Belfast Telegraph

Friday 19 December 2014

Crannog dig team gets one last reprieve

Archaeologists pictured  at The site of the  Drumclay Crannog in Fermanagh. Presseye.com
Archaeologists pictured at The site of the Drumclay Crannog in Fermanagh. Presseye.com

One of Ireland's richest archaeological digs has won another week-long reprieve – but that's it.

Roads Minister Danny Kennedy says there can't be any more delays to work on the A32 Cherrymount Link Road near Enniskillen which has been held up by the treasure trove of historical artefacts discovered.

Archaeologists are working round the clock to excavate as much material as possible from the Fermanagh site, before the major roads project goes ahead.

Mr Kennedy had previously granted a week's extension to the dig which was due to come to a halt at the end of March. It has now been extended again until April 15.

"I have given this issue very careful consideration and have had to balance my desire to complete the Cherrymount link before the G8 Summit, alongside the historical importance of the crannog," Mr Kennedy said.

"I asked my Permanent Secretary to visit the site and speak to those involved on the dig in an effort to identify the timescale for completion.

"Following these discussions, he has advised me that the additional time should enable the excavation work to be completed. On that basis, I am prepared to allow the work to continue until 15 April."

Archaeologist Jean O'Dowd, who has called for the crannog to be properly investigated, said: "There is the possibility that hundreds of years of history could still be uncovered."

5 amazing finds

1. A wooden bowl incised with a Latin cross – may have been a wine strainer or implement for communion or baptism.

2. Eighteen combs, including some made of antler with bone rivets.

3. An ornate stick pin, used to pin a cloak in place, but could have doubled as a stiletto-like weapon.

4. A pawn-like wooden gaming piece.

5. Parts of at least two different log boats and a wooden oar.

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