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Thursday 15 November 2018

Heatwave sun sheds light on prehistoric art

Discovery: Anthony Murphy found a previously unknown henge near Newgrange in Co Meath, using his drone. Photos: Ciara Wilkinson / Anthony Murphy
Discovery: Anthony Murphy found a previously unknown henge near Newgrange in Co Meath, using his drone. Photos: Ciara Wilkinson / Anthony Murphy

Elaine Keogh

Dozens of heritage sites discovered during the summer heatwave "have the potential to transform our understanding of the landscape".

That's according to the Department of Culture, Heritage and Gaeltacht, who released a list of 71 new national monuments in 12 counties reported from June to August this year.

The majority are in Louth and Meath, with 13 and 25 new monuments respectively, but discoveries were also made across the country and include possible rock art and prehistoric art as well as enclosures, Bronze Age cemeteries, ring ditches, souterrains, ecclesiastical enclosures and a road.

The major discovery was a previously unknown henge near Newgrange, found by Anthony Murphy and Ken Williams, which continues to excite international interest among archaeologists.

The department said: "We can confirm that on present evidence the site which was discovered by drone by Anthony Murphy and Ken Williams in proximity to the Great Passage Tomb of Newgrange has been classified as a henge, a type of prehistoric ritual enclosure, in this case formed by a concentric series of ditches and large pits, which might have once held large timber posts."

During the whole of 2017 there were 131 reports of potential monuments made to the service.

Sunday Independent

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