Thursday, June 16, 2016

Excavations in train on Dun Ailinne

The archaeological excavations currently in train at Dun Ailinne are yielding very interesting information, writes Brian Byrne.

Under the direction of Dr Susan Johnston of the Department of Anthropology in George Washington University, who is conducting it as a 'training excavation' involving the Irish Archaeological Field School, the 'dig' is in collaboration with Professor Pam Crabtree of New York University.

Dr Johnston was the editor of the final report on the excavations carried out by Professor Bernard Wailes on the hill site between 1968-1975.

Since 2006 she has conducted a number of remote sensing surveys on the site, which is believed by many experts to be just as important as the other 'royal' sites such as Tara and and Navan Fort.

The work being carried out through the month of June is designed to confirm findings of the remote sensing surveys, which showed a wider perimeter to the site than had been originally thought.

So far, the students and archaeologists working there have found traces of that perimeter, as well as a significant number of animal bones and charcoal, confirming that Dun Ailinne was probably a ceremonial and celebratory site of significance.

A number of local people have been helping out with the work. Pictured above are Sabina Reddy and Conor Williams doing some digging.

A presentation on the latest findings will be given on Tuesday next, 21 June, in Kilcullen's Town Hall Theatre. All are welcome to the event, which is free of charge.

NOTE: Dun Ailinne itself is not open to public visits as it is on private land, and the excavations are being carried out by kind permission of the Thompson family.