coastline, has prompted archaeologist Michael Gibbons to call for State funding for a “rescue unit” to ensure valuable heritage is not lost.

Two stone axes recently found by Galway city heritage officer Dr Jim Higgins on the shoreline brings to six the number of reported Mesolithic finds on the Connemara coast.

Dr Higgins found one of the two axes on Ballyloughane beach in inner Galway Bay, where few such prehistoric finds have been reported before, he says, while a second axe located at Barna is believed to be 6,000-7,000 years old.

Other known Mesolithic sites are at Ardmore, Finish island, Streamstown bay and the White Strand on the Renvyle peninsula, and Mr Gibbons says that Dr Higgins’s discoveries now contribute to “one of the biggest collection of prehistoric artefacts ever found on the west of Ireland”.

The pink granite quern was found earlier this month by Mr Gibbons on a prehistoric settlement west of Roundstone, which included a large midden or ancient shell heap and a stone enclosure.

He said that the quern was broken in antiquity and he estimates that it is between 4,000 and 6,000 years old.

Evidence of a late medieval harbour beneath Doon Hill, along with a possible wreck site, are also now visible at low tide, while the remains of an 18th/19th-century village west of Cleggan have been revealed by the January storm surges.

A local landowner has reported a children’s burial ground marked by white quartz stones close by.

More midden deposits, containing evidence of the diet and lifestyle of our ancestors, have been found at Dog’s Bay, near Roundstone, and near Renvyle Castle, while the storms damaged other middens aged between 6,500 and 7,000 years.

Two separate early Christian burial grounds have been “eroded out” on St Macdara’s island off the Connemara coast.

On the Galway-Clare border, the western and southern wall of the medieval church at Aughinish have been damaged, and the shoreline was “strewn” with medieval masonry.

Mr Gibbons said that the finds and the evidence of damage exposed the “under-funding” of existing heritage services and the need to establish a “rescue fund” which might save very valuable archaeological material.
A priority would be the harbour edge buildings and midden identified recently on Inishbofin island, he said, as these are beginning to degrade rapidly.

“In the absence of any available resources to carry out further work on these newly revealed sites, I will continue to document them photographically and, where possible, will take small samples from the collapsed deposits for dating purposes down the road,” he said.

He believes there was a great deal of interest in what the storms have revealed.
http://www.irishtimes.com/news/science/ ... -1.1769114
 
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#11
Red deer antlers and horse bones dating back 1,500 years from north Galway Bay could have formed part of a ritual ceremony. The antlers, skulls, jaws and bones of the animals were located by Brian O’Carra and Mike Williams on an inter-tidal zone west of Galway city.

Cut marks on bones indicate that they were consumed for subsistence or ritually sacrificed, at a time when Christianity was already taking hold in Ireland, Prof Williams says. Eating horses would have been forbidden because of “pagan” connotations, which makes the evidence even more intriguing, he says.

Radiocarbon dating of one antler has estimated its age range as being between 430 AD and 548 AD.

Prof Williams and Mr O’Carra have already collaborated in charting how Galway Bay was once an area of lagoons and forests before the sea level rose thousands of years ago. However, “significant environmental changes” may have occurred as recently as 1,500 years ago, they suggest, having examined the area where the antlers and bones were embedded.

The finds were in black silty mud containing shells ...

http://www.irishtimes.com/news/ireland/ ... -1.2020780
 
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#12
Skellig Michael opening date in doubt over unstable rocks
OPW says unsteady material has been discovered at the Unesco world heritage site

Thu, Apr 20, 2017, 21:15 Updated: Thu, Apr 20, 2017, 21:29

The recent fall occurred on a roadway to the work area near the lighthouse, which is away from the main visitor path.


A crew is expected to remain at the site for the week. Photograph: Office of Public Works
“On this first examination, it would appear that there is more unstable material still present on the upper slopes and they are currently evaluating this and making an assessment of how to deal with it safely,” the OPW said on Thursday.

Larger rocks
There is still a number of larger rocks and other material which appears dry and friable, and possibly likely to move.

“Options being considered include possibly bringing down this unstable material in a controlled fashion to mitigate the risk of further material shedding in a future displacement.”

The OPW said, at this point, it was not possible to be definitive about the opening date for visitors – scheduled for May 14th – but it remained “cautiously optimistic that it will be achieved”. ...

http://www.irishtimes.com/news/envi...est&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=news_digest
 
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#13
Not as old but still significant.

Earliest known settlement in Cork discovered on Events Centre site
Kevin O'Neill
CHANGES may be needed to the foundations of the proposed events centre site following a number of significant archaeological finds.

The site at the former Beamish & Crawford brewery on South Main Street is the location for the stalled events centre project and a large number of student apartments, with developer BAM currently working on the apartment element of the project.

Elected members of Cork City Council were last night briefed on the archaeological surveys which took place on the site in 2017.

Discoveries included the walls of a 12th century stone church and an urban layout from 1070AD, pre-dating the town settlement in Waterford and, potentially, marking the earliest known discovery of urban settlement in Cork.

Walls and foundations of St Laurence's Church were discovered in the area closest to the south channel of the Lee, with archaeologists recommending that these not be preserved on site due to potential environmental and tidal degradation.

http://www.eveningecho.ie/corknews/...-site-7eaec416-30ea-4ab2-aa29-a15a57f70a8b-ds
 
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#14
Interesting discovery. the oldest log boat found in the area. May have been associated with construction of Newgrange.

The remains of a 5,000-year-old logboat have been discovered in the River Boyne near Newgrange.

The discovery close to the Brú Na Bóinne World Heritage site dates to the Neolithic period, scientific dating has confirmed. According to a statement by Minister for Culture Josepha Madigan the prehistoric boat was found in June 2016 by four local anglers while fishing on the river at Oldbridge, Co Meath.

Stephen Murphy, Kieran Mahar, William Gregory and David Johnston reported it to the heritage authorities.

The vessel consist of a three-meter length of wood which would have formed the base of the boat. It is estimated that it was originally more than four meters long, shaped out of the trunk of an oak tree using stone axes.

https://www.irishtimes.com/culture/...-by-men-on-river-boyne-fishing-trip-1.3708128
 
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Interesting discovery. the oldest log boat found in the area. May have been associated with construction of Newgrange.

The remains of a 5,000-year-old logboat have been discovered in the River Boyne near Newgrange.

The discovery close to the Brú Na Bóinne World Heritage site dates to the Neolithic period, scientific dating has confirmed. According to a statement by Minister for Culture Josepha Madigan the prehistoric boat was found in June 2016 by four local anglers while fishing on the river at Oldbridge, Co Meath.

Stephen Murphy, Kieran Mahar, William Gregory and David Johnston reported it to the heritage authorities.

The vessel consist of a three-meter length of wood which would have formed the base of the boat. It is estimated that it was originally more than four meters long, shaped out of the trunk of an oak tree using stone axes.

https://www.irishtimes.com/culture/...-by-men-on-river-boyne-fishing-trip-1.3708128
The log boat in the National Museum in Dublin needs to seen to appreciate the scale of it. It's really quite something.
 
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#19
Interesting find.

An archaeological dig at land previously owned by former taoiseach Liam Cosgrave has uncovered an extensive medieval burial ground of more than 80 bodies, alongside historical artefacts such as iron knife fragments and pieces of pottery.

Developer Ardstone Homes is seeking to build more than 600 homes on the Scholarstown Road site, in Knocklyon, south Dublin. The 16-acre site was previously owned by Mr Cosgrave, where he lived in a small bungalow, and the land was bought by Ardstone last year. Mr Cosgrave, a former Fine Gael taoiseach from 1973 to 1977, had lived on the land until his death in 2017.

A significant excavation project, started late last year under licence from the Department of Culture and Heritage, identified a ring-fort settlement likely from the medieval period. The full archaeological report, seen by The Irish Times, states that 83 human burials were uncovered at the site. Among artefacts unearthed in the dig were a possible iron knife fragment, a whetstone used to sharpen blades, pins made of bone and copper alloy, and fragments of pottery thought to be from the late medieval period. The report, drawn up by archaeological consultants Archer Heritage Planning, was submitted to the department late last week.

The settlement included a rectangular structure and evidence of hearths, which suggested the presence of a home, the report said. A number of animal bones were also discovered amid the settlement. Aidan O’Connell, an archaeologist on the dig, said the settlement discovery was a “significant early medieval site in the wider south Dublin region”.

https://www.irishtimes.com/news/env...or-80-bodies-found-on-cosgrave-land-1.3899640
 
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#20
Sounds promising.

AN ARCHAEOLOGICAL EXCAVATION in Co Sligo has uncovered a megalithic monument thought to be unlike any found in Ireland to date.

Several prehistoric tools made from a hard stone called chert were discovered and are thought to have been used for activities such as working animal hides, cutting and preparing food, basket food, basket working and bone working.

The discovery was made by a team of archaeologists from IT Sligo during a two-week excavation of a prehistoric monument in the heart of the Carrowmore megalithic complex in Co Sligo. Carrowmore in the largest cemetery of megalithic tombs in Ireland, with 5,500-year-old passage tombs dating from 3,600 BC.

Archaeologists Dr Marion Dowd and Dr James Bonsall directed the excavation of a site that was formerly known as a barrow Barrows are circular earthen monuments surrounded by a circular ditch. These sites typically date to the Bronze Age and Iron Age, ranging from between 4,000 and 1,500 years old.

The excavation has revealed that some unexpected results – that the monument isn’t a barrow at all.

“Our excavations have revealed that this monument does not appear to be a barrow at all. So far, we cannot find any parallel for it in Ireland,” Dr Marion Dowd said.

https://www.thejournal.ie/megalithic-monument-sligo-4682855-Jun2019/?utm_source=shortlink
 

Frideswide

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#21
oooooooooooooooh! this is going to be fascinating, especially when they slot it into the whole landscape.

Nice to see the two diggers looking cold, grubby and still enthusiastic!
 

skinny

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#22
She's good. Featured in several Irish history docos. Loves caves.

Through time people have lived with darkness. Archaeology shows us that over the whole human journey people have sought out dark places, for burials, for votive deposition and sometimes for retreat or religious ritual away from the wider community. Thirteen papers explore Palaeolithic use of deep caves in Europe and the orientation of mortuary monuments in the Neolithic and Bronze Age. It examines how the senses are affected in caves and monuments that were used for ritual activities, from Bronze Age miners in Wales working in dangerous subterranean settings, to initiands in Italian caves, to a modern caver’s experience of spending time in the one of the world’s deepest caves in Russia.


How have I missed this thread all this time? Great stuff. I might've started some dreaded duplicate threads in my ignorance.
 
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#23
Interesting finds suggestive of an ecclesiastical community.

“Hugely significant” finds of a rare French structure and medieval pottery have been found during recent archaeological excavations in Co Meath, supporting a long-held belief that the site was once home to Cistercian monks from Normandy.

Noted medieval expert Matthew Stout and his wife archaeologist Geraldine Stout have described the finds of 13th-century French jugs and ceramic roof tiles as “hugely significant” at the site in Beymore, just outside Drogheda.

They also found a corn drying kiln and dried peas, which, they say, prove crop rotation was ongoing in the 13th century.

Surveying the “unusual features” of an existing gatehouse in the field, two of Ireland’s foremost medieval building archaeologists, David Sweetman and Con Manning, say a diagonal French buttress is “very rare, if not unique in Ireland”. They now believe the site at Beaubec to have been the home of a 13th century medieval monastic farm associated with the French Cistercian foundation of De Bello Becco (Beaubec).

The excavations were undertaken at the behest of landowner and local historian John McCullen who believed there was something special about the ruins, which lie in one of his fields.


https://www.irishexaminer.com/break...tury-monastery-unearthed-in-meath-940874.html
 

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Fortea Morgana :) PeteByrdie certificated Princess
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#24
lovely! I spent several years as Finds Supervisor at Bordesley Abbey. This is a great opportunity to work out how much of the material culture is from the locale, how much is by-the-book Cisterican, and how much is from the Mother House.

Historic England page on Bordesley Abbey https://historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list/list-entry/1005304
 
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#25
Extensive list of new finds.

August 7 2019 2:30 AM

Archaeologists have identified about 40 previously unknown monuments near Newgrange in an "exceptionally successful" survey.
And they have confirmed the discovery of a "spectacular" monument aligned with the Winter Solstice sunrise. The monument is believed to be 200-300 years newer than the Stone Age passage tomb of Newgrange. Newgrange, arguably the best known of the passage tombs in Brú na Bóinne, is closely linked to the Winter Solstice. At that time, the dawn light illuminates its burial chamber.

Dr Steve Davis of the UCD School of Archaeology, who has worked for more than a decade on the Brú na Bóinne landscape, said the new monuments appear to range from early Neolithic houses to Neolithic timber enclosures as well as Bronze Age burial monuments and some early medieval farmsteads.

https://www.independent.ie/irish-ne...r-solstice-found-near-newgrange-38381720.html
 
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