There has been significant media interest in the discovery of previously unknown archaeological sites in eastern Ireland, using Google Earth. The story has been featured in Irish and international print and online media.
I've attempted to map only those sites that are previously unrecorded, to separate them out from those that are listed in the National Monuments database (or the Record of Monuments and Places or RMP). A great deal of the sites are in Kildare, Meath and Dublin, with only a few examples in the other surrounding counties.
Here's how the story has been reported in the Irish Independent:
The heatwave of last summer revealed a hidden treasure trove of ancient monuments across Ireland, satellite pictures reveal.
By examining images on websites such as Google Earth, experts have managed to pinpoint a series of ringforts and henges dating back centuries.
Many of them can be seen in crop fields where the farmers were unlikely to have known they existed before the drought of 2018 started to reveal hidden shapes in the fields.
Anthony Murphy of Mythical Ireland, with Ken Williams, found the first and most well known discovery of the heatwave - a previously unknown henge near Newgrange which continues to make international news.
Read the rest on the Independent.ie website.
For the moment, I am continuing the search. I expect to find more. Perhaps other members of the public will make discoveries in their own area.
I have been contacted by archaeologist Simon Dowling, who has also made a significant number of discoveries using Google Earth. He has spotted a HUGE number of sites, previously unknown, mainly in counties Laois, Kilkenny, Offaly and Meath. His discoveries have also been forwarded to the authorities. It is hoped that they will update the database with the new finds soon.
In the meantime, I am very impressed to see that my name has been added to a couple of sites in County Meath.
I was interviewed by my local radio station LMFM about the latest discoveries, and the major discovery last year of a late Neolithic henge (aka Dronehenge!) at Newgrange.
Enter the ‘Ancient Sites’ section of this blog for a fascinating and wide-ranging exploration of the megalithic and sacred sites of Ireland. Find out all about the Stone Age and prehistoric ruins and learn more about the possible functions and alignments of these sites. Visit the great temples of Brú na Bóinne, the Hill of Tara, the ancient cairns of Loughcrew among many others.
Explore the ancient myths, legends and folklore of Ireland and their meaning. Read the epic Táin Bó Cuailnge, or the place-name myths in the Dindshenchas. Learn about how the Tuatha Dé Danann and the Milesians came to Ireland and how the early texts describe various invasions of prehistoric Éire. Hear about Fionn and the Fianna, and discover how some myths might contain information about astronomy and the stars.
There is no doubt that the ancient megalith builders had a substantial knowledge of the movements of the sun, moon, planets and stars through the heavens. Learn more about just how complex and impressive this knowledge was. There is evidence that the people of the Neolithic knew about the 19-year Metonic cycle of the moon, as well as being able to predict eclipses.