2003:1533 - CLONEARL DEMESNE, Offaly

NMI Burial Excavation Records

County: Offaly Site name: CLONEARL DEMESNE

Sites and Monuments Record No.: N/A Licence number: 03E0772

Author: Caitríona Moore and Conor McDermott, Irish Archaeological Wetland Unit

Site type: Burial

Period/Dating: Iron Age (800 BC-AD 339)

ITM: E 646523m, N 731511m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 53.331801, -7.301537

Following the discovery of human remains (NMI 2003:14) in Clonearl Bog, Co. Offaly, this licence was issued to allow investigation of ex situ peat which had been disturbed in association with the find. The site is located in Clonearl Demesne townland at the south-western side of Croghan Hill in an area of raised bog being prepared for commercial production. The human remains were recovered from the bucket of a mechanical excavator during the course of drain cutting in the southern portion of the bog. The spoil upcast from this work was deposited on the field surface 7m north of the drain in a linear mound averaging 1.8m wide and 0.3–0.6m in height. Consultation with the machine driver established that the peat at the north-western end of the spoilheap was that which had been excavated with the human remains and investigations were confined to this area.

A 1.8m length of the spoilheap was examined, with the spoil being processed by hand and a trowel used to examine redeposited sod peat. A small number of finds and samples were recovered during the investigation; three fingernails were located at an upper level of the spoilheap. They were recovered separately but close together from within a matrix of poorly humified Sphagnum peat. At a lower level within the spoil, a small fragment of wood, possibly from a withe, and some sand and ericaceous matter were recovered.

Department of Archaeology, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4