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In 1984, workers from the Bord na Móna (which, incidentally, translates into English as ‘Peat Board’) were harvesting peat from a bog in Corlea when they made an unexpected archaeological discovery, namely the Corlea Trackway.This trackway is composed of oak planks resting on a foundation of birch rails, and, based on tree ring dating (known also as dendrochronology) conducted at Queen’s University Belfast, it was determined that the trees used to construct the trackway were felled either in late 148 BC or early 147 BC, which is a period of time that corresponds to the British Iron Age.Within this building, which is specially fitted with humidifiers so as to prevent the ancient wood from cracking due to dryness, 18 meters (60 ft) of the Corlea Trackway is on permanent display.Additionally, visitors to the center may learn more about Iron Age trackways, archaeology, and bog culture through the exhibits there.As science progresses and archaeologists are forging new positive relationships with developers around Irish heritage, more secrets from Ireland’s Viking past are coming to light, and they are not just found in burial grounds, unearthed dwellings, and old settlements; they can be found in the DNA of the modern-day Irish people.
Nevertheless, it is unclear as to how the Corlea Trackway would have been used by the ancients.
Excavation of the trackway commenced in the following year.
Due to the significance of this find, the Corlea Trackway is today on permanent display in a specially built exhibition centre that is conditioned to preserve it in the state it was found.
Some, for instance, have argued that people used the trackway to cross the bog.
Others, however, are of the opinion that the trackway allowed people to travel into the bog, where rituals could be carried out.
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To date, the Corlea Trackway is the only known example of such an Iron Age trackway in Ireland, hence making it a unique archaeological discovery.