9,000-year-old fishing basket gives fresh perspective on early Irish life

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Dublin, September 6 (ANI): Construction work during roadwork in different counties in Ireland has revealed the remains of a 9,000-year-old fishing basket, along with other ancient artifacts, which give a fresh perspective on early Irish life.

According to a report in The Irish Times, the 9,000-year-old fishing basket was found at Clowanstown in Co Meath, a monastic bell-making facility was discovered at Clonfad in Co Westmeath and an "exceptional" raised wooden trackway was found close to the Dromod-Roosky bypass.

Archaeologist Dr Farina Sternke said that an excavation at Tullahedy in Co Tipperary had uncovered the remains of a palisade encircling a natural mound, which had been altered over time via the dumping of several layers of glacial soil.

"It was the first known major Neolithic landscaping project of its kind in Ireland," said Dr Sternke.he excavations also uncovered 3,335 lithic finds or stone tools, including 144 polished stone axeheads and fragments.

Archaeologists Caitríona Moore and Chiara Chirotti said excavations at Eldercloon Co Longford as part of the Dromod-Roosky bypass on the N4 had uncovered "an extremely well-preserved complex of wooden trackways and platforms" located in a raised bog.

The structures varied from large multi-phase trackways to small, simple structures built across short stretches of wetlands.

Radiocarbon dating suggested there was 4,000 years of activity starting in the Neolithic period.

Also recovered from the complex were the remains of bowls, spears and three wheels, including a portion of an unfinished block wheel which has been dated to the late Bronze Age (2200 BC-600 BC).

It is believed to be the oldest wheel found in Ireland.

A later sign of industry was the discovery of a facility to manufacture church bells, at Clonfad Co Westmeath.

According to Paul Stevens of archeologists Valerie J Keeley Ltd, the excavation produced one of the largest metalworking assemblages ever recovered from an Irish site of this date and type.

NRA archaeologist Richard O'Brien suggested that a number of large beads found at excavation sites across the country may be "whorls".

These are short, generally circular perforated objects used to give balance to spindles used to spin textiles.

The use of whorls pre-dated the spinning wheel and would have been popular in clothes making for about 3,500 years prior to the 15th or 16th centuries. (ANI)

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