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Dublin: 8 °C Tuesday 18 December, 2018
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Parts of a logboat found by River Boyne anglers are 5,000 years old

“It is tempting to ponder the part such a vessel might have played in the construction of great passage tombs,” Minister Madigan said.

Fishermen Source: DCHG

THE REMAINS OF a 5,000-year-old logboat are confirmed to have been found in the River Boyne close to the Brú na Bóinne.

Although it is one of 11 logboats found in the River Boyne, this is the first boat found to date to the Neolithic period.

A sample of the wood has very recently been radiocarbon dated to between 3,300-2,900BC, the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht confirmed today.

The remains of the vessel consist of a three-metre-long piece wood which formed the base of the boat. It is estimated that the logboat was originally more than 4 metres long, shaped out of the trunk of an oak tree using stone axes.

It was found by four local anglers in 2016 while fishing on the river at Oldbridge, Co Meath. Stephen Murphy, Kieran Mahar, William Gregory and David Johnston immediately reported it to the heritage authorities.

The Neolithic the period is the time of the construction of the great passage tomb complexes of Knowth, Dowth and Newgrange.

The National Monuments Service Underwater Archaeology Unit and the National Museum of Ireland collaborated in recording the boat and carefully removing it from the river bed to the museum facilities, where it is currently undergoing conservation.

Heritage Minister Josepha Madigan thanked those involved in the discovery and conservation.

“This new knowledge adds to the wonderful archaeological discoveries made this summer across Brú na Bóinne and enhances our understanding of the people within this special landscape, so dominated by the great River Boyne which would have played such a central part in their lives.”

The period in which the boats were built coincides with the construction of the great passage tomb complexes of Knowth, Dowth and Newgrange.

It is tempting to ponder the part such a vessel might have played in the construction of these burial monuments and the lives of those who built them, in ferrying people along the river, and transporting materials and stones used to build the great tombs.

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