Irish press releases online dating
In 20, animal osteologist Dr Ruth Carden, a Research Associate at the museum, was re-analysing its animal bone collections from early cave excavations.
She came across the bear bone and documented it along with many others.
Information is updated daily and reflects the current target turnaround times.
This is a major breakthrough for archaeologists who have spent decades searching for earlier signs of human occupation on the island.
The discovery was made by Dr Marion Dowd, an archaeologist at IT Sligo, and Dr Ruth Carden, a Research Associate with the National Museum of Ireland.
A second sample was sent to the University of Oxford for radiocarbon dating to test the validity of the initial result.
Both dates indicated human butchery of the bear about 12,500 years ago.