Wednesday, 16 October 2013 at 8.00pm

Lismullin 1 was one of 167 archaeological sites discovered along the M3 Clonee to North of Kells motorway scheme. Located between Dunboyne and Navan, Co. Meath, within the broader landscape around the Hill of Tara, this was the most significant discovery made in the course of the M3 excavations. An exceptional Iron Age ceremonial enclosure was found here and designated a national monument. However, this talk will not concentrate on  the Iron Age alone.

The site revealed evidence for four millennia of occupation and had been the site of a passage tomb, a place for ritual manipulation and the deposition of human remains, a habitation site for late Neolithic and Bronze Age people, before becoming an elaborately conceived timber shrine or temple in the middle Iron Age. After the temple had rotted and collapsed, the area became agricultural land, where cereals were produced and processed from the late Iron Age, and where an open settlement characterised by an elaborate underground stone structure or souterrain was built in the early medieval period.


Aidan O’Connell is a director of Archer Heritage Planning Ltd and a graduate of University College Dublin. He has directed numerous development excavations countrywide, including those at Lismullin, Co. Meath which were undertaken in 2007 in advance of the Clonee to north of Kells PPP scheme. His book on the Lismullin excavations, ‘Harvesting the stars: a pagan temple at Lismullin Co. Meath’ (NRA Scheme Monographs 11) was published in March 2013.