|19 December 2005
Several finds unearthed on Irish road route
There have been a number of archaeological discoveries along the routes of the proposed new sections of the M7/M8 motorways through Laois (Ireland). Last week the National Roads Authority released a booklet on the finds. Tests on sites from Portlaoise to Borris-in-Ossory in the west and extending as far south as Cullahill have been carried out. The sites date from the Neolithic period and extend through the Bronze age and Iron age, spanning a period between 4,000 BCE to 500 CE.
The leaflet says that during testing in Parknahown townland a quantity of prehistoric pottery dating from the Neolithic period were revealed. The pottery had been placed in a small pit and several other small pits or postholes in close proximity, has been fully excavated. While these pits do not appear to form a structure, they may have been part of a settlement or more likely a ritual site during the Neolithic when the first farmers in Ireland put down their roots and made a mark on the Irish landscape. Within the early medieval ringfort at Derrinsallagh a quantity of flints and pottery dating from the Neolithic period were revealed suggesting that this medieval site had earlier beginnings in the prehistoric period.
At Shanboe, a series of fulachta fiadh (low mounds of burnt stone) together with pits, troughs, stake-holes and a possible structure has been excavated. An existing roadway at Derrinsallagh cuts a newly found ringfort in half. In this area, a corn drying kiln has been uncovered. It appears as though the kiln was rebuilt on at least three occasions. The kiln still retained cereal grains, which will be the subject to environmental analysis. Other materials found during the digs were a flint knife, zoomorphic penannular brooch, decorated bone comb, bronze age pottery and arrowheads.
Source. Laois Nationalist (15 December 2005)
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