|14 November 2000
4,000 year old settlement discovered in Kerry
Archaeologists have discovered what could be the oldest house in Kerry (Ireland), probably more than 4,000 years old. Work on the new Tralee to Killarney N22 road has unearthed what could well be a Bronze Age ringed settlement near Flemby, which archaeologists have described as one of the most exciting finds ever made in Kerry. The find includes a Bronze Age house, a burial tomb, a large collection of pottery and an axe head. What makes this discovery so unique is that all these sites were all found in the same area. "To find a combination of sites like that all within 20 metres of each other is a rarity. It's a tremendous find, especially with pottery, and we haven't even finished the excavations yet,'' Aegis archaeology director Frank Coyne said.
A total of four sites have been excavated around the base of Glanbane Hill, including a pit which contained pottery made by the Beaker people, and an axe head. The site is believed to date from some time between 2500BCE and 2000BCE. Aegis also discovered a ring barrow containing a number of cremated bones, which Mr Coyne said were probably placed there as a sacrifice. The last site, and one of the most exciting, could turn out to be a Bronze Age round house. If this is the case it fills a significant gap in the history of Kerry. "Until we actually get the dates back to pigeon hole the site we can't slot it into a time frame, but it does fill the gap between the neolithic and the Ballycarthy passage tomb,'' Mr Coyne said, referring to the earlier discovery in Ballymacelligott. "They are all clustered around the foot of Glanbane Hill, which is a hill fort, so it adds a big chunk of the picture,'' he added. The hope at Aegis is that this does turn out to be part of an enclosed settlement, which is rare in Ireland but extremely rare in Kerry.
Source: The Kerryman (13 October 2000)
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