1974:0025 - AUGHINISH ISLAND, Limerick

NMI Burial Excavation Records

County: Limerick Site name: AUGHINISH ISLAND

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

Author: Mr. E. Kelly, Department of Archaeology, University College, Dublin

Site type: Two stone forts

ITM: E 528466m, N 653545m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 52.628410, -9.056649

Both sites were of similar construction, consisting of an internal and external revetment of limestone slabs and rubble core. Both measured 35m across and neither showed evidence of an accompanying ditch.

Site 1 was built directly on bedrock and so no post-holes were evident. However, there was evidence of levelling and clearance of the jagged bed-rock in one area suggesting a house site. Two large rock-cut pits were also uncovered. Traces of an occupation layer were found underlying the internal wall collapse, which produced coarse pottery, a heavily corroded iron bridle bit, a bronze chisel and pin and two saddle querns. The pin and bit are suggested to be of Halstatt C context; the chisel is of Downs type, and the pottery compares well with wares from LBA sites such as Rathgall and Lough Eskragh. It would seem that the site was built and occupied exclusively during the Late Bronze Age.

At Site 2, 200 metres Se of site 1 the plan of a circular house 8m in diameter was found, along with pits and some entrance features, which produced coarse pottery of the type found at Site 1. It would, then, also appear to date to the late Bronze Age.

Remains of a small rectangular stone-walled structure measuring 5m x 4m partly overlaid the collapsed fort wall but was not directly dated. It compares with a structure excavated by Mrs. Hickey (site 27 below).