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A Surprise Discovery in Ireland

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Tullaghoge-Fort-County-Tyrone-ireland-oneillCOUNTY TYRONE, NORTHERN IRELAND—At the site of Tullaghoge Fort, the hilltop where chieftans of the O’Neill clan were crowned from the 14th to 17th century, archaeologists have uncovered surprising evidence of inhabitants of this area from a much earlier time period when people first settled on the islands, reports the Belfast Telegraph. "We were looking back 700 years and we got 7,000, that would be a good way to put it," archaeologist John O’Keefe told the paper. During excavations in preparation for a new visitors’ center, researchers have unearthed flint tool fragments dating to before 5000 B.C. They also found other evidence at Tullaghoghe Fort that will help to fill in the site’s history before the powerful O’Neills ruled the land, including traces of cereal harvesting there during the 7th to 9th centuries A.D. "We think we have a better understanding of the site as it would have been when the O'Neills were there but now we have found this other layer of history that we didn't expect to find," said O'Keeffe. To read more about a series of puzzling Bronze Age structures in Ireland. Go to "Letter from Ireland: Mystery of the Fulacht Fiadh."

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