2003:1272 - Carn More, Faughart, Louth

NMI Burial Excavation Records

County: Louth Site name: Carn More, Faughart

Sites and Monuments Record No.: SMR 4:67 Licence number: 03E0867

Author: Shane Delaney, Irish Archaeological Consultancy Ltd, 8 Dungar Terrace, Dún Laoghaire, Co. Dublin.

Site type: Neolithic; ringfort and souterrain

ITM: E 704286m, N 810856m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 54.036329, -6.407953

Excavations at a possible enclosure were undertaken to offset the adverse impact of road construction. An area c. 200m by 50m was bulk-stripped, revealing two areas of unrelated archaeological activity. The area to the west was situated in what could generally be described as a sheltered location and occupied a saddle between two high points on a glacial ridge. The site comprised the remains of two (possibly three) probably Neolithic huts, a probable human cremation and a number of probable pits. The huts consisted of shallow hollows/scoops (c. 3m in diameter) that were roughly surrounded with posts/stakes. One hut appears to have had a porch. All the hollows were filled with a homogenous stone layer, possibly a surface. Finds from the site included sherds of suspected Neolithic pottery, a polished stone adze head and a fragment from a circular lignite object. The probable cooking pits were recorded to the north and west of the huts, with the probable cremation to the west.

The eastern area was centred on Chainage 24,500 and comprised one half of a c. 30m-diameter univallate ringfort (the site was bisected by the road-take fence line). The ringfort had a westward-facing causewayed entrance and internally there was a W-shaped 19m-long souterrain with no chambers. The souterrain gallery was c. 0.9m wide and up to 1m high. The capstones had been deliberately removed and it had been backfilled. Redeposited human bone was recovered from the souterrain backfill. The construction method was of large stones at the base and then field stones forming the drystone walls above.

The ringfort showed evidence for severe truncation and there were few other internal features present. The ditch at its widest point on the western side was 2.7m by 1m deep, but this was reduced to half this size and depth on the eastern side by later truncation. Over 200 small sherds of souterrain ware pottery from the ditch dated the site. The ditch silted naturally. The entire area stripped showed evidence for severe truncation from agricultural activity.