IT MAY have been ' lost' for a millennium, but Annagassan's Linn Duachaill has taken its place as one of the world's top ten Viking settlements, according to Louth County Museum curator, Brian Walsh.
Predicting that it will take generations for the 80-ace site outside the seaside village to reveal all its treasures, he describes the perfectly preserved longphort as 'mind-blowing'.
This site has been hailed worldwide as one of the top 10 international archeological finds and a forthcoming international conference ' Raiders, Traders and Innovators' will focus on its importance in the Viking world.
Just 12 months after the test trenches lead to the 'rediscovery' of Linn Duachaill, which was founded in the same year as Dublin (841), the site's potential from both an archaeological and economic point of view is huge.
Brian Walsh is certainly enthusiastic about the Viking longphort site, which was used as a base to raid inland as far as Longford and up to Armagh and also as a trading town from where slaves were exported, looted goods stores and of course, Viking boats were repaired.
It was finally abandoned for a number of reasons including the poor tides and shallow waters of Dundalk Bay which meant the Vikings took their boats to be repaired in Dublin.' To say, it was a lucky find is an understatement. It is a fully intact town which comes from the earliest period of Viking settlement in Ireland. I believe it will keep giving up its treasures and artifacts for thirty, forty or even sixty years,' says the curator
Two pieces found in Annagassan, a slave chain made of iron and a whet stone that was used to sharpen small implements will be part of an exhibition highlight the nature and extent of Viking activity in Louth which starts in the County Museum, Dundalk on Friday, October 21st and runs until February.
A two day conference, 'Raiders, Traders and Innovators on October 22nd and 23rd, will also highlight the nature and extent of Viking activity in the county. The conference, being held in Dundalk Town Hall, will feature the story behind the discovery and ultimate identification of the Linn Duachaill site in Annagassan and artifacts recovered from sites in County Louth include slave chains, axes, knives, buckets, combs and brooches.