Bronze Age site find "exciting"


ARCHAEOLOGISTS have made what is being described as an "extremely exciting" find on the route of the new Arklow bypass in Co Wicklow while carrying out work in advance of the roadworks.

What was thought to have been a simple ringfort site at Johnstown South, three kilometers north of Arklow town, has turned out to be a complex habitation site dating to the Bronze Age.

Since January, a team of archaeologists working on the enclosure have found Neolithic pottery, flint implements and clay moulds which would have been used up to 1800 BC to make bronze implements, according to a report in Archaeology Ireland.

A stone lined pit, with a capstone, which was uncovered under the bank of the enclosure, contained a cremation site. A smaller cremation pit was discovered in the interior of the site.

Last night, Ms Valerie J. Keeley, whose Athy based archaeological consultancy company is carrying out the work, said other finds at the site included flint, pottery shards and stone hammers.

"This is a most interesting site and, because of the amount of material we are turning up, we will not know what exactly we have until the full excavation has been completed," she said.

She said that from an archaeological point of view the site is unique. It incorporates burial tombs, dwelling places and evidence of industrial activity where objects would have been manufactured.

She said the site, which will be fully excavated, should not delay the road building unduly. Her company was responsible for the Iron Age site uncovered in the path of the Portlaoise by pass.