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3 July 2010
Anglers catch prehistoric canoe in Ireland

Historians are probing links between an ancient dugout canoe discovered on the banks of the Boyne and the landmark Newgrange site (Co Meath, Ireland). The canoe, which has an unusual design and is believed to be unique in Ireland, was removed from the river by experts from the National Museum.
     It was discovered two weeks ago east of the Boyne Cable Bridge near Drogheda, by two local fishermen, Ivan Murphy and Kevin Tuite, who immediately contacted the authorities. "We spotted it in the water and I turned it over and we discovered it was a canoe. It was incredible to see and I immediately covered it again and we contacted the museum," said Mr Murphy.
     The canoe was found only a short distance downstream from Newgrange. It is believed canoes were used to transport stone to the site some 5,000 years ago. "It may have been lying there for years but we are down on the Boyne quite a bit and didn't notice it before so it may have floated down in the tide from further up stream," Mr Murphy added.
     The canoe is 3m long and 61cm wide and a very unusual shape, suggesting that it may have been used as a one man vessel or as a transporter. It has a large hook at one end, possibly for use as a link or for a mooring rope. The grooves made while cleaning out the wood from the centre of the great oak tree can clearly be seen. It will now be brought to a preservation centre in Roscommon and tests will firmly establish its age. Mayor Paul Bell hopes that the vessel will return to Drogheda to be put on display once it has been preserved.

Source: Independent.ie (25 June 2010)

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