Ancient Waterways: Ireland’s Prehistoric Beginnings

On a misty morning eight thousand years ago, two young women pushed their way through the head-high reeds of a tidal estuary, six metres below the busy streets of what is now modern Dublin. As they stepped onto the shifting mud flats, their baskets, wattle work and fishing ground came into view, and they could see, even from this distance, that it had been a bountiful evening.

As Ireland’s land-hungry Celtic Tiger economic boom encroached on wetland landscapes once thought too boggy for modern development, it became clear that these sites, near to rivers, had been home to vibrant prehistoric communities that had settled along what would have been ancient thoroughfares. In the second part of this series on the top-ten sites of the Celtic Tiger, recently nominated as ‘Rescue Dig of the Year,’ we investigate the new evidence for Ireland’s prehistoric beginnings.

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