Archaeological News

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Posts tagged "ireland"

A tiny County Louth village has been confirmed as home to one of the most important Viking sites in the world.

Carbon testing on trenches at a ‘virgin’ site in Annagassan have revealed that the small rural community once housed a Viking winter base, one of only two in Ireland.

The other went on to become Dublin but the Annagassan site, 50 miles north of the capital, was believed to be the stuff of mythology and folklore until now.

Geophysical tests funded by Dundalk’s County Museum have allowed scientists to make the big breakthrough. Read more.

Planners have launched a probe following claims that a rare site where early humans settled has been badly damaged without carrying out proper archaeological investigation.

The Department of the Environment (DoE) said its planning department has launched an enforcement investigation to establish if a breach of planning control had taken place at Ballymaglaff in Dundonald in relation to archaeological matters.

Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) also sent staff to inspect the site after concerns were raised about the road access to a new housing development close to the Comber Greenway. Read more.

An archaeological excavation at Ireland’s best-preserved Anglo Norman castle has been extended after the discovery of a secret tunnel.

Experts from Queen’s University had been commissioned to spend three weeks conducting exploratory digs at Carrickfergus Castle in a bid to find out more about the 800-year-old fortification on the shores of Belfast Lough.

But Stormont’s Environment Minister Mark H Durkan has now given the archaeologists another month to carry out further excavations.

Built in 1177 by Anglo Norman knight John de Courcy soon after his invasion of Ulster, the castle lies on the stretch of coastline where King William III landed in Ireland before the Battle of the Boyne in 1690. Read more.

An alliance of pirates preyed on ships laden with treasure, outmatched Britain’s Royal Navy, elected their own admiral and, ultimately, were destroyed in a cataclysmic battle against a Dutch fleet in 1614, suggests new archaeological and historical research.

The new study reveals more details about the adventures of this pirate alliance, which operated on the southwest coast of Munster, Ireland, in the early 17th century.

Among the recent archaeological discoveries that may be connected to the alliance are two remote sites, each with a set of stairs reaching almost to the sea. One of them, located at modern-day “Dutchman’s Cove,” east of Baltimore, Ireland, held niches where candles or lanterns were used to signal pirates and smugglers who came in the dead of night. Read more.

Historical secrets locked within the walls of Ireland’s best preserved Anglo Norman castle could be uncovered through a new archaeological excavation.

Experts started work at Carrickfergus Castle today in a bid to find out more about the 800-year-old fortification on the shores of Belfast Lough.

Built in 1177 by Anglo Norman knight John de Courcy soon after his invasion of Ulster, the castle lies on the stretch of coastline where King William III landed in Ireland before the Battle of the Boyne in 1690.

Its storied history includes sieges by King John in 1210 and Edward Bruce in 1315 and capture by the French under Captain Francois Thurot in 1760. Read more.

A medieval pilgrimage “round”, or circuit, has been identified on the Mayo island of Caher, which archaeologists believe shines fresh light on religious practices in the west of Ireland up to 1,000 years ago.

Caher, a rocky outcrop lying between the southern tip of Clew Bay and Inishturk, marks the sea end of Bóthair na Naomh, the so-called saint’s road, up to the summit of Croagh Patrick and down towards the Atlantic.

A maritime pilgrimage comprising a circuit of the island takes place annually a fortnight after Reek Sunday, but recent fieldwork has identified an outer arc of altars or “leachts”, making up a second and larger pilgrimage circuit on the south and west sides of the island. Read more.

A man who found a dirty piece of metal in a field has discovered he is actually the lucky owner of a silver Viking ring.

David Taylor, from County Down, Northern Ireland, discovered a bracelet-shaped object while helping lift stones from a field.

His wife thought it was a bull ring and told him to throw it out.

A coroner’s court has now found the ring to be treasure trove.

Almost 18 months ago, Mr Taylor noticed the strangely-shaped object lying on a stone in his brother-in-law’s freshly ploughed field near Kircubbin on the Ards peninsula. Read more.

ARCHAEOLOGISTS have uncovered an ancient monastic settlement of “huge national importance” during work for a church car park.

The treasure trove is set to put a boggy field beside an old rural parish church on the archaeological map of Ireland.

Archaeologist Mick Drumm compared the find in Co Donegal this week to the settlement at Clonmacnoise.

The field beside the Drumholm Church of Ireland graveyard, near the village of Ballintra, is set to be classified a national monument as a result of just two days’ excavation work.

Mr Drumm moved on to the site on Monday after being commissioned by the parishioners to survey the one-acre plot as part of a planning application for a car park and cemetery extension. Read more.