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Volunteers needed for Neolithic build at An Creagán

An Creagán staff members Peter Brown and Catriona McDermott talk over the plans with historian, Aisling Molloy and archaeologist, Jodie Jackson.

An Creagán staff members Peter Brown and Catriona McDermott talk over the plans with historian, Aisling Molloy and archaeologist, Jodie Jackson.

TRAVEL back thousands of years to ancient Ireland as An Creagán launches its latest experimental archaeology project!

For this, they will be partially reconstructing a Neolithic Longhouse and would like to invite you to join the team as they break ground on this exciting new project on Saturday, February 4 from 11am-3pm

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Based on the archaeological findings of the ancient site in Ballynagilly, in the parish of Lissan, Tyrone, the reconstruction will be created using a mixture of old and new techniques and by harvesting many of the building materials from the surrounding forest.

Volunteers are invited to come along and join in with all aspects of the project including woodworking, construction, weaving, plastering and generally getting to grips with using old tools and technologies under the guidance of staff.

This type of longhouse was widespread across Europe in the prehistoric period, only reaching Ireland around 4000BC – the beginning of the Neolithic period here. At this time, people had begun to settle down in one place and clear the land for farming. These rectangular longhouses were a short-lived trend that was likely introduced by migrants and adapted by local people to suit their needs.

Alongside the reconstruction phase, a primary school education programme and series of public events will be delivered at An Creagán, allowing people to learn about life in prehistoric Ireland.

As a final celebration, a Living History event will take place on St. Patrick’s weekend with a team of historical re-enactors bringing the site to life. There will be a range of activities for both kids and grown-ups to see and do – you could try your hand at archery, make tools from flint, or help to cook some bread or porridge over the open fire.

The construction of wattle and daub walls will also be demonstrated on the day and, if you are prepared to get your hands dirty, you can get stuck in to the building and plastering!

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• If you would like to get involved or find out more about this project contact An Creagán Centre on 028 8076 1112 or email biodiversity@ancreagan.com. The project is funded by the Department for Communities under their Historic Environment Fund and aims to actively involve people in their local archaeology.

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