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NE WSNE WSNE WSNE WSNE WSN ARCHAEOLOGY DAY Archaeology Day has proved difficult to organise this year. All events that have been arranged in Ulster are to be held on Saturday 26 May. For the remainder of the country the Archaeology Day will be incorporated into the OPW Heritage Day to be held on Sunday 8 July. Full details will be given in the next edition.

the dozens of medieval moated sites which we have located suggest that Norman settlement in Co. Sligo may have been more widespread than previously suspected.”

A wide range of activities are to be held in Ulster. These include - field trips, exhibitions, painting competitions and talks. A flotilla of traditonal-rigged craft will visit archaeological sites on Strangford Lough.

On the subject of the significance of the SMR for Co. Sligo Mr Gibbons said “This, the first comprehensive survey of Co. Sligo, shows that it has an archaeological heritage unrivalled in Ireland. By using the SMR list the planning authorities can plan properly for the county’s heritage and they can even devise tourist programmes around it.”

nearby or may have been found as fossil wood in the bog. Unfortunately the track was in an area earmarked for forestry and has been almost totally destroyed. The possible use of fossil wood presents presents the problem of establishing the exact date of construction. A radiocarbon date of 5190±70bc was obtained from timber samples from the track. Even allowing for the use of fossil wood, this date suggests that the track may be the oldest known example in the world! This makes its recent destruction all the more regrettable.

Full details of the programme may be obtained from Claire Foley, Historic Monuments and Buildings Branch DOE (NI), 66 Balmoral Avenue, Belfast BT9 6NY. Tel. Belfast 661621.

SMR FOR CO. SLIGO COMPLETED The Sites and Monuments Record for Co. Sligo has been completed by the Sites and Monuments Record Office for the Office of Public Works. This is the tenth county to be completed by the SMR office since it started work in 1985. Planning offices and other agencies whose work involves landscape change will soon receive constraint maps and manuals listing the locations of all known and suspected archaeological sites within Co. Sligo.

Over 4,500 sites and areas of archaeological interest were located in the county. Michael Gibbons, director of the Sligo project, states that a surprising number of the sites are in an excellent state of preservation: “Use of aerial photographs has led to the identification of hundreds of previously unidentified archaeological sites. The records of the Sligo Field Club, and in particular assistance from Martin Timoney, have bolstered the number of sites identified in Co. Sligo. Indeed the identification of some site types should lead to a reappraisal of aspects of Sligo’s history; for example,

WOODEN TRACKWAYS IN LULLYMORE BOG, CO. KILDARE A survey of Lullymore bog, Co. Kildare was recently undertaken by Aonghus Moloney as part of an MA thesis in University College, Dublin. Here he outlines some of his most important results.

‘During the survey 38 previously unknown wooden trackways were discovered in areas of the bog currently being exploited by Bord na Mona. The majority were found on or close to the surface and the line of the track could be followed in most cases. The tracks joined several large islands in the bog with the dryland perimeter and, in nearly all cases, followed the easiest and shortest route between the two.

All were constructed of brushwood or small roundwood and the largest was less than 1.5m in width. Their small size and fragile nature may be the reason why they were previously undiscovered. Radiocarbon dates obtained from Dr Jan Lanting in Groningen indicate that the majority of the tracks were constructed in the Iron Age period, between 380 and 320 be. Several were found at a much lower level however, where the peat had been cut away to a far greater extent. One of these tracks was constructed solely of crudely-split pine timbers laid transversely to give a fairly stable walking surface. The pine either grew

Further radiocarbon determinations are being sought to try and establish a more exact construction date. Pine tracks were not confined to this early phase as an example with a considerable pine content was discovered from the main construction phase dating to 340± be. The timber here was clearly not fossil-pine and this indicates that was growing in the area during this phase. Hazel was the most common species used in constructing the tracks and it represented 67% of the total amount of timber used. Nearly all the hazel was found as brushwood rods. This indicates control of tree growth by coppicing. The trackways excavated by Dr Barry Raftery in Longford have also indicated this early woodland mangement practice.

It is hoped that the Lullymore material will be published fully in the near future and that this may highlight the need for further work in this field. The large number of trackways now known in Longford and Lullymore indicate the probablity of similar material occurring elsewhere. Trackways such as these need to be investigated before they are destroyed completely.

All of the raised bogs currently under production will have reached pre-archaeology levels by the end of decade and over 60% in less than five years. As only 7% of the total area of raised bog in Ireland is still in its natural state one can appreciate the scale of the problem and the need for further action.’


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