1972:0014 - DUBLIN CITY, Dublin

NMI Burial Excavation Records

County: Dublin Site name: DUBLIN CITY

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

Author: Mr. A.B. 0 Riordain, Irish Antiquities Division, National Museum of Ireland

Site type: Historic town

Period/Dating: Multi-period

ITM: E 715826m, N 734698m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 53.349804, -6.260307

Excavation of the High Street site which commenced in 1967 was completed in 1972. The accumulation of worked leather found in the southern part of the site (Square 4) was shown to be of late 12th- and 13th-century date. A rough count of the shoe soles which formed a large part of the deposit—which ranged in thickness from a minimum of 60cm to a maximum of 1m—indicates that a total in excess of 1,000 soles is present. Many examples of leather knife sheaths with incised geometric motifs were also found. A timber framed structure (TFS IV), 3.05m high and tapering from an average width of 1.56m at the mouth to 1.1m at the base, was found in a pit which had been dug from a stratigraphical level assignable to the late 13th or early 14th century. The fill suggests that the structure was used as a privy and a rubbish pit. Artifacts present in the fill included a leather shoe, two fragments of quern stones, sherds of glazed and unglazed pottery and an almost intact example of a highly ornamented knight jug of Ham Green ware.

Finds from early 13th- to late 12th-century strata found in 1972 included an iron prick spur, double-sided combs of horn and of bone—an example made of the latter material is provided with a handle—socketed iron spearheads, wooden spoons, bronze stick pins and many fragments of textiles. Large numbers of bronze pins were also found in 11th—12th century levels and other finds included N.W. French pottery, sherds of Stamford-type wheel stamped ware, decorated pewter brooches and Hiberno-Viking coins.
In late 10th/early 11th century levels two gold arm rings of Scandinavian type were found. In the earliest occupation level a silver coin issued during the reign of Anlaf and minted at York (c. AD 941) was recovered.

A shallow grave dug into the underlying boulder clay contained the extended skeleton of a young female. Analysis of material which is considered to represent part of the stomach contents of this individual has shown that broken fragments of Polygonuin spp. (knotgrass) and Chenopodium album (goosefoot) were present. Similar material has been identified in the fill of cess pits of later date.

Excavation at Winetavern Street, north of the Old City Wall, revealed evidence of the 12th-13th century shore line. Sherds of S.W. French pottery, a fragment of leather decorated with zoomorphic motifs, and fig seeds, grape pips and walnuts have been found in 13th century stone culverts which originally discharged into the Liffey waters.

The excavation of another site within the bounds of the medieval city was commenced in autumn 1972. It lies south of Christ Church Cathedral on a plot of ground between Christ Church Place (formerly Skinners Row) and Ross Road. Finds from the initial stages of excavation include polychrome pottery and other wares of S.W. French type, Ham Green Bristol ware and pottery of local manufacture. Three silver bracteates, part of a carved wooden panel with Ringerike-style decoration, a Viking-type iron sword which bears an inscription and a decorated pewter brooch which appears to be identical with an example from the Cheapside hoard (Guildhall Museum Accession No. 3912) have also been found.