Experts have confirmed that a stone circle on the southern side of the Gleann Cholm Cille valley most likely dates to the Bronze Age, ending a riddle that has puzzled archaeologists for decades.
The structure, a ‘ring cairn’ made up of ‘two concentric stone circles, with cairn material between them, the outer circle lower than the inner circle’, was examined by Caimin O’Brien, an archaeologist with the Archaeological Survey of Ireland.
The stone circle is ‘probably the first half of the bronze age’, dating between 2600BC and 1500BC.
The discovery was made possible by Seamus McGinley, a native of the area who researched old papers describing the archaeological heritage of the area and interviewed local people about their knowledge to fill in the gaps in the record.
Archaeologists were previously puzzled that the valley shows evidence of human activity in the stone age, and later in the iron age and early Christian era up to the present, but not during the bronze age.
The new discovery confirms that people have lived there continuously for up to six thousand years.
The monument will now be added to the ‘Record of Monuments and Places’, an index of all archaeological sites in Ireland.
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