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Iron Age Feasts in Ireland Drew Guests from Afar

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Iron Age Feasts IrelandNAVAN FORT, NORTHERN IRELAND—Cardiff University announced that pig bones unearthed at Navan Fort, the legendary capital of the Irish province of Ulster, shows that from the fourth to first centuries B.C. the site’s rulers hosted feasts that drew guests from distant parts of Ireland. Cardiff University archaeologist Richard Madgwick analyzed the chemical signatures in the tooth enamel of 35 animals from the site to track down the geographical areas where they were raised. He found that people were feasting on animals raised from as far away as Galway, on Ireland's western coast, a journey of well over 100 miles. "Our results provide clear evidence that communities in Iron Age Ireland were very mobile and that livestock were also moved over greater distances than was previously thought,” said Madwick. A similar study conducted by Madgwick at Neolithic sites in England was one of ARCHAEOLOGY’s Top 10 Discoveries of 2019. Go to “Neolithic Henge Feasts” to read more about the research. 

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