1971:01 - 1 BALLYMACREA Lr., Antrim

NMI Burial Excavation Records

County: Antrim Site name: 1 BALLYMACREA Lr.

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

Author: Mr. A.E.P. Collins, Historic Monuments Branch, Ministry of Finance

Site type: Neolithic Settlement site

ITM: E 688333m, N 940582m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 55.204564, -6.612306

A threat of car park construction occasioned excavation of an area of old land surface in sand dunes between the E boundary of the Portrush golf course and the beginning of the White Rocks chalk cliffs. Numerous finds of flint flaking debris with a few finished implements of Neolithic aspect, potsherds, mammalian bones and charcoal lying on an old land surface seemed to indicate a settlement site. Excavation of a strip 47ft by 15 ft of this uncovered more similar evidence. The stratigraphy here was solid chalk on which rested 2ft of boulder clay, which was overlaid by blown sand, the upper part of which, humus and charcoal stained, was clearly an old land surface. It is hoped that charcoal from hearths in this surface is adequate for C14 dating.

Resting on the old land surface at one point was a close group of local basalt boulders including a ring-like setting, which weighted down the edges of two horizontal flat stones. These last suggested the cover of some sort of burial cist. Beneath the flat stones was a kind of pit-grave of polygonal plan, its walls lined with coursed boulders. The lower part of the sand fill of this pit contained the very fragile bones of an adult skeleton. White this burial may be contemporary with the Neolithic debris on the land surface from which the pit-grave appeared to have been dug, it could be of a subsequent period. A final answer may be obtained by a C14 assay of part of the skeleton.