Rubicon book on Tralee Bypass excavations soon to hit the shelves!

Rubicon archaeologists uncovering the past!

Excitement is building at Rubicon HQ on the imminent publication of another fantastic archaeological book! In 2010 and 2011 Rubicon discovered and excavated 35 archaeological sites along the 13.5 km route of the Tralee bypass. The results of the investigations have revolutionised our understanding of human settlement in the hinterland of Tralee, from early prehistory to modern times. Our forthcoming book documents the vast wealth of archaeological remains unearthed during the project and will provide an opportunity for the wider public to delve into this fascinating story.

Presenting a paper to the public at ‘Touring Tralee’s Past’

Having had the opportunity to complete such a fantastic project, we are always looking for opportunities to share our findings with the public. In 2014, for example, Rubicon organised a seminar entitled ‘Touring Tralee’s Past’, in conjunction with TII and Kerry County Council. The results of the excavations were presented and many of the artefacts found during the work were available to view on the day. The event, held in Kerry County Museum, was a huge success with a sell-out crowd!

The production of a book like this is the pinnacle of an archaeological project. It gives a chance for reflection on the exciting discoveries made, and time for research and discussion on what it all means for the archaeology of the local area.

Since then Rubicon and TII Project Archaeologist Paul O’Keeffe have been busy putting together a book on the results of the scheme. We were delighted to have Isabel Bennett, curator of Músaem Chorca Dhuibhne, on board as academic editor during this process. The richly illustrated book, at over 200 pages, will be one of the most comprehensive publications ever produced on archaeology in Co.Kerry. It is currently at the printers and we hope to have it available for sale before the end of the year, with a formal launch in early 2020.

So what is there to look forward to in this volume? Some of the highlights include illustrated summaries of the major sites excavated, an overview of the landscape and environment over a 6000 years period and chronological chapters detailing the new findings and how they fit in to the archaeological picture in the area.

The book also takes an in-depth look at some of the most exciting results such as the extensive prehistoric landscape at Manor East/ Ballingowan; a Late Neolithic/ Early Bronze Age ritual avenue; the discovery of five Bronze Age houses and two Bronze Age human cremation burials, the first Bronze Age Encrusted Urn known in Kerry, a rare Iron Age metal working furnace, an Iron Age cremation cemetery, an early medieval defended enclosure, six post-medieval lime kilns, a nice variety of artefacts and much more.    

Reconstruction of the ritual avenue and some of Tralee’s earliest inhabitants!

We are looking forward to seeing this in print and sharing what we found with the people of Kerry and beyond!

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