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6,000-year-old shellfish cooker found on Irish beach

Archeologists in the Burren have uncovered one of the oldest records of human inhabitance ever unearthed in Ireland.

Radiocarbon dating of a shellfish midden, located on Fanore Beach in north Clare, have revealed it to be at least 6,000 years old -- hundreds of years older than the nearby Poulnabrone dolmen.

The midden, which is a cooking area where nomad hunter-gatherers boiled or roasted shellfish, contained a number of Stoneage implements including two axes and a number of smaller stone tools.

Excavation of the site has also revealed a mysterious black layer of organic material, which archeologists believe may be the results of a Stoneage tsunami which hit the west Clare coast, possibly wiping out the people who used the midden.

The midden was discovered by local woman, Elaine O'Malley, in 2009.

Belfast Telegraph