New exhibition in Derry – Thornhill Unearthed

The Tower Museum in Derry has unveiled a new exhibition displaying the significant Neolithic artefacts excavated at Thornhill, offering a glimpse into how ancient life would have been six thousand years ago.

It was in the 1990’s that the Templemore Archaeology Society discovered an extensive scatter of flint items in the area opposite the old school and in 2000 when the new Thornhill College was under construction, the Northern Ireland Environmental Agency carried out an excavation of the area. The excavation, led by Paul Logue of NIEA, revealed thousands of artefacts which until now have been undergoing further research or been placed in storage.

Paul Logue said the findings could not be underestimated and were as important for the heritage of the city as the Derry Walls.  “Thousands of artifacts were uncovered during the excavation including stone and axe fragments, quartz, flint and stone tools, beads, saddle querns and pottery fragments.  These findings confirm evidence of a substantial Early Neolithic Stone Age village site of international significance.  A greater understanding of the Neolithic period can now be examined due to these findings and a story can be constructed on the trading, conflict and farming practices of humankind in the city at this time.”

The exhibition is advertised as running until April, but there is a possibility that this will be extended until May.

Seen here are Paul Logue of NIEA who directed the excavation and Linda McCausland who reconstructed the pot shown here. (Image courtesy of Derry Museums)
Seen here at the opening of the museum are Mayor Cllr Kevin Campbell and staff and pupils of Thornhill College. (Photo courtesy of Derry Museums)


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