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Subject: Dun Aonghusa, Tara
From: "S.T.Champion" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:CELTIC-L - The Celtic Culture List.
Date:Wed, 9 Feb 1994 10:10:25 GMT
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In response to Samuel's query, earlier published material on these sites is
best sought in such books as O'Kelly's Prehistoric Ireland, for some of the
excavations, for example at Tara, have never been published.  De Valera's
excavation of the Mound of the Hostages at Tara - a neolithic passage tomb
dating to the end of the 3rd millennium BC - is published but I haven't got the
reference handy - I'll look it up for you.  It is clear from what we do know
of Tara from this and other unpublished excavations that the Hill of Tara was
a focus for ritual and other monuments from at least the neolithic period
onwards, and while it became a so-called 'royal site' towards the end of the
prehistoric period and at the beginning of the historic, there is an
accumulation of a variety of different monument types *of different date* which
were given their romanticised names, eg the Banqueting Hall, much later (this
monument is probably some form of prehistoric cursus monument, for example,
and certainly isn't a banqueting hall).
 
Both Tara and Dun Aonghusa have been the subject of work by the Discovery
Programme of the Board of Works during the last two years.  Claire Cotter's
excavations at Dun Aonghusa have so far revealed late Bronze Age occupation in
the interior, predating the stone walls in their present format, while Conor
Newman has carried out the first full survey of Tara and its surrounding region
using geophysical and other techniques.  They would certainly be the best
people to contact.  I have the address in another place, so I'll post the ref
and the address tomorrow.  I hope this is of some help, Sara
 
           *******************************************************
           *  Sara Champion M.A., D. Phil   *  I have spread     *
           *  Department of Archaeology     *  my dreams under   *
           *  University of Southampton     *  your feet;        *
           *  Southampton SO9 5NH, U.K.     *  Tread softly,     *
           *  email: [log in to unmask]  *  because you tread *
           *  Tel: 0703 557031              *  on my dreams.     *
           *******************************************************

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