2003:982 - SITE 4, BALLYNAMONA, Kildare

NMI Burial Excavation Records

County: Kildare Site name: SITE 4, BALLYNAMONA

Sites and Monuments Record No.: N/A Licence number: 03E0859

Author: Joanna Wren, for ADS Ltd, 11 Fairview Strand, Fairview, Dublin 3.

Site type: Drying kilns

ITM: E 662168m, N 615674m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 52.289216, -7.088735

The site was tested in 2002 (Excavations 2002, No. 988, 02E0178) as part of a programme designed to uncover features of archaeological significance along the N25 Waterford Bypass route. When pit features were uncovered, it was decided to fully excavate them. This took place in July 2003. The work was funded by the National Roads Authority through Waterford City Council.
The site was located in the townland of Ballynamona, Slieverue, Co. Kilkenny. It consisted of a group of pits containing oxidised clay and charcoal with associated ovens and rake-out pits. The features have been interpreted provisionally as a group of drying kilns. These have the appearance of the flueless rudimentary variety, such as is suggested in the Early Irish Laws. These kilns may have functioned within a kiln house. They would pre-date the keyhole-shaped kilns first made in the 10th century. Similar features excavated in Wexford were found to contain cereal grains and produced radiocarbon dates in the Early Christian period. This would make them rare examples of a group of kilns which pre-date the ubiquitous keyhole-shaped drying kilns.