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Ancient rock art discovery at Teltown, Co. Meath

Prof. George Eogan has made an exciting new archaeological discovery at Teltown, Co. Meath. Teltown House, and its environs, was recently purchased by Bartle and Reneé Clarke who were very conscious of the historical importance of the area and wished to ensure its long-term preservation.

Accordingly they discussed the issue with Professor George Eogan and invited him to carry out a research programme. This he initiated and already exciting information has come to light, the most significant of this are discoveries in the medieval / modern graveyard. This site was recently cleared of vegetation and the remains of a natural rock out crop with carved art generally circular in form was discovered.

Rock art

An example of the type of rock art found at Teltown. In this case, this rock art is from Drumirril, Co. Louth.

As Prof. Eogan explains “This type of rock art, post dates the passage tomb phase, at Knowth or Newgrange, and dates from about 2000BC. What is important about this discovery is the fact that it demonstrates that ritual activity was a feature of Tailteann about 2000 years before the period when
it became a great Celtic centre with its “games” and other contemporary activity. This new discovery demonstrates that Tailteann has a much more ancient origin than has hitherto been considered”.

This type of Art is known as “rock art” as it occurs on the surface of natural stone outcrops. In Ireland it is mainly found in the south, in the peninsulas of Cork and Kerry, but, with the exception of the Ballinvally
area in the low-lying land a short distance to the north of Loughcrew, is rare in Meath. This stone is, therefore, a welcome addition to the small but significant examples of rock art in the east of Ireland.

Teltown is one of the more important sites of Early Historic Ireland, where significant assemblies took place possibly starting back in the Iron age (centuries before and after the birth of Christ.) down to the 12th Century.

Teltown House opened as an approved country house in June 2005 and is well worth a visit to enjoy this key archaeological and historical site.

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