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The Irish Times has named ‘Knockacareagh’ as the town land in which the former Kilmurry ring forts were located;

North Cork gardai have called to the farm and archaeologists from the monuments section of the Department of the Environment are now assisting in their investigation. If this is the correct area, then the two ring forts (of Knockacareigh), located some 500m apart and to the north and south of a house and separate farm buildings, are described in the Archaeological Inventory as follows –

(W3745 6513) A particularly impressive example;“In pasture, on ESE-facing slope. Oval area (57.9m E-W; 48.2m N-S) enclosed by earthen bank (H 2m). Shallow external fosse to SW and NW; filled in to W between bank and N-S roadway. Bank partially stone-faced with boulders internally. Stone-faced entrance (Wth 4m) to E. Remains of cultivation ridges cross interior on E-W axis. Plan (UCC) shows fosse surviving to W and N. Garden of house extends up to S bank.”

(W3729 6463)  Interesting evidence of slope-compensation, but had already been suffering from considerable agricultural damage; “In pasture, on SE-facing slope. Roughly circular area (33.5m N-S) defined by earthen bank (H 2m); external fosse (D 0.65m) to W and S; outer bank (H 1m) to SW and S. Numerous cattle gaps across bank. Field-clearance material dumped in fosse to W. Interior appears to be raised on S side to compensate for hillslope; crossed by remains of cultivation ridges on NW-SE axis; W half heavily overgrown.”

Link to the website of ‘Friends of the Irish Environment’.

“Antiquity smugglers smiling to the bank….”

“Unconfirmed reports indicate a thief could earn as much as $50,000 (N7.5 million) for one monolith, even though there are laws, both at national and international levels, against such trade. Assuming 120 monoliths can still be accounted for, deduct this figure from 450 and the difference is 330 stones gone. Multiply 330 by $50,000, and you get $16.5 million. At an exchange rate of N150 to $1, Nigeria has lost N2.5 billion! It is, however, worth noting that the nation loses much more than money, each time a piece of antiquity is lost. Whenever such tragedy strikes, we lose a bit of our soul, so to speak.

Sadly, thieves will always try to lift classical objects; not only because of the perceived large sums involved but because of lax laws, which prescribe rather lenient penalties for such heinous crime as selling one’s soul and that of the entire nation in one fell swoop. To worsen matters, the apathy of Nigeria’s federal authorities toward antiquity objects, be they Bakor, Benin, Esie, Ife, Igbo Ukwu, Nok et cetera serves to egg looters on.
Nigerian authorities may not care about Bakor Monoliths, but neither the inextricable relevance of these antiquities to world heritage nor the perilous conditions to which they are subjected is lost on the global community. “

More here….


August 2010

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