The true father of Ireland

January 18, 2006

Research by geneticists at Trinity College Dublin reveals that one in 12 Irishmen are descended from a fifth-century warlord. As David McKittrick reports, science has for once revealed the man to be more impressive than the myth.

He was already a splendid quasi-mythical warrior who trailed clouds of ancient glory, bestriding Irish pre-history as one of the greatest of all the high kings of Ireland. But now Niall of the Nine Hostages has emerged as an even mightier man than previously supposed.

It looks as though he was literally one of the fathers of his nation – a man who, 1,500 years after his death, has up to three million living descendants in Ireland and elsewhere. Read the rest of this entry »

Archaeologists have unearthed a Roman road, a Bronze Age ditch and some medieval artefacts during major road improvement works in Wiltshire.
The historical remains – including three iron horseshoes – were found in the upper layers of the Roman road.

Archaeologist Neil Holbrook said the findings had been recorded and added: “The Romans didn’t have horseshoes.

“We seem to have proved by the discovery that the road continued in use into the medieval period.”

The works are being carried out on the A419 by the Highways Agency to create a flyover designed to cut congestion.

Roy Canham, an archaeologist for Wiltshire County Council said: “We can now prove that the route of the current A419 has been important for the last 2000 years.”

As well as the horseshoes a medieval arrowhead was unearthed and a 3,000-year-old ditch dating back to the Bronze Age was discovered. BBC

Discovery of an ancient village just outside Jerusalem has brought into question one of the strongest images of biblical times — the wholesale flight of Jews running for their lives after the Roman destruction of the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem in 70 A.D.

Just beneath the main road leading north from Jerusalem, archaeologists have found the walls of houses in a well-planned community that existed after the temple’s destruction. It might lead to rewriting the history books if it was really Jewish. But at least one expert isn’t sure it was. Read the rest of this entry »