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Rathlin Island

Rathlin Island lies five miles off the north Antrim coast between Ireland and Scotland and although small has been occupied continuously since the Mesolithic period (c. 7,000 years ago). In the past it has been fought over, bought and sold, raided and blockaded. From prehistoric communities, Celtic holy men, Vikings, Gaelic Scots to Tudor English, it is a story of settlement, trade, conquest and struggle.

This publication presents the results of an archaeological survey of Rathlin Island commissioned by the Northern Ireland Environment Agency which took place from 2002 and 2007. The work forms part of a wider programme that includes surveys of the seabed, foreshore and coastal environments of Northern Ireland on behalf of the Agency. This survey provides an insight into the built heritage of Rathlin and the surveying of many sites that had not been previously recorded. The Agency’s heritage work on the island will continue particularly in the light of new and improving geophysical survey techniques for the sea floor. This volume presents for now the fullest account of the island’s long story.


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