New Archaeological Discoveries in Ireland

I’m reading Graham Robb’s fascinating new book about rediscovering the ancient roadways of the continental Celtic world (it’s called The Discovery of Middle Earth in the US, and The Ancient Paths in Ireland and the UK) and I’ll review it soon) and interviewing another author for an article I’m going to post next week, so time is short right now. Here are some links to interesting new archaeological discoveries relating to Ireland and the ancient Celtic world in lieu of a longer post to get the week off to a good start.

County Kerry Snails: Early Immigrants from Central Europe

Cepaea Nemoralis (Wikimedia Commons, Photo: Michael Gäbler)

Cepaea Nemoralis (Source: Wikimedia Commons, Photo: Michael Gäbler)

Geneticists studying Irish snails have discovered a species in Co. Kerry which is directly related to snails in Europe. Cepaea nemoralis or Grove Snails, are not related to any other snail found in Ireland, but instead hail from the Pyrennes, and seem to have first appeared in Ireland 8000 years ago, along with the first continental Europeans. It’s thought these snails were deliberately brought as a delicacy, rather than being accidental passengers. This would have been before the land bridge connecting Ireland to Europe at the end of the last ice age was submerged and washed away. We Irish have rather lost the taste for snails since then.

Read more at…

The River Liffey’s Ancient Name: An Ruirthech, the Stampeding One

The Liffey passing the Ha'penny Bridge  (source: wikipedia commons)

The Liffey (source: wikipedia commons)

Before the River Liffey became a narrow and muddy sliver meandering through the center of a modern capital city, it was a wide and unpredictable flood plain that regularly devastated settlers and invading armies.

Read all about it over at…





First New passage Tomb in 200 years Discovered in Boyne Valley

The entrance to Newgrange showing the famous carved entrance stone, the doorway, and the roof box above that.


Archaeologist working for the Heritage Council surveying the Boyne Valley with modern techniques have announced the discovery of the first new passage grave in 200 years in the vicinity of the Brú-na-Bóinne World Heritage Site. Measuring just 25 cm above the surrounding field, the long-lost tomb was practically indistinguishable from the surrounding fields. Geophysical survey techniques have now indicated a central passage and a three-chambered central enclosure, typical of passage graves in the region.

Read more over at Past Horizons…


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