1991:091 - Aghadegnan Ringfort, Templemichael, Longford

NMI Burial Excavation Records

County: Longford Site name: Aghadegnan Ringfort, Templemichael

Sites and Monuments Record No.: SMR 13:13 Licence number:

Author: Judith Carroll 30 Ramleh Park, Milltown, Dublin 6.

Site type: Ringfort

ITM: E 614132m, N 775540m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 53.729324, -7.785840

The excavation at Aghadegnan was carried out between February and June 1991 for Longford Co. Council prior to road development. The site is an exceptionally large earthen ringfort, approximately 61m in external diameter with a single bank and single outer ditch. Only half the site was required to be archaeologically investigated as the road is only to cover its northern half. The main features of the excavation were a prebank palisade trench and at least four circular structures defined by postholes. The palisade trench cut through two of these structures showing that an open settlement had predated this defence feature. There were two phases of ironworking: the first of these post-dated the palisade trench but pre-dated the bank indicating that occupation type activity had taken place between the two defence phases. The later phase of ironworking was contemporary with the bank and ditch occupation of the fort. There were no closely dateable finds from the fort period and the only stratified finds of any cultural significance were the probable shank of an iron ringhead pin and a small piece of stone with a roughly carved cross. Both were found at the base of the bank material. There were, however, 10 calibrated C14 dates from well stratified charcoal and bone samples giving a clear sequence of dates for the occupation from around the 5th to the 10th century AD, the bank being built around the 7th/early 8th century.