1990:105 - LITTLETON BOG, Longford Pass North, Tipperary

NMI Burial Excavation Records

County: Tipperary Site name: LITTLETON BOG, Longford Pass North

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

Author: Stella Cherry, Siobhán Geraghty and Michael Ryan, National Museum of Ireland, Dublin

Site type: Road- class 1 togher

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

ITM: E 623345m, N 659242m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 52.683835, -7.654726

Following the discovery by a Bord na Móna worker of a Late Bronze Age leaf-shaped sword between the timbers of an exposed togher at Littleton Bog, Co. Tipperary, a team from the National Museum of Ireland investigated the site. Part of the same togher had previously been examined by Prof Etienne Rynne in the early 1960s (see North Munster Antiq. Jour. 1962-65, Vol IX, 138-144).

At least three toghers run through this section of Littleton Bog. That investigated is the most northerly (Rynne's Togher A). It runs in a south-west-north-east direction and can be traced on the ground for a length of 400m. It is cut through in several places by Bord na Móna drainage ditches. The surface of the trackway has been damaged by the passage of machinery and by having been exposed to the elements for a long period of time.

At the find spot of the sword an area 6m x 8m was investigated. here the trackway was approx. 4.5m wide. It was delimited on the south by a large oak beam 4.9m long. The rest of the trackway consisted of birch logs and some smaller redeposited planks— some with square perforations for pegs. On the north side of the trackway the planks were less rigidly structured and were lying at different angles to the main body of the togher. These were overlain by a series of birch logs parallel to the oak beam. The road at this point appeared to show two periods of construction. The oak planks were displaced and covered by the birch logs. The bronze sword (Eogan class IV) was found amongst the redeposited oak planks. The deposition of the sword appeared to have taken place during the secondary rebuilding of the trackway.