Construction workers working on a land improvement project on a farm in Ireland have uncovered a previously untouched ancient tomb. The tomb was exposed when a mechanical digger was used to move a slab of stone in a field on the Dingle Peninsula in County Kerry, although the exact location has not been diverged in order to protect the site from looters. The landowner recognised the importance of the site almost immediately, and reported the discovery to the National Monuments Service and the National Museum of Ireland, who have now carried out an initial survey of the site, confirming its provenence.
The tomb comprises an underground chamber lined with stone slabs, a type of structure known as a Chamber Tomb, which date from the Late Neolithic to Bronze Age (3000-1000 BC), and which typically contain several sets of Human remains. Untouched Chamber Tombs are extremely rare finds, and the Dingle Tomb is therefore considered highly significant. The tomb may also contain an adjoining sub-chamber, making the tomb a Court Tomb, potentially pushing its date of origin further into the Neolithic, as such tombs first appeared in Ireland around 3800-3600 BC. The initial archaeological investigation discovered skeletal remains within the tomb, samples of which will now be used to try to establish a date for the burial using carbon dating.
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