Dun Aonghasa, Inishmore, Aran Islands, Ireland

Dun Aonghasa, Inishmore, Aran Islands, Ireland

This evening, I am posting information on the ancient site of Dun Aonghasa which is located near Inishmore on the Aran Islands in County Galway, West of Ireland. The site sits on a cliff overlooking the sea.

Dun is a Gaelic/Irish word which roughly translates as fort or defended settlement, which is clearly apposite in this case. Dun is a common prefix to place names in Ireland and Scotland.

The site dates back to 1500 BC with information on its development sourced from archaeological excavations. A summary chronology is as follows:

  • Human activity on the site commenced around 1500 BC.
  • First enclosed c.1100 BC.
  • Reached its zenith around 800 BC when may have had combined function of power base and ritual centre. At this stage (late Bronze Age) the site covered 5.7 hectares (14 acres) with the interior divided into an outer, middle and inner enclosure by three curvilinear walls terminating at the cliff.
  • Between 700 BC and late 5th century AD occupied intermittently.
  • Rebuilt during period 500 AD to 1000 AD and abandoned shortly afterwards.
  • Assigned National Monument status in late 19th century and repaired shortly afterwards.

An impressive site which is accessed by ferry.

Inside Dun Aonghasa, Inishmore, Aran Islands, Ireland

Inside Dun Aonghasa, Inishmore, Aran Islands, Ireland.

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