Friday, May 20, 2016

Bronze Age artefact 'rediscovered' at Old Kilcullen

People going to the Old Kilcullen Gathering this coming Sunday will have an unexpected treat, as Gerry O'Donoghue has rediscovered a fairly forgotten Bronze Age ring barrow burial site during his researches for the event, writes Brian Byrne.

Although it has been long officially catalogued, very few locals have been aware of the artefact, which is located on a grassy triangle bounded by two roads and a lane.

The barrow is clearly visible on Google Earth images, and Gerry has also resurrected an aerial photograph from the 1970s which shows the U-shaped burial area.

The two pictures also reveal how a road realignment has moved traffic closer to the barrow, which is difficult to see from ground level owning to the height of the grass.

The burial area obviously predates the Christian settlement of Old Kilcullen, and may well be linked to the nearby Dun Ailinne ancient royal site, where new archaeological excavations are scheduled to begin next month.

These are the first 'digs' at Dun Ailinne since those conducted there in the late 60s and early 70s by the later Professor Bernard Wailes.

The Old Kilcullen Gathering is the second of its kind, and begins at 3pm on Sunday.