A glimpse into the rich archaeological history of Magherafelt stretching back thousands of years, has been unearthed during digs along the route of the new bypass.
A 20-strong team of archaeologists found evidence for human occupation dating back more than 4000 years between the Castledawson Roundabout and Moneymore Road on the town’s outskirts.
Details of the discoveries, including a possible bronze age house and enclosure and hundreds of pieces of prehistoric pottery, have only just been made public.
Senior archaeologist Christina O’Regan said provisional analysis of the material indicates the area south of Magherafelt was an attractive location for settlement during Neolithic and Bronze Age periods.
“The presence of four existing early medieval sites in the area around the new road and the discovery of post-medieval pottery kilns indicates that the area continued to be an ideal settlement location,” she explained.
A total of 11 previously unidentified archeological sites were found across the length of the six-kilometre bypass route.