2003:1210 - LISNAMUCK, Longford

NMI Burial Excavation Records

County: Longford Site name: LISNAMUCK

Sites and Monuments Record No.: N/A Licence number: 03E1422

Author: Ros Ó Maoldúin, Valerie J. Keeley Ltd., for ADS Ltd.

Site type: Burnt mound

Period/Dating: Undetermined

ITM: E 614897m, N 776447m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 53.737460, -7.774191

Sites 1-3 and 6, identified during monitoring by Chris Read (No. 1208, Excavations 2003, 03E1194), were excavated during September and October 2003. Excavation revealed three burnt mounds, their associated pits/troughs and a ditch of unknown antiquity.

Site 1, 214950 276430
Site 1 was situated at the centre of the development. Excavation revealed a mound of friable, dark-brownish-black, silty, charcoal-rich humic clay containing c. 40% burnt/fire-cracked stone. The deposit measured about 16m by 11.5m and had a maximum depth of 0.46m. A large pit was situated at the western edge of the mound and the trough was concealed beneath it.

The pit was oval in plan with a stepped base. It was deeper to the north end, with a distinctive step up to the shallower southern base. To the south, its sides were gradual and broke gently to a concave base, but to the north the sides were steep and broke sharply to an uneven base. It measured c. 6m long, 3.3m wide and was c. 2m deep.

The trough was rectangular and had a flat bottom, vertical sides and a stake-hole positioned in each corner. It was 2.15m long, 1.59m wide and 0.2m deep.

Site 2, 214970 276407
Site 2 contained a small spread of material, similar to that contained within the mound of Site 1. It measured c. 2.5m by 1.5m and survived to a depth of 45mm. A pit filled with similar material was situated beside its northern edge. It was oval in plan, had steep sides graduating gently to a concave base, was 1.05m long, 0.75m wide and 0.25m deep.

Site 3, 215010 276383
Site 3 comprised patches of greyish-black sandy silt containing c. 40% burnt stone and many charcoal flecks, partially covering a trough and a small pit. The trough was subrectangular, with steep sides graduating gently to a concave base, into which were cut five stakes, one in each corner and a second in the south-west. The pit was oval in plan, with steep to vertical sides breaking sharply to a concave base. It measured c. 0.7m by 0.6m and was 0.42m deep.

Site 6, 214932 276322
The ground surrounding Area 4 was cut away, prior to the commencement of excavation, creating a pedestal of c. 3.5m high. A charcoal-rich deposit visible at the centre of the area was assumed to represent the fill of a pit. However, on excavation it became apparent that this was the south-west terminal of a ditch, which would have continued north-eastward across the now 'in cut' development area. The surviving portion of the ditch was 4.71m in length and had a maximum width of 1.12m and a maximum depth of 0.56m. It had steep sides, which graduated gently to a concave base. Charcoal was retrieved from the fill and a 14C date is forthcoming.

In these three fulachta and the adjacent one (No. 1209, Excavation 2003, 01E1421), two distinctly different trough or pit types are represented. At Sites 1 and 3, the troughs were rectangular in plan and had flat bases with a stake-hole in either corner. The stake-holes probably indicate support for a now disintegrated wooden lining. The pits central to the other two spreads (Site 2 and above) were oval in plan, were deeper than Sites 1 and 3 and their sides broke more gently to less flat bases. This form suggests no lining and could be indicative of a different function or methodology of carrying out the same function.

Brehon House, Kilkenny Road, Castlecomer, Co. Kilkenny