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23 September 2018
Megalithic passage tomb discovered in Co Meath

A Megalithic passage tomb dating back some 5,500 years has been discovered at the 18th century Dowth Hall in Co Meath (Ireland). The discovery is within the Brú na Bóinne World Heritage Site. It was made during an excavation carried out by the agri-technology company Devenish in partnership with University College Dublin School of Archaeology.
     To date, two burial chambers have been discovered within the western part of the main passage tomb, over which a large stone cairn (c.40m diameter) was raised. The six kerbstones that have been identified so far would have formed part of a ring of stones that followed the cairn perimeter. One kerbstone is heavily decorated with Neolithic carvings and represents one of the most impressive discoveries of megalithic art in Ireland for decades. During the course of this project, a further two possible satellite tombs were also found.
     Dr Clíodhna Ní Lionáin, Devenish's lead archaeologist for the project said: "For the archaeologists involved in this discovery, it is truly the find of a lifetime." Dr Stephen Davis of the UCD School of Archaeology said today: "This is the most significant megalithic find in Ireland in the last 50 years, since the excavation of Knowth. The spate of archaeological discoveries in Brú na Bóinne in recent weeks highlights what a globally significant place this is."

Edited from RTE, Devenish (16 July 2018)

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