IAC was appointed to undertake an archaeological watching brief/ monitoring of ground works along the A32 Shannaragh Re-alignment Road Scheme. The realignment involved a 2.3km section of road located c. 11km south-west of Omagh.
Four archaeological sites were identified during the course of works and these were excavated over the course of 6 weeks. The excavations revealed occupation evidence dating to the Mesolithic, early Bronze Age, late Bronze Age/early Iron Age and early medieval/medieval. A rare Mesolithic Moynagh point and a butt-trimmed flake were recovered which would most likely have been used for fishing and processing of food. Interestingly an ex situ Neolithic saddle quern was also discovered in a hedgerow during the monitoring works. This archaeological ‘sample’ of the landscape, afforded by the construction of this road, provides a window into the wider archaeological landscape, which on the basis of these results, was quite rich.
The Shannaragh Bridge, a road bridge crossing the Owenreagh River, was included within the scheme footprint and as such was subject to a full survey by IAC. The bridge has been dated to around 1790, at which time the Omagh to Enniskillen road was realigned.