1974:063 - BELDERGBEG, Mayo

NMI Burial Excavation Records

County: Mayo Site name: BELDERGBEG

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

Author: Mr. S. Caulfield, Department of Archaeology, University College Dublin

Site type: Field system and Settlement cluster

Period/Dating: Prehistoric (12700 BC-AD 400)

ITM: E 498173m, N 841004m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 54.307621, -9.564714

The aim this season was to complete the excavation of the house and to try to define the overall limits of the settlement to the north and south.

The round house was totally excavated apart from one small segment where the stratification was left intact. The rubber of a saddle quern and the fragment of another were found. The external trench which surrounds the house is not continuous as it stops just short of an unexcavated baulk on the western side. The trench in the neighbourhood of the ridge is filled with a disturbed peaty soil.

Excavation at the extreme northern end of the site showed a large spread of charcoal in which shells of hazelnut were found. A large cutting within the boundary of the stone walls at the extreme south end of the site uncovered a very stony area in which were found sherds of pottery with sharply-angular quartz grit very similar to pottery from the Glenulra enclosure. Elsewhere on the site at a number of places there was found pottery with a non-quartz grit similar to the cord-ornamented pottery discovered in 1973.

In a non-ridged area contiguous to the ridge plots further traces of plough marks were revealed. This new evidence shows that ridging was not necessarily the reason for the ploughing and it is possible that the two indications of tillage are unconnected and could in fact belong to the two well-separated occupations of the site.

(NOTE The appendix to the 1973 report gives a series of radio carbon dates supplied by the Smithsonian Institution. The dates published were the uncalibrated dates and to conform to the normal convention should have been published with lower case b.p.)