1988:44 - Derryoghil, Corlea, Cloonbony, Longford

NMI Burial Excavation Records

County: Longford Site name: Derryoghil, Corlea, Cloonbony

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

Author: Barry Raftery, Dept. of Archaeology, University College, Dublin

Site type: Toghers

ITM: E 609449m, N 762821m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 53.615129, -7.857195

Thirteen weeks of excavation took place in the summer of 1988 as part of an extensive EC sponsored training and research programme on the archaeology of Irish wetlands. The funding was provided under the auspices of the European Social Fund. Following on the experience of previous years, work was centred in Derryoghil townland where it had already become apparent in 1987 that at least 16 wooden trackways existed. Detailed investigations in 1988 revealed the presence of over 40 trackways in the bog, 39 of which were subjected to archaeological examination.

Considerable variety in construction was revealed. The simplest of which there were two examples consisted of straight wooden poles of medium size laid lengthwise on the bog surface with the occasional support of short transverse timbers. One of these has been given a preliminary radiocarbon date of around 2000BC. More common are tracks made of bundles of hazel rods laid lengthwise on the surface of the bog. Two tracks with carefully laid transverse rods were also uncovered and there were at least six tracks made of skillfully woven hurdles. The most massive of the tracks consisted of substantial split oak planks, up to 2.5m in length, laid transversely on a bed of irregular brushwood. A dendrochronological date in the mid 10th century B.C. has been established for the construction of the track. A number of the brushwood tracks have been tentatively dated to the 10th and 9th centuries BC by radiocarbon methods.

One track in the neighbouring townland of Corlea was investigated. It consisted of transversely laid planks and logs with a substructure of irregularly laid brushwood and larger logs. This has been dated by radiocarbon to around 1900 BC.

A trackway in Cloonbony townland, not far from Lanesboro, was also excavated. This was composed of two layers of tightly packed transverse logs of alder which rested on a parallel pair of longitudinal runners.