Prehistoric archaeology of the M3, Navan to Kells and N52, Kells Bypass Road Project
In this latest publication in the TII Heritage series, we discover another ‘Book of Kells’, which records the long prehistory of Kells and its hinterland.
The story begins with Mesolithic hunter-gatherers, who foraged in a forested, primeval landscape, and left traces of a campsite on a gravel ridge in Cakestown Glebe, by the River Blackwater. It continues, chapter by chapter, over a span of c. 5,000 years, recording the homes, burial grounds, work and worship of Neolithic, Bronze Age and Iron Age communities. It brings us at last to the threshold of history, in the Iron Age/early medieval transition period, when we meet agricultural workers on tillage land in Kilmainham, stocking the cereal-drying kilns that would secure their surplus grain harvest for the winter. Kells was not yet the seat of a famous monastery at that time but had already become a central place in the region, with a tribal capital at Commons of Lloyd on the hill that overlooks the town today.
Fintan Walsh is a consultant archaeologist with over 20 years’ experience in the commercial archaeology sector. He has widely published his work and has presented the results of this work at numerous conferences.