2003:1515 - Cloncreen Bog, Ballykilleen, Offaly

NMI Burial Excavation Records

County: Offaly Site name: Cloncreen Bog, Ballykilleen

Sites and Monuments Record No.: N/A Licence number: 03E1117

Author: Jane Whitaker, ADS Ltd, Windsor House, 11 Fairview Strand, Dublin 3.

Site type: Brushwood sites

ITM: E 660350m, N 727700m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 53.296158, -7.094718

These four brushwood sites were selected for excavation as part of the 2003 Bord na Móna archaeological mitigation project. They were grouped together in the mitigation strategy document because of their close proximity to each other and the fact that their functions remained uncertain after the Irish Archaeological Wetland Unit 2002 Peatland Survey. The sites were excavated within a single cutting to investigate their relationship, if any, with one another.

The easternmost site, OF-BKL0084, described as worked wood in situ, was a radially split alder plank exposed on the field surface. OF-BKL0087, 2.3m west of 84, was described as a tertiary togher comprised of a stout hurdle panel and densely packed mixed brushwood with occasional twigs. Of-BKL0085, 1.3m west of 86, was described as a tertiary togher comprising densely laid brushwood, one to two elements deep; it was 0.68m in width and had been traced for a length of 1.19m. OF-BKL0086 was classified as unworked wood in situ and consisted of two pieces of brushwood and a roundwood exposed on the field surface.

The excavated cutting measured 12m by 2m in size. After the removal of the upper peats, the wood exposed was very fragmentary, although the sites recorded during survey work were distinguishable, apart from OF-BKL0085, which appeared to have been almost completely destroyed. The site recorded as OF-BKL0087 (a tertiary togher) was not immediately distinguishable as a hurdle panel. The location of the site was checked and it would appear that sampling for wood species identification and radiocarbon dating during survey work, combined with subsequent milling, had left this site in a very fragmentary state. The site recorded in 2002 as OF-BKL0085 also appears to have been largely removed, either by sampling or milling, and all that remained was a single brushwood element. It would appear that sites OF-BKL0084 and 87 may have been part of a single site, as there were previously unrecorded elements uncovered during the excavation that linked the two sightings.

At the western extent of the cutting, the plank recorded and partially sampled (OF-BKL0084) was clearly evident. It was a radially split plank, 0.29m in width, and had a remaining length of 1.05m. It was oriented north-east/south-west and was dried out as a result of machine damage. Because of their fragmentary nature, the function and exact relationship of these sites remains uncertain after excavation. It is hoped that additional dating evidence and analysis of the other archaeological features in the bog may help with their interpretation.