|12 February 2006
Irish Bronze Age settlement will not halt road
An ancient Bronze-Age settlement believed to be 4,000 years old has been uncovered in the direct path of the Carlow bypass (Ireland). The discovery was unearthed on a farm this week and consists of a number of ancient circular dwellings, while preliminary examination of the site has also identified an ancient cremation pit. However, despite the historical fascination this discovery will undoubtedly evoke, there is absolutely no intention by the National Roads Authority or the Local Authorities to stop the construction of the N9/N10.
"It is an honour that the discovery was made here on the farm, something like this doesnít happen every day," stated farm owner Michael Kelly. Mr Kelly indicated his firm belief that we should preserve this link with the past. "Carlow is rich in ancient archaeology - the Brownshill Dolmen is just across the fields from this site," he added. "I do think itís wrong for a dual carriageway to be built over it and for it to be lost forever," Mr Kelly remarked.
The site is located directly across from Tinryland GAA Club where members put up a huge challenge to divert the path of the roadway from their facility. Preliminary investigations involving test trenching along the path of the roadway last summer revealed archaeological activity at Rathcrogue and closer inspection last week revealed this ancient Bronze Age site on the Kelly farm.
Archaeologists arrived to clear and excavate the site, which will painstakingly continue by hand for upwards of one month. It is believed at this initial stage that the discovery consists of possibly three circular dwellings, which are indicated by carbonised markings of ancient timber stakes. Some bones were also discovered on the site, which have been sent away for testing to determine if they are animal or human and also some pottery pieces.
Hillary King, Press Officer with Kildare County Council, the acquiring authority of the N9/N10, stated that the council could not comment on the nature of the archaeological examination at Rathcrogue until a full archeological report had been furnished. She added that it was 'unlikely' this would affect the progression of the roadway.
Source: The Nationalist (8 February 2006)
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