Archaeologist: Human life on Aran 9,000 years ago...

June 8 (ANI): An archaeologist has said that a number of significant finds in the Corrib catchment area in Ireland suggests a large human presence in the region 9,000 years ago.

According to a report in Irish Times, the finds include two stone axes in Galway city and county, which point to a "major" hunter-gatherer presence on the Corrib catchment up to 9,000 years ago.

The axes were found in Ballybane and in the garden of a private house in Clifden, Co Galway, and are the latest in a number of significant finds recorded by archaeologist Michael Gibbons in the last couple of months.

Gibbons has recently recorded a large court tomb overlooking Streamstown Bay in Connemara, where the earliest evidence for human settlement in west Connemara has been unearthed.

He has also located two previously unmapped stone forts and a fulacht fiadh, or ancient cooking place, between Leenane and Croagh Patrick; a stone fort near Ballynahinch and an oyster midden at Ballynakill bay, both in Co Galway; a cashel near Casla, Co Galway; and a number of arrowheads on Inishbofin island.

The Ballybane green stone axe is "an important find from the Corrib catchment area and is one of a whole series of axes that have been discovered over the years in and around lower Lough Corrib and the Corrib river itself," said Gibbons.

"Dating of the axes is both mesolithic and neolithic, he said.

"It is clear that there was a major mesolithic (hunter-gatherer) presence on the Corrib catchment between 6,000 and 9,000 years ago. It makes perfect sense, given the range of resources that were accessible from a base camp in or near the present Galway city," he added.

According to Gibbons, resources for the hunter gatherer camps would have included migrating salmon, large stocks of eels, and fish, seals and shellfish in and around Galway Bay as far as the Aran Islands.

"The Corrib river system would have provided easy access up-country into the mountains of Connemara and up into the Turlough belt in the limestone land between Cong and Tuam, via the Clare river," he said. (ANI)

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