2003:1454 - Ratoath, Meath

NMI Burial Excavation Records

County: Meath Site name: Ratoath

Sites and Monuments Record No.: N/A Licence number: 03E1632

Author: Angela Wallace, for Arch-Tech Ltd, 32 Fitzwilliam Place, Dublin 2.

Site type: Burnt spread

ITM: E 701779m, N 751796m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 53.506290, -6.465680

In the course of monitoring of a large-scale residential development on the western fringe of Ratoath village, a small badly truncated burnt spread and pits were identified. The spread had been truncated by a modern field boundary, and the remaining spread measured c. 5m east-west by c. 10m. It was truncated on the east side by the boundary separating Fields 2 and 5. The spread was fully excavated in October 2003.

The spread of burnt stone and charcoal was quite thin, measuring 0.01-0.2m in thickness. Four drains traversing this area had also cut through the spread and associated features. Three small post-holes underlay the main spread, at the western edge; two were clearly defined and the third was very shallow with uncertain edges.

A possible trough was identified 4.25m west of the main spread; this pit was cut by three of the later drains.

An isolated thin spread with charcoal and burnt stone was excavated c. 10m east of the main spread. It was within a natural marshy, peaty hollow in the landscape, c. 50m north of the base of the slope of a high east-west ridge to the south. A large number of archaeological features were exposed on the summit of this ridge and are currently being investigated (No. 1455 below, 03E1781).

A sherd of blackware was recovered in the topsoil layer across the site, a lead shot or musket ball was recovered within the fill of the modern field boundary and a small fragment of flint debitage was recovered from the main burnt spread. A single small piece of burnt bone was retrieved in the topsoil layer and some very small shell fragments were recovered at the base of the possible trough.