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Dohlmans, County Clare, Ireland

This area has some of the finest archaeological megalithic tombs in Ireland, if not in Western Europe. There are relics of human habitation dating back almost 6000 years and the most famous is the vortal tomb, or portal dolman, at Poulnabrone. In this area alone there are more than 60 wedge tombs, the densest concentration in Ireland. There are also numerous examples of raths (earthen ring forts) and stone cashels. This area is also rich in historical ecclesiastical sites.

There are over seventy megalithic tombs in in The Burren, the most well known and most easily accessible being Poulnabrone. It was excavated in 1968 and found to contain the remains of "between 16 and 22 adults and 6 juveniles, including a newborn baby". Radiocarbon dating suggests that the burials took place 3800 and 3200 BC. The Neolithic community would have been much larger than this and there are easier ways to bury the dead, so Poulnabrone is generally considered to contain the remains of special dead and to have been a center for ceremony and symbolism. 


Over 90% of the tombs in The Burren are Wedge Tombs, named for their wedge-shaped plan. They are narrower and lower towards the rear, with the broader side facing towards the setting sun. Evidence of late Bronze age inhabitants has been found in Gleninsheen town land, most importantly the golden Gleninsheen Collar. It was found by a farmer in 1932 and can be seen in the National Museum in Dublin. 


Clonmacnoise - The Burren - The Dohlmans - Cliffs of Moher
- Glendalough - Fanore - More Highlights

updated: 12/28//07

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