6,000-year-old shellfish cooker found on beach
Archeologists in the Burren have uncovered one of the oldest records of human inhabitance ever unearthed in Ireland.
Radiocarbon dating of a shellfish midden, located on Fanore Beach in north Clare, have revealed it to be at least 6,000 years old -- hundreds of years older than the nearby Poulnabrone dolmen.
The midden, which is a cooking area where nomad hunter-gatherers boiled or roasted shellfish, contained a number of Stoneage implements including two axes and a number of smaller stone tools.
Excavation of the site has also revealed a mysterious black layer of organic material, which archeologists believe may be the results of a Stoneage tsunami which hit the west Clare coast, possibly wiping out the people who used the midden.
The midden was discovered by local woman, Elaine O'Malley, in 2009.