1973:0031 - SROOVE, Sligo

NMI Burial Excavation Records

County: Sligo Site name: SROOVE

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

Author: P. Wallace, Irish Antiquities Div, National Museum of Ireland.

Site type: Cisted Cairn

ITM: E 568858m, N 800213m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 53.950294, -8.474424

The site, situated near the Western shore of Lough Gara consisted of two roughly concentric rings of orthostats, the diameters of which were 14.50m and 8m. These kerbs appear to have
acted as the inner and outer retaining walls for a ring-cairn of loosely placed stones which seem to have been at least 1.70m in original height but which was hardly greater than 50cm. as its maximum height at the time of excavation. The inner circle appears to have been a blank (court?) area in antiquity except for a segment in the south-east where two cists were constructed and over which was spread a thin layer of cairn-stones which was probably meant to cover the cists and which was, itself revetted by means of a low crescentic setting of relatively small orthostats. The soil on which the cairn-stones were placed was flecked with traces of charcoal.

One of the cists had three floors, each consisting of a horizontal layer of large flat sandstone paving-stones. The lowermost floor covered a deposit of hazel-nuts arranged in a pit, on top of and partly surrounded by cremated human bone. The main burial was of a child and was placed on the topmost floor. This was accompanied by two sherds of Food-Vessel. The cist consisted of four sandstone slabs set on edge in a rectangle. Other large slabs flanked the eastern side stone and the northern end stone of the cist. This double-wall arrangement lent the structure a wedge-shaped aspect. A crazy – pattern of small thin sandstone paving-stones occurred between these double walls. This was extended around and between both cists as well as the area between the cists and the inner kerb. The cist was capped by a large simple capstone which rested on two large paving-stones at diagonally opposite corners.
The second cist was of simpler construction. It had one floor composed of two sandstone slabs. These sloped slightly and partly under laid one of the side walls which partially collapsed in antiquity probably due to the insertion of a fresh quantity of cremated bone when the burials already in the cist were swept under the floor. Several individuals were represented. An almost complete Bowl Food Vessel of tripartite type was recovered with the bones from the upper surface of the floor. This appears to represent an insertion into the cist sometime after it was constructed which may mean that the cairn itself dates to a slightly earlier period.