Friday, 15 December 2006

Magazine on ancient discoveries launched by NRA

The Irish Times article on the new NRA mag SEANDA:

A new magazine detailing the latest discoveries by the National Roads Authority's (NRA) archaeological team was launched yesterday.
Seanda, the first annual archaeology magazine produced by the NRA, was launched in Dublin by Minister for Transport Martin Cullen.
The magazine features some of the main sites and artefacts found by the NRA's archaeological team over the years. The NRA spends close to €20 million on uncovering and excavating archaeological sites each year; several hundred sites have been discovered so far in 2006.
"There's 170,000 known archaeological sites in the country and that really is the tip of the iceberg," said Dáire O'Rourke, head of archaeology at the NRA, yesterday. "We can find a major archaeological site, maybe one every five kilometres and smaller sites - maybe one every one to two kilometres," she said.
Ms O'Rourke said the magazine serves as a "snapshot" of the sites that have been uncovered in the last year, which include prehistoric settlements and burial grounds. "What we try to do is to identify archaeological sites and then excavate them in advance of construction," she said.
Along the proposed M3 Clonee- North of Kells motorway, early medieval sites, a 13th-century ring brooch and a 19th-century post office were
discovered. Ninety-four archaeological sites were uncovered along the proposed M7 Portlaoise- Castletown and M8 Portlaoise- Cullahill motorway.
Another find featured in the magazine is of about 1,200 skeletons at a cemetery thought to have been in use between the 13th and 15th centuries at Ballyhanna, outside Ballyshannon, Co Donegal. The discovery was made during the building of the N15 Bundoran-Ballyshannon bypass in 2004. A three-year research project, between Donegal County Council, the NRA, Queen's University Belfast and Sligo IT, has been set up to examine the findings.
Seanda is free and will be sent to schools, libraries and local authorities.

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