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Céide Fields Prehistoric Settlement
 

County

Mayo

Coordinates

N 54° 18' 20.0"   W 009° 27' 31.5"

Nearest town

Ballycastle

Grid Ref.

G 05093 40624

Map No.

23

Elevation a.s.l. (m)

148

Date of visit

Friday 7 September 2012

GPS Accuracy (m)

3
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These exposed stones are at a lower level than the surrounding ground. They could have been a dwelling.


Céide Fields is the most extensive and oldest field system in the world. According to some estimations it could be more than 5,500 years old. It covers an area in excess of 10 square kilometres. It was discovered by pure chance during a turf cutting operation, but it took more than 40 years before the importance of the place was taken in account.
Excavations and analyses discovered a complex system of fields, houses, boundary walls, burials and cerimonial sites most of them still under the bog. Only a very small number of them have been exposed.
People living in this area lived on farming and cattle breeding. The climate was much warmer than now, at least two degrees more than today on average, and these conditions guaranteed crops throughout the year.
They lived in wooden huts that because of their nature are now gone forever.
An informative centre has been built in 1993 to show the visitors how the life of those times could have been.
In the open not much can be seen, apart from an interesting circular enclosure that could have been a hut site. I chose this place for taking the coordinates for this page.
A timber footbridge runs from and to the visitors' centre. Along this footway it is possible to see some stone structures and, very interesting, the probing method to understand and map what is still below the bog.

We came here for the first time on May 10th, 2002.


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