Enormous Temples Found at Northern Ireland’s Iron Age Navan Fort


Evidence of Enormous Temples Found at Northern Ireland’s Navan Fort

Alex Fox/Smithsonianmag.com

According to popular lore, Navan Fort—a circular earthwork near the city of Armagh in Northern Ireland—was once the seat of the much-mythologized kings of Ulster. Now, reports Irish radio station RTÉ, archaeologists have discovered evidence of extensive activity at the site, including a vast Iron Age temple complex and residences perhaps occupied by these legendary monarchs during the early medieval era.

The findings, published in the Oxford Journal of Archaeology, are “quite significant,” study co-author Patrick Gleeson, an archaeologist at Queen’s University Belfast, tells RTÉ. He describes Navan Fort as an “incredibly important place,” emphasizing both its archaeological value and centrality in famous Irish myths including Táin Bó Cuailainge and the story of Cú Chulainn.

Previously, researchers had thought that Ireland’s ancient inhabitants abandoned the site around 95 B.C. But the newly identified structures extend the fort’s history through the first or second millennium A.D., ensuring it “is no longer relegated to pre-history,” says Gleeson.

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  1. I wish some anthropologists or archeologists would do a deeper dive into what became of the Clovis people, who inhabited the area of the continental US prior to the last great Ice Age, approximately 12,000 years ago. There is evidence of their culture from New Mexico to the Chesapeake Bay. It’s speculated that they were wiped out by a comet impact, but the trail ends with no trace of them after a certain soil strata layer.

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