Research NewsArchaeology

Irish Bridge Sheds Light on Dark Ages

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Science  23 Jan 1998:
Vol. 279, Issue 5350, pp. 480
DOI: 10.1126/science.279.5350.480

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Sean Duke The vaunted engineering skills that the Romans spread across Europe are supposed to have vanished during the "Dark Ages." But a new find in the west of Ireland is challenging that assumption. A pair of underwater archaeologists has discovered the remains of a huge wooden bridge across the river Shannon. Researchers now believe that the bridge, dated at A.D. 804, was the work of monks from the nearby town of Clonmacnoise, who kept Roman expertise alive over the centuries.