Exhibition of Artefacts [Borderland] is Extended

The Clare Champion, Friday, June 3, 2011

By Dan Danaher

A huge response to the archaeological discoveries along the route of the Gort to Crusheen motorway has resulted in an extension of the exhibition at the Clare Museum.

Entitled Borderland, the exhibition is based on excavations carried out at 22 sites undertaken by Irish Archaeological Consultancy Ltd (IAC) on behalf of the National Road Authority (NRA) and Galway County Council. It had been due to close at the end of May but has no been extended until June 25th.

It is expected that a monograph detailing the results of the project will be published by the NRA later this year.

Museum Curator, John Rattigan, said an application for a month extension was recently granted by the National Museum.

“There has been great interest in the exhibition, especially from people living in the Gort and Crusheen area and those interested in local history and archaeology generally, which prompted the extension”, he said.

Finds from the excavations currently on display include prehistoric pottery, stone tools, glass beads, a saddle back quernstone and a rare bone gaming that dates to the Iron Age.

The artefacts on show comprise the most interesting items for display and when the exhibition has ended, the collection will be assessed the National Museum when a final decision regarding long-term storage will be made.

As all the reporting and specialist analysis associated with the project has been completed, the site archives, including all field notes, paper archive, reports, site plans and photographs, will be lodged with the National Monuments Service Archive Section on the Department of Environment and Local Government.

The exhibition is the culmination of a long programme of archaeological works that the IAC have been involved in since 2007 along the M18.

As a result of test trench excavations along the route of the motorway, 22 excavations were carried out over a number of sites ranging in date from the Neolithic, Bronze Age, Iron Age, early medieval, medieval and modern periods.

All sites were manually excavated by a crew of archaeologists with all finds catalogued and recorded.

These reports with illustrations and full specialist appendices are available to view on the Clare County Library website at www.clarelibrary.ie/eolas/coclare/archaeology.

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