|A digger on the site of the Mesolithic settlement at Ballymaglaff|
DoE probes claims of unsuitable dig prior to developers moving in
Planners have launched a probe following claims that a rare site where early humans settled has been badly damaged without carrying out proper archaeological investigation.
The Department of the Environment (DoE) said its planning department has launched an enforcement investigation to establish if a breach of planning control had taken place at Ballymaglaff in Dundonald in relation to archaeological matters.
Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) also sent staff to inspect the site after concerns were raised about the road access to a new housing development close to the Comber Greenway.
Local historian Peter Carr, who discovered the archaeological site in 1984, says it dates from the era of the first human settlement of Ireland, the early Mesolithic period 8,800-9,800 years ago, and more than 2,000 pieces of struck flint have been found there.
"Over 20 of the period's rare and highly distinctive microliths have been discovered here. Very few sites can claim over 10," he said. "The larger part of the site was destroyed in January during the building of an access road to a new housing development. [...] belfasttelegraph.co.uk/ / Link 2
|Stone Age sites are the source of archaeological material dating back nearly 9,000 years|