2003:1398 - Site 30, Harlockstown, Meath

NMI Burial Excavation Records

County: Meath Site name: Site 30, Harlockstown

Sites and Monuments Record No.: N/A Licence number: 03E1363

Author: Liam McKinstry, Judith Carroll Network Archaeology Ltd, 13 Anglesea Street, Dublin 2

Site type: No archaeological significance

ITM: E 705328m, N 750423m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 53.493260, -6.412658

Test excavation was undertaken in advance of the proposed N2 Finglas-Ashbourne road scheme between August and November 2003. The proposed road scheme is approximately 17km long, commencing at the M50 interchange in Dublin and extending to the townland of Rath, north of Ashbourne, Co. Meath. The route avoids all the recorded sites in the area, but a small number of possible archaeological sites were identified in the line of the route as part of the EIS carried out by Valerie J. Keeley Ltd. A subsequent geophysical survey carried out by GSB Prospection Ltd and Margaret Gowen Ltd in 2002 identified further new sites along the route.

Based on the results of these surveys the route was divided into 31 testing areas, so that the possible sites and the whole of the remainder of the route could be investigated through testing. This generally involved mechanically excavating 2m-wide trenches along the centre-line, with perpendicular offsets every 20m, across the width of the land-take. In addition, test-trenches were excavated parallel to all rivers/streams.

Testing Area 30, located at Chainage 12700 to 13100, comprised two fields on the south-east-facing slope of a small undulating hill that ranges from 69.65 to 72.5m OD at its northern extent. The underlying solid geology is limestone interbedded with siltstone or shale. This is covered for the most part by a 3-6m-thick mantle of glacial till, upon which is c. 0.4m of topsoil.

A trench was excavated running south-east to north-west along the centre of the route, with additional perpendicular trenches. Thirty-eight trenches in total were excavated, in which no significant archaeological activity or artefacts were identified.