1970:25 - KNOWTH td, Meath

NMI Burial Excavation Records

County: Meath Site name: KNOWTH td

Sites and Monuments Record No.: N/A Licence number:

Author: Dr. George Eagan, Department of Archaeology/U.C.D.

Site type: Passage grave complex and Later Iron Age settlement

ITM: E 699830m, N 773818m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 53.704499, -6.488006

During 1970 excavations were concentrated on two main areas, the area immediately surrounding the entrance to the western chamber in the large mound (Site 1) and on an area and along the edge of the eastern part of the large mound in the neighbourhood of the entrance to the eastern chamber.

Excavations outside the entrance to the western tombs in Site 1 have established that considerable activity took place over that area during the Neolithic Period and again (but less intense) during the Early Bronze Age. The Neolithic features consisted of trenches and pits. One of the trenches looks as if it may have held posts. The trenches or pits were filled with soft dark earth with a fair amount of charcoal mixed through it and also a large number of sherds of pottery. A number of sherds with features came to light and from these it appears that round bottomed, shouldered, undecorated bowls were a prominent type. In one of the pits a remarkable carved stone object over 20cms. long turned up. In addition to the pits and trenches there are settings of nodules and other stones. As yet the excavation is not complete over this area but it does not appear that the trenches and pits form any precise pattern; but as these features together with the stone settings are confined to an area just outside the entrance, perhaps one might speculate they were in some way connected with the ceremonies that may have formed part of the burial ritual. It should also be remarked that one of the smaller tombs, Site 7, over-lies some of the trenches.

Numerous sherds of beaker pottery occur over part of the area at a higher level. As yet no structures are associated with the activity of the Beaker Folk.

The work on the eastern side is a continuation of the excavation of an extensive settlement of Early Christian date. There is still a considerable amount of excavation to do as yet but from evidence coming to light it seems that the occupation extended over an area up to 20m. long and 10m. wide and that five souterrains were associated with it.