Waterford County Council, in association with the National Roads Authority, will launch a new book, ‘Near the Bend in the River – The archaeology of the N25 Kilmacthomas realignment’ in Dungarvan Library this Thursday, January 22, at 5pm.

The authors are Penny Johnston, Jacinta Kiely and John Tierney of Old Parish-based Eachtra Archaeological Projects, who worked on the digs at Ahanagloch and Graigueshoneen, between 1998 and 2000.

During the roadworks a ‘fulacht fiadh’ – a Bronze Age cooking mound – was explored, as was a series of linear ditches. The €30m realignment scheme, project managed by the NRA Road Design Office at Tramore House, was opened in September 2001.

The book, published by the NRA late last year, describes the results of the team’s archaeological investigations on the route.

The excavations resulted in the identification of traces of past human activity in 30 separate areas along the length of the new road. Before this work only a single fulacht fiadh, or burnt mound, was known along the line of the realignment.

The remains uncovered range from the nationally significant discovery of the foundation post-holes of a building constructed almost 4,500 years ago by people who used highly decorated Beaker pottery, to the locally-significant identification of a field system probably associated with the development of the original Kilmacthomas medieval settlement.

The excavations revealed almost continuous human activity in this part of County Waterford during the last six millennia. The findings are presented in the form of a gazetteer, with an accompanying CD-ROM incorporating all of the final excavation and specialist reports.

The book is available through bookshops or directly from Wordwell Book Sales, Wordwell Limited, Media House, South County Business Park, Leopardstown, Dublin 18 (01-2947860; email: helen@wordwellbooks.com). For information on Thursday’s launch contact Bernadette Guest, Heritage Officer, WCC, on 058-20839 or email: bguest@waterfordcoco.ie