End of the road for ancient settlement

An ancient settlement discovered under the path of a road development will be concreted over this week after a team of archaeologists completed a race-against-time excavation.

As the final samples were taken from the 1,400 year-old Drumclay Crannog in Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh, experts who oversaw the dig on the man-made wooden island have hailed it as one of the most incredible finds in Ireland.

Excavation director Dr Nora Bermingham said: “I think it would be fair to say that this is probably the pinnacle of my archaeological career and I would say everybody here knows they are working on an incredible excavation that we probably won’t see the like of again.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Such expert assessment is part of reason the decision to proceed with the road build has been met with vocal local opposition.

For 10 months archaeologists worked nearly non-stop to peel back century upon century of perfectly preserved remains from the wetland site while the A32 road project was halted.

More than 4,000 artefacts, including a medieval board game, a gold ring, finely decorated metal dress pins, leather shoes, drinking vessels and carved bowls, were uncovered inside the flattened wooden homes. Even a 600-year-old human body was found.

The plan is that most will eventually go on public display in Enniskillen once they are studied further and treated with special preservatives.