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Artefacts Stockpiled 1 April 2014

Northern Ireland artefacts ‘stockpiled in bags and boxes’

Hundreds of thousands of archaeological items recovered from historic sites in Northern Ireland are lying unclassified in plastic bags and boxes.

They are often being kept outside the jurisdiction because there is no proper facility to store them.

One estimate says up to 24 container loads of archaeological objects are being stored by private companies.

The Institute of Archaeologists in Ireland (IAI), said it was “a very serious problem”.

It said no tangible progress had been made to find a solution.

The BBC got access to one of the storage facilities in Kells, County Meath, in the Republic of Ireland, where hundreds of boxes of ancient pieces of bones, pottery and flints – many recovered in Northern Ireland – are stockpiled to the ceiling.

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