2003:1275 - Site 127, Carn More 5, Faughart, Louth

NMI Burial Excavation Records

County: Louth Site name: Site 127, Carn More 5, Faughart

Sites and Monuments Record No.: N/A Licence number: 03E0873

Author: David Bayley, for IAC Ltd, 8 Dungar Terrace, Dún Laoghaire, Co. Dublin.

Site type: Bronze Age cemetery

ITM: E 704841m, N 810870m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 54.036342, -6.399481

This site was excavated in advance of the M1 Dundalk Western Bypass. It comprises a Bronze Age cemetery measuring c. 60m by 60m, located on a very slight gravel ridge (10m OD) on the flood-plain (9.5m OD) of a stream located c. 130m to the north-east.

The primary area of activity was a barrow mound (originally) up to 26m across, including an external turf bank (no ditch) and internal mound. The barrow contained a disturbed, central, stone-lined burial chamber. Finds consisted of scattered cremated bone, a few sherds of encrusted urn, a copper alloy pin, four small copper alloy ornaments or fastenings and three pieces of struck/worked flint.

The second area was a cist-cairn type monument centred on a burial pit and two low kerb walls up to 5m long. Adjacent to the central pit was a possible stake-built structure and a pit. There was also a large possible quarry pit. Focused on the main burial were two concentric circles of thirteen associated burials/graves plus two ‘boulder burials’. The inner cist ‘circle’ was approximately 16-20m in diameter, with at least ten stone-lined cist depositions, plus one boulder burial. The outer circle consisted of placed pottery vessels in unlined pits. Three placements were recovered, each one ‘paired’ with an ‘inner ring’ cist on an alignment originating from the central burial. A ‘boulder burial’ was placed on/near the outer ring. The outer ring defining the cist-cairn monument had a diameter of c. 42m.

The two boulder burials were 19m apart and aligned exactly east-west (the larger to the east). The eastern (outer ring) ‘boulder burial’ had a granite packing stone with a flat axe motif carved into it.

Finds consisted of loose cremated bone from eight burials (at least one cist contained multiple burials), nine complete pottery vessels, one broken but mostly complete encrusted urn, an animal shaped like a seal carved into a granite stone 1.5m long, a large stone with notch/cup marks in it, a smaller stone with deep ‘cup’ cuts in it, a hone stone, a ‘sword pommel’-shaped copper alloy piece, encircled with stitching holes, filled with an iron-like substance, a copper alloy pin with a twisted faience coating and twelve pieces of struck or worked flint. A probably associated cremation/pyre pit produced one copper alloy object.

The third area consisted of two small ring-barrows (5-6m in diameter externally; 3.5m and 4m internally). Both contained small central pits, possibly containing cremations.