Flintstones found in Cornamucklagh…

No, not Fred and Wilma, this is the real thing. As part of the preparations for the Narrowwater bridge that came to nothing, the proposed site at the back of the Ferry Wood was investigated by archaeologists.

The tests were done in the immediate vicinity of the ‘Round Tower’ (which is in fact a late 19th century navigational aid and the only known round tower fitted with a solar panel).

The earliest finds were from the early Mesolithic, five flint cutting tools dated to 4316-4052 BC. One of them is described as a possible drill bit but it wouldn’t fit your Black & Decker. They also found a‘fulachta fia’ or cooking site based on hot-stone technology from 3336-2943 BC.

After a successful hunt the prey (fia = deer) was brought to a cooking place consisting of a stone-lined trench beside a water course. Large round beach stones were heated in a fire and then rolled into the water-filled trench where the butchered carcases had been laid.

The cooked meat would of course keep much better. Nearby they found evidence of medieval industrial activity including metal-working and kilns for drying corn for milling.

A 10th century decorated pin with signs of Viking artistic influences was found. In the woods nearby, a little monastery at Kill Snamh was wiped out by Vikings in 841. Full report in the Louth Archaeological and Historical Journal, XXXVIII, 3

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