New archaeology archive is a treasure trove of heritage data

Details of more than 1,500 archaeological excavations across the country are now freely available online as part of a new initiative launched on Monday at the Royal Irish Academy.

The Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) Digital Heritage Collections represent 80 per cent of all excavation reports commissioned by the National Roads Authority and the Railway Procurement Agency during Ireland’s extensive programmes of motorway and light rail building between 2001 and 2016.

The project, a collaboration between TII, the Digital Repository of Ireland (DRI) and the Discovery Programme, makes it possible for anyone to explore Ireland’s archaeological heritage from every time period and region, with sites ranging from the Bronze Age village of Ballybrowney in Co Cork to a Tudor burial discovered outside Trinity College, Dublin, during excavations for the Luas Cross City.

Hundreds of sites

In the course of building the national roads network and the light rail system, TII excavated hundreds of archaeological sites.

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