|12 March 1999
Tara: enormous henge found
A huge circular structure, usually called a henge, has been discovered by archaeologists on Ireland's Hill of Tara, the former seat of the country's high kings, about 30 miles northwest of Dublin. Joe Fenwick, archaeology lecturer with the National University of Ireland in Galway, said the enclosure may have been a wooden henge similar to Britain's Stonehenge. Fenwick described the enclosure as absolutely enormous with a diameter of about 1 km (5/8 of a mile). He believes it may date to the late Neolithic period, or about 2500 BCE. The feature was enclosed by a 3-meter (10-foot) wide ditch with a series of pits on either side of it. The pits are evenly spaced about 4.2 meters (14 feet) apart and may have contained wooden uprights. It lies 0.6 to 2 meters (2 to 6 1/2 feet) below the surface.
People have assumed Tara was mainly an Iron Age site, but it appears now it was a major religious focus for over a few millennia before it fell into disuse during the early Christian period. We were very lucky to find it. There was absolutely no evidence on the surface that it was there, Fenwick said.
Source: Miami Herald
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