“Archaeologists have been searching for the Irish Palaeolithic since the 19th Century, and now, finally, the first piece of the jigsaw has been revealed,” Dr Dowd said.“This find adds a new chapter to the human history of Ireland.” Dr Ruth Carden said the finding will provoke a new discussion on Ireland’s early human history.“From a zoological point of view, this is very exciting, since up to now we have not factored in a possible ‘human-dimension’ when we are studying patterns of colonisation and local extinctions of species to Ireland,” she said.
“This should generate a lot of discussion within the zoological research world and it’s time to start thinking outside the box..even dismantling it entirely!
Just as the bulk of Clare’s attacks were going through O’Dea, Mairead Morrissey was the main conductor for Tipperary at the other end.
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A second round of radiocarbon tests confirmed that the bear died circa 10,500BC.
Further analysis was ordered on the visible cut marks on the bone – and experts from the British Museum, University of York and European University in Hungary revealed the marks were made on fresh bone and dated to the same era.“This made sense as the location of the marks spoke of someone trying to cut through the tough knee joint, perhaps someone who was inexperienced,” Dr Dowd said.“In their repeated attempts, they left seven marks on the bone surface.
Clare 3-14 Tipperary 2-16 Clare will progress to meet Kildare in this year’s Ladies All-Ireland Intermediate football final following a dramatic win over their Munster rivals Tipperary in the Gaelic Grounds in Limerick on Saturday.
The tie was a repeat of the 2008 All-Ireland Intermediate final, but while Tipperary were victorious on that day, Clare reversed the end result today with just the minimum little to spare.
Amazingly, the bear bone was discovered in Clare back in 1903 but was left for over a century in a storage box in the National Museum without being forensically tested.
Dr Dowd of IT Sligo and Dr Carden of the National Museum decided to examine the bear bone and subject it to radiocarbon dating.
Until now, the earliest known human activity in Ireland was dated to the Mesolithic period around 8,000BC at Mount Sandel by the River Bann in Derry, close to a famous Iron Age fort.
Both scientists admitted that the Clare discovery will now rewrite the history books.
Tipperary had three crucial chances to force the encounter into extra-time but agonising misses from Aisling Mc Carthy and substitute Roisin Howard condemned Gerry Mc Gill’s side to second best in a high-scoring game.
Clare’s ever potent scorer Niamh O’Dea finished the day with 2-4 from play, the last of which proved to be the decisive score of the game.
The adult bear bone was one of thousands of artefacts originally discovered in Alice and Gwendoline Cave, Co Clare in 1903 by a team of early scientists.