|19 April 2012
Prehistoric animal remains discovered in Irish cave
Excavations at a cave near Ballyvaughan, Co. Clare (Ireland) have led archaeologist Dr Marion Dowd, of the School of Science, Institute of Technology, Sligo, to speculate that a piece of antler found in the cave could be prehistoric. Dr Dowd, who had previously published a paper on 'The use of caves for funery and ritual practices in Neolithic Ireland', believes that the find is significant. She is quoted as saying "The discovery of the fabulous antler hammerhead is hugely exciting. I can't find any other parallels in Irish archaeology".
The elation was somewhat muted by the discovery of a skeleton in the cave, thought to be of a teenager from the 16th or 17th Century. This would not have surprised Dr Dowd, who has worked on several cave excavations in Ireland, including Glencurran Cave (also in Co. Clare), which had Late Bronze Age and Early Medieval findings, as well as Dunmore Cave in Co. Kilkenny where she found human remains linked to the Vikings.
Edited from The Irish Times (22 March 2012)
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