2003:1518 - Cloncreen Bog, Ballykilleen, Offaly

NMI Burial Excavation Records

County: Offaly Site name: Cloncreen Bog, Ballykilleen

Sites and Monuments Record No.: N/A Licence number: 03E1121

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

Site type: Three brushwood sites

ITM: E 660240m, N 727946m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 53.298380, -7.096320

Four small sites that were classified as three tertiary toghers (OF-BKL0051, 53 and 58) and a worked wood in situ (OF-BKL0050) were initially selected for excavation. The tertiary togher OF-BKL0053, which was recorded during the 2002 Peatland Survey as being composed of regularly laid brushwood on the field surface, was not relocated during the mitigation project. The remaining sites were excavated in two cuttings. OF-BKL0050 and OF-BKL0051 were recorded on the field surface along the drain edge and, because of their close proximity, they were recommended for excavation within a single cutting (Cutting 1). This was placed along the drain edge and measured 16m by 2m.

As the sites within Cutting 1 were partially exposed on the field surface, there was little overlying peat remaining. There were two distinct groups of wood excavated. The wood at the western extent was oriented mainly south-south-east/north-north-west. The elements exposed at this end of the cutting (OF-BKL0051) were better preserved than those at the eastern extent. The site was a maximum of 0.57m wide and was exposed within the cutting for a maximum of 2.1m in length. The site did not appear to extend any further to the south-east, as there was a complete absence of wood along the southern part of the cutting. The site was truncated by the drain at its north-western extent and it was not traced on the adjacent field surface. At the western extent of the cutting, 7m to the east of OF-BKL0051, the site recorded as OF-BKL0050 was exposed in full. It was composed of mainly north-south-oriented, poorly preserved, heavy brushwood elements. There were also a lot of root remains present. The wood was fragmentary and again appeared to have no clearly attributable function. The elements ranged in diameter from 10 to 40mm and were 0.12-0.64m in length; most had been machine damaged. Approximately ten of the elements had evidence of woodworking. These were flat-faceted wedge and chisel points cut with a metal tool, none of which appeared to have any signatures. The site may represent the remains of a small north-south-oriented togher, but no further remains were discovered in a slot-trench excavated 1m south of the cutting boundaries and there were no visible remains on the adjacent field surface to the north.

OF-BKL0053 was located 10m to the north-west on the adjoining field surface and was excavated within a 2m by 2m cutting (Cutting 2). There was very little peat (less than 0.1m) overlying the site. The archaeological wood exposed was quite fragmentary and was composed of 30 mainly light brushwood elements with a north-south orientation. There were two north-west/south-east elements. One of these underlay the north-south brushwood, while the other overlay them. Six metal-cut toolmarked ends were noted. Three of these were chisel points. They had a variety of cutting angles, ranging from 10¡ to 35¡. One of the elements had a single concave facet, while the other two had three facets. The remaining worked ends were wedge points with relatively flat facets that ranged from 10¡ to 50¡. A slot-trench was excavated 0.45m to the north of the cutting to establish the extent of the site. Some fragmentary north-south-oriented brushwood elements were exposed in this trench, but the site did not extend any further northwards. The wood was very fragmentary and the entire site measured a maximum of 1.86m by 2.9m, possibly representing the remains of a small platform site.