5,000 year-old sites found in Derry

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Archaeologists have unearthed eight neolithic sites in Derry (Northern Ireland), some more than 5,000 years old. The exciting discoveries were made during work on the new Maydown dual carriageway and include a pair of well-preserved 5,000 years-old Neolithic houses and 4,000 years-old Bronze Age burial places known as 'ring-ditches'. The discoveries also include Bronze age pottery, flint tools and human bones.

Archaeology firm John Cronin & Associates found the ancient remains in recent weeks. They're working on behalf of Lagan Group and Roads Service during work on the A2 Maydown to City of Derry Airport road dualling scheme. The company has confirmed that six of the sites have already been "fully excavated and recorded". "Two Neolithic houses have been excavated near Cloghole Road and were found to be rectangular structures, probably built of very large upright timber posts and planks, with substantial heavy roofs. The discovery of Neolithic houses of this scale is unusual, not many examples have been excavated to date and it is therefore an exciting discovery for this area of Northern Ireland," said Archaeological Site Director, Martin McGonigle.

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