Archaeology here and there

Archaeologists have been excavating two concentric timber circles, an example of a “relatively rare type of site”, dating from around the middle of the third millenium BC at Ballygawley, Co Tyrone, which were uncovered during the A4/A5 road improvements scheme. Meanwhile, in Dublin, the foundations of a 17th Century theatre, the Smock [Smoke] Alley Theatre, along with a number of artefacts have been uncovered in a €8million project to reinstate the theatre on its original site – RTE report here [RealPlayer file]. From the Irish Times report

The original Smoke Alley theatre, which dates from 1662, was the first theatre in Dublin to secure a royal patent, issued following Oliver Cromwell’s death. It would have been where English actor and theatre manager David Garrick (1717-1779) staged his version of Hamlet. The theatre also staged works by Richard Brinsley Sheridan (1751-1816), whose father, Thomas, was the theatre’s manager.

Adds Eight neolithic sites have also been found during work on the A2 Maydown to City of Derry Airport road-widening scheme.

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  • Drumlins Rock

    the history of this country is still amazing, to go back over 4000 years on a small site no one knew was there and find such an elaborate structure should make us think that we are only here for a short period, the troubles are less than 1% of that time scale, the plantation is about 10% of it, the Normans 20%, Vikings 40%, the Gaels probably just over half the time, as for who or what was before that who really knows.

    The site is now an embankment on the new dual carriageway gone forever. This will be nothing compared to the sites the new A5 will “uncover”.

  • Greenflag

    ‘to go back over 4000 years on a small site no one knew was there and find such an elaborate structure’

    IIRC the earliest evidence of ‘homo sapiens ‘ in Ireland is at Sandalstown near Coleraine and dates from circ 7,000 BC or 9,010 years ago . Better not mention this to Mervyn Storey who is of the belief that the earth and all mankind was created only 6,000 years ago . He’s the NI DUP Minister for something or other 😉

    ‘ should make us think that we are only here for a short period’

    And if you been reading any of Pete’s more terrifying astronomical reports and tales of near misses on a galactic scale what with super novas and gamma bursts missing us by a few thousand miles mere inches on the galactic scale you would by now be of the certain conviction that it’s only a matter of time before homo sapiens and not so sapiens will be exiting the universal stage ;? the troubles are less than 1% of that time scale,

    ‘as for who or what was before that who really knows.’

    Well we know that homo sapiens entered Europe from the the east and south (modern day Ukraine /Russia some 40,000 years ago as bands of hunter gatherers . These hnters spread over almostr the entire continent bar the far north which was still under glaciers . Over several ice ages these people invarious groups found refuges in SW France /Northern Spain , Central Italy and the Balkans and from these ‘retreats ‘ returned North as the ice retreated . Most of the peoples of Britain , Ireland and large parts of western europe are descendants of those who found ‘refuge ‘ in SW France /N Spain according to the latest research anyway .

    These peoples would have spoken non indo european languages probably similar to modern day Basque or ancient Etruscan . The ‘Indo European ‘ languages ( German , Celtic , Slavic, Latin ) came into Europe much later from the east being all derived from older root languages . These languages spread west with their more settled (agricultural) cultures which were an advance on the earlier hunting gathering languages .

  • Drumlins Rock

    you trying to tell me that neither English, Irish, or Ulster Scots is the native language here! i’m shocked, lol

    Actually i have been wondering what sort of picture DNA is building up of our ancestry, if you base it solely on language then we currently are mainly of Anglo-saxon origin, but I think that is rather unlikely lol. on the other hand the chances the “native Irish” are Gaelic is also shall we say questionable, so did our ancestors build these things 5 millenium ago and does their genes still survive to a large extent in the population today.

    As for my own roots, tradition has it my family are of Scottish Pictish origin, although the name is Gealic. Although personally I think i am really a Cruthinic warrior 🙂

  • or a Gossock, DR? 🙂

  • Pete, can I let you into a secret?

    A prominent archaeologist believes that the remains of a 16th century tower house may have been fairly recently identified in ….., perhaps a structure that gave the ….. its name.

    Presumably the next stage will involve an archaeological dig. Will local council officials be constructive or obstructive? They’re a rum lot in the Kingdom of Moyle.

  • Greenflag

    ‘I think i am really a Cruthinic warrior 🙂 ‘

    naw make that crap warrior 😉 The Picts /Cruthin were not up to much . Shure were’nt they hammered by the Scots and everybody else ;)?

    ‘I have been wondering what sort of picture DNA is building up of our ancestry’

    Depends on what you mean by ‘our’ . If you are a member of homo sapiens 🙂 ? the oldest i.e the most genetically diverse human group is the Bushmen or San of Southern Africa thereafter the sub saharan africans and thereafter everyboby else . There is only one hominoid species left from the half a dozen or more who roamed the planet a million years ago and the probable 20 or so species of near humans who existed from 3 million to a million year ago

    Europeans i.e only came onto the stage about 35,000 BC and since that time they have differentiated into various ‘nations’ as a result of geography , culture , climate etc etc .

    If human populations had remained geographically separated for say another 250,000 years or so it’s quite possible that ‘speciation’ would result in various disparate populations not being able to interbreed . Although the SAN of Southern Africa have been geographically distant from say the Inuit of the Northern Artic and their common sapiens ancestor goes back at least 150,000 years they are still the same species and any mixed offspring of these groups would be just as ‘human’ as a resurrected ‘Pict ‘ or Cruthin or Etruscan etc

  • Greenflag

    Nevin ,

    ‘They’re a rum lot in the Kingdom of Moyle.

    I’d have thought whiskey & beer would be more in their line ;)?’

    Perhaps they’re related to the Rhumers from that other Rum in the Inner Hebrides where the rainfall is perpetual and the inhabitants are now down to 30 ?

    It is thought that George Bullough changed the island’s original Gaelic name from Rum to Rhum because he didn’t want the island associated with the alcholic drink and it was then changed back to its original name in 1991 by the then Nature Conservancy Council.

  • Ulster Scotch and poitín, Greenflag. I’m a non-alcoholic water man, myself; it’s great to remember the good times and I’d one of those last night – beyond the confines of the Kingdom 🙂