A national monument that is said to have served as the coronation stone for the High Kings of Tara has been vandalised, it was revealed today.
Minister for Heritage Jimmy Deenihan condemned the attack on the Lia Fáil (stone of destiny) Standing Stone, which is situated on the Hill of Tara in Co Meath.
The standing stone, which is believed to date from 3,500BC, is considered an extremely important national monument and features extensively in ancient texts. The granite stone is associated with the inauguration rites for the Kings of Tara and was moved to its current position in the early 19th century.
The monument was reported to be damaged last weekend, but it is unknown when the attack occurred.
An archaeologist from the National Monuments Service examined the monument this week and concluded it had been struck – possibly with a hammer or similar instrument – at 11 places on all four faces of the stone. Fragments of the standing stone were also removed. Read more.
A CAUSEWAY man is facing a possible five-year jail term after he was prosecuted for demolishing an ancient ring fort on land belonging to his family.
In the first case of its kind to be heard in an Irish Court, John O’mahony with an address at Clashmealcon, Causeway appeared at Tralee Circuit Criminal Court last where he pleaded guilty to carrying out unauthorised work near a monument on his family’s farmland in Causeway in 2008.
The court heard that the family of Mr O’mahony, a 64-year-old farmer, owned lands which contained a ring fort and a series of underground tunnels, or souterrains, which dated back to between 500 and 100AD.
The ring fort and souterrain system were deemed to be national monuments of historic importance and had been placed on a national register.
While landowners are allowed carry out works on or near national monuments that are on the register they must contact the Department Environment and receive express written permission from the minister before they proceed. Read more.
The Department of Antiquities in Cyprus has revealed a monument of the proto-byzantine period after year long excavations at the site of Katalymmata ton Plakoton at the Akrotiri peninsula under the directions of the Senior Archaeological officer of the Department, Dr Eleni Procopiou.
The excavations begun in 2007, uncovering a peculiar narthex-martyrion forming a T-shape plan with 3 aisled branches and are expected to continue for the following years until the total area is brought to light.
The date of the erection has been determined at the end of the first decade of the reign of emperor Heraclius (616-619 A.D.), whereas its abandonement and destruction happened slightly before the middle of the 7th century. Read more.
Archeologists have found a new historical monument and nearly 20 masks thought to have been worn by actors during excavations carried out in Myra, an ancient city on the southern coast of Turkey.
The excavations of the site are being carried out by Akdeniz University’s Archeology Department under the supervision of Professor Nevzat Çevik, from the same department. Çevik told the Anatolia news agency that they found the monument and the masks during excavations they carried out beneath the city’s stone-built theater.
“This is a monument built by a noble woman from Myra to honor her family. … According to data we obtained, we have found a monument which was built between 1 and 2 B.C. Çevik added that they think more historical items lie beneath the theater. Read more.
Mexico City, July 27 (IANS/EFE) Mexican archaeologists have discovered a 1.5 tonne stone relief that was created more than 2,800 years ago, authorities said.
The discovery was made at the archaeological site of Chalcatzingo in Morelos state, ‘the only pre-Columbian site known in central Mexico with large bas-reliefs’, said the National Institute of Archaeology and History, or INAH, in a communique.
The work - standing more than 1.5 meters tall - was discovered in late April on the north slope of Chalcatzingo as archaeologists were building a containing wall and protective roofs for the other monoliths in the area.
Sculpted on the stone are three cats sitting in profile, looking west and surrounded by great scroll decorations.
The relief was found broken in 11 pieces, which the experts spent May and June restoring, so that only now is it possible ‘to admire the triad of felines in their entirety’, INAH said. Read more.
Hill in Wiltshire school grounds nicknamed Silbury’s little sister revealed as important neolithic monument
For generations, it has been scrambled up with pride by students at Marlborough College. But the mysterious, pudding-shaped mound in the grounds of the Wiltshire public school now looks set to gain far wider acclaim as scientists have revealed it is a prehistoric monument of international importance.
After thorough excavations, the Marlborough mound is now thought to be around 4,400 years old, making it roughly contemporary with the nearby, and far more renowned, Silbury Hill.
The new evidence was described by one archeologist, an expert on ancient ritual sites in the area, as “an astonishing discovery”. Both neolithic structures are likely to have been constructed over many generations.
The Marlborough mound had been thought to date back to Norman times. It was believed to be the base of a castle built 50 years after the Norman invasion and later landscaped as a 17th-century garden feature. But it has now been dated to around 2400BC from four samples of charcoal taken from the core of the 19 metre-high hill. Read more.
Panaji, May 10 (PTI) World heritage monument Basilica of Bom Jesus, one of the most famous sites on the itinerary of tourists in Goa and home to five-century old relics of St Francis Xavier, is sitting on a “fire bomb” as short circuits are often reported due to faulty electric wiring, a senior Church official said today.
Fr Savio Barretto, Rector - Basilica of Bom Jesus, said their frequent communications with Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to replace the damaged wires have evoked no response. Read more.