Madigan announces further stunning archaeological discoveries in County Meath
Further to the recent discovery by drone photography of a large prehistoric enclosure close to the Great Neolithic Passage Tomb of Newgrange, more extremely significant sites have been found by aerial survey carried out by the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht in the area of the Brú na Bóinne World Heritage Landscape.
Announcing the new discoveries, Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Josepha Madigan, T.D, praised Anthony Murphy and Ken Williams for their discovery of the large crop marked enclosure last week and for reporting it promptly to the Department.
The extremely dry and extraordinary weather conditions of recent weeks has led to many previously unknown and buried archaeological sites appearing as crop marks in fields right across Europe.
Minister Madigan said ‘After my Department being informed of a significant archaeological discovery last week near Newgrange, which we are very grateful to Mr Murphy and Mr Williams for reporting, my Department ‘s National Monuments Service carried out an aerial survey on Friday to scan the Newgrange landscape for any additional features, in the knowledge that these rare ground conditions and crop mark phenomena affords a rare opportunity to uncover further secrets held in our landscape”
‘The reconnaissance carried out Friday by archaeologists from our National Monuments Service has resulted in the discovery of an array of very significant additional archaeological features in the vicinity across the River Boyne floodplain South of the Newgrange Passage Tomb. With further research we know these fascinating finds will add greatly to our knowledge of the wonderful Brú na Bóinne World Heritage landscape’.
The scale of these archaeological discoveries – most likely dating to the Neolithic period around 5000 years ago – is simply unparalleled in Ireland. Further study of them will have the potential to transform our understanding of the Bru na Bóinne archaeological landscape and Neolithic society. As a first step, they will now be mapped to allow a better understanding of their spatial relationship to each other and the many other monuments already known in the area.