MODERN day Raiders of the Lost Ark could be getting away with a priceless fortune of Roman and Celtic artefacts from one of the greatest unexcavated historical sites in Europe.Two men were discovered on the 48 acre site at Drumanagh, between Loughshinny and Rush, with metal detectors recently, sparking a search by local gardai but the pair had escaped before being
MODERN day ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’ could be getting away with a priceless fortune of Roman and Celtic artefacts from one of the greatest unexcavated historical sites in Europe.
Two men were discovered on the 48 acre site at Drumanagh, between Loughshinny and Rush, with metal detectors recently, sparking a search by local gardai but the pair had escaped before being apprehended.
The Drumanagh site is a massive fortification, defended by sheer cliffs on three sides and the remains of battlements and surrounding ditches on the remaining side.
It hit the headlines some years ago when a noted professor stated that he believed it was the location for a Roman invasion of Ireland.
Dr Richard Warner caused a real stir when he stated that he felt it had a very strong Roman link.
Since then, various experts have argued over the subject, without being totally sure.
If the ‘Roman invasion’ was ever proved then Irish and European history would have to be rewritten.
In the past, various items were recovered from the site and ultimately ended up in the hands of the National Museum. It was never disclosed what the items were, but it is believed that they are of a Roman origin. Aerial photographs indicate that the outline of buildings can still be seen.
But what makes the privately-owned Drumanagh so special and why would the average metal detector fan be so interested in unearthing its treasure?
The site has been for thousands of years and more than likely was a base for various groups in that time.
In 1927, just across the narrow waters on Lambay Island, a number of Roman burials were discovered. Some years ago the whole subject of Drumanagh made it into the courts after Roman items were recovered from the Loughshinny site.
The Roman influence in Fingal has to be fully proved but if any region in Ireland could have been settled – it was here!
Evidence of Roman finds have been given in Barry Raftery’s book ‘Pagen Celtic Ireland.’
In the 1970s, a sherd of 1st century Gallo-Roman Samian ware was found after deep ploughing near Drumanagh. Second century coins were found in a ploughed field nearby.
Indeed, he suggests that a possible translation of Drumanagh or its origins means ‘the hill of Menapii’ – an ancient North European tribe.
It has also been disclosed that a Roman bun-shaped ingot of copper was found at Damastown, Naul.
The Romans mined copper in Wales and the find was similar to items found there.
Was it an encampment or just a major trading post? - those are the questions to be answered.