courtroom tomb older than Egypt’s pyramids has secured a everlasting new residence on show on the Ulster Folks Museum.
The 6,000-year-old tomb, which dates again to the Neolithic period, was found in Ballintaggart, Co Armagh.
It was excavated from its authentic location as a result of danger of destruction by the enlargement of a neighbouring quarry in 1966.
Laurence Flanagan, the then keeper of antiquities at Ulster Museum, was capable of save the tomb’s stones and reconstruct it exterior the south Belfast attraction.
When Ulster Museum was renovated in 2006 the stones have been put in storage at Ulster Folks Museum, they usually stayed there till earlier this 12 months when the restoration challenge started.
William Blair, director of collections at Nationwide Museums NI, stated they’re delighted to have the ability to reconstruct the Ballintaggart Court docket Tomb.
“It’s a good illustration of how the museum can join Ulster’s distinctive heritage spanning hundreds of years to the current day. We’re grateful to our challenge companions for his or her enter and help,” he stated.
The traditional construction is considered one of greater than 400 courtroom tombs in Eire which have a distinctly northern distribution.
They pre-date the pyramids in Egypt and provide a novel perception into Eire’s historic previous.
Dr Greer Ramsey, curator of archaeology at Nationwide Museums NI, defined the historic background of the tombs.
He stated that giant burial constructions, much like the form and dimension of the Ballintaggart Court docket Tomb, turned extra common in Eire as folks started to create everlasting settlements.
“Court docket tombs take their title from a semi-circular arc of upright stones marking the doorway to the burial chambers,” he stated.
“The Neolithic interval, to which they belong, was revolutionary because it marked the top to a nomadic or hunter-gatherer lifestyle.
“New settlers arrived about 6,000 years in the past, bringing with them farming expertise and lots of the crops and home animals we’re aware of at this time.
“With a safer meals provide, folks may stay for longer in a single place and spend money on bigger, extra everlasting constructions, corresponding to tombs.”
The Richmount Rural Neighborhood Affiliation, Portadown, has additionally been integral to the method of reconstituting and making the traditional tomb accessible to the general public once more.
Chairman of the affiliation Joe Garvey added: “It’s essential that individuals can perceive the wealthy native historical past of County Armagh by way of the Ballintaggart Court docket Tomb, or Big’s Grave as it’s recognized domestically.
“We’re proud to be concerned in seeing it reconstructed on the Ulster Folks Museum the place folks will be capable of get pleasure from it for generations to return.”
The tomb will stand prominently on the Ulster Folks Museum, offering an essential new layer of pre-history on the Co Down attraction.
The reconstruction of the tomb arrives at a big time for the Ulster Folks Museum, coinciding with the announcement of funding plans, which embody increasing public entry to the gathering and heritage belongings.
Nationwide Museums NI was assisted by Restoration Works Ltd and archaeologists from Queen’s College Belfast in reconstructing the tomb stone by stone over latest months.
Researchers from the Centre for Neighborhood Archaeology at Queen’s created fashions of every of the stones.
These fashions have been then 3D scanned, permitting for a full 360-degree examination of every of them, in order that they might be precisely located and put in on web site.
The Ballintaggart Court docket Tomb is within the rural space of Ulster Folks Museum. Entry is included as a part of common admission to the museum. For extra info and to ebook tickets go to ulsterfolkmuseum.org.