A prehistoric temple site has been discovered in the vicinity of the Hill of Tara.
The discovery of a major prehistoric site where experts believe an open-air royal temple once stood has stalled construction of a controversial four-lane highway in Ireland.

A large circular enclosure estimated to be at least 2,000 years old was exposed at Lismullin in County Meath, by road-builders working on a 37-mile-long (60-kilometer-long) road northwest of Dublin.

The find is located just 1.25 miles (2 kilometers) from the Hill of Tara, once the seat of power of Ireland's Celtic kings, and likely represents a ritual site, according to government archaeologists attached to the road project.

The new road is intended to ease congestion along a busy commuter route to Dublin but is fiercely opposed by campaigners who say it threatens a treasure trove of ancient remains.

Work was halted last month after archaeologists with the National Roads Authority (NRA) reported a large timber monument 80 meters (262 feet) in diameter, with a 16-meter-round (52-foot-round) structure inside thought to have been a temple.

Artifacts unearthed at the site include a stone axe head, a pottery fragment, and an ornamental pin. An ancient buried dog was also excavated nearby.

Archaeologists say the monument probably formed part of an important ceremonial complex centred on the Hill of Tara, where remains date back to the Stone Age.
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