By Susan A. Johnston
The website of Dún Ailinne is one among 4 significant ritual websites from the Irish Iron Age, each one acknowledged to shape the guts of a political country and hence defined as "royal." Excavation has produced artifacts starting from the Neolithic (about 5,000 years in the past) throughout the later Iron Age (fourth century CE), while the positioning was once the focal point of repeated rituals, most likely with regards to the production and upkeep of political hegemony. a sequence of trees buildings have been equipped and changed as every one crew of leaders sought to assert historic descent from a deep earlier and nonetheless create anything designated and lasting.
Pam J. Crabtree and Ronald Hicks offer analyses on, respectively, organic is still and Dún Ailinne's position in folklore, fable, and the sacred panorama, whereas Katherine Moreau examines bronze and iron artifacts and Elizabeth Hamilton, slag.
Content of this book's CD-ROM might be discovered on-line at this position: http://core.tdar.org/project/376584.
University Museum Monograph, 129
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Additional resources for Dun Ailinne: Excavations at an Irish Royal Site, 1968-1975
A number of radiocarbon dates were obtained for the Iron Age. Probably due to the Iron Age construction and consequent redeposition of material, these dates do not fall into a good sequence that correlates with the stratigraphic sequence, and they cover a wide range, from about the 5th century BC to the 4th century AD. Those artifacts to which some dating can be attributed on stylistic grounds indicate mainly 1st century BC through 1st century AD. Only one radiocarbon date could be obtained from the entrance area, but this did at least fall into the range of dates obtained from the summit area, indicating that the bank and ditch enclosing the site had indeed been constructed during the Iron Age, rather than some earlier (or later) period.
Feature 2302 At the center of 512 is what appears to be a composite feature (2302) consisting of two arcs of small freestanding posts. These might originally have formed a complete circle about 4 m in diameter. But their relationship to 512 cannot be established, and two of the post-holes are set into the fill of the Rose phase palisade trench 514. The reason for suggesting that this little complex might be contemporaneous with 512 is its position central to the 512 circular structure. We shall discuss this further below.
At Dún Ailinne, then, the most obvious feature that linked it to Tara and Navan was the enclosure itself. At all three sites an unusually large area of a prominent hilltop or ridge was defined by an external bank and internal ditch. This associated them (at least morphologically) with henges rather than with the hillforts as was typical at that time. Their size placed them among the largest prehistoric (or presumably prehistoric) enclosures in Ireland: the Ráith na Ríg at Tara is about 7ha, Navan about 6ha, and Dún Ailinne about 13ha.