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Prehistoric relics, of which there are numerous examples in the district, serve as a reminder that this was a place inhabited as long ago as the Neolithic period ( 4, 000-2,000BC.) although there is great debate as to their precise origins and chronology.
Right in the very heart of Strabane itself, in the old graveyard at Patrick Street, stands one such mysterious sentinel-a standing stone of the period 2500 BC. Standing stones are very distinctive landmarks, however, their purpose are not always known, with some marking burial sites while others may have been used to indicate routeways or boundaries.
8 km East of the picturesque village of Cranagh in the midst of the Sperrins can be found another monument, the purpose of which has also been blurred by the mists of time. It is believed however that the Goles Alignment, consisting of a North/South alignment of 11 standing stones, may be linked to ceremonial events.
In the West of the district can be found a monument which is less problematic in defining - the Aghnahoo portal tomb, one of only 163 examples in the whole of Ireland. Portal tombs are one of four principal types of Neolithic tomb:court, portal, passage and wedge and are recognised by their distinctive architectural features - in this case impressive entrances dominated by a large capstone.
Finally, Stewart Castle, Newtownstewart marks the site of one of the district's most significant archaeological discoveries: An intact double cist grave and capstone containing two decorated clay vessels which were found lying adjacent to cremated remains approximately 4,ooo years old. These type of chambered Bronze Age cist burials are known as segmented cists. Less than 20 of these are known from the approximately 700 Bronze Age graves already found in Ireland.