2003:1619 - CALTRAGH (Site 1E Ext.), Sligo

NMI Burial Excavation Records

County: Sligo Site name: CALTRAGH (Site 1E Ext.)

Sites and Monuments Record No.: N/A Licence number: 03E0542

Author: Susan McCabe, Archaeological Consultancy Services Ltd.

Site type: Fulacht fia, Hut site and Road - road/trackway

Period/Dating: Prehistoric (12700 BC-AD 400)

ITM: E 568758m, N 834335m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 54.256896, -8.479468

As part of the archaeological resolution in advance of the construction of the N4 Sligo Inner Relief Road, the remains of a heavily disturbed fulacht fiadh, a post-medieval bóthairín and two possible hut sites with associated features were excavated.

The fulacht fiadh had been damaged during the laying of the sewerage pipe and very little in situ material was present. Underlying a deposit of disturbed fulacht material, several pits and a possible trough were identified. These features lay beneath a post-medieval wall along the north side of a boreen which was cobbled.

North of the fulacht fiadh, the remains of two hut sites were identified, with a third possible hut also present, although machine damage to this feature made formal identification difficult. Hut I was defined internally by a circle of ten post-holes and measured 5.2m east-west by 5.8m. On the interior of what may have been the outer wall of the hut, a total of seven pits had been dug. Within these pits, the remains of two quern stones, burnt bone, thumbnail scrapers and prehistoric pottery sherds were found. The entrance to the hut was east-facing, defined by eight parallel post-holes which may have supported a porch or annex. While some internal features were evident, defined by stake-holes, up to 200 stake-holes both internally and externally suggest several phases of activity and rebuilding of the structure.

Hut II, directly west of Hut I, was possibly linked by a porch or annex, defined by stake-/post-holes. This hut had a north-facing entrance defined by four post-holes and a stony area outside the entrance, a possible cobbled surface. Internally, several features were present, including several structural post-holes, a series of stake-holes and a possible hearth. Prehistoric pottery was found in association with this hut site. Struck and unstruck chert was also found. Three quern stones were found within the pits associated with this hut.

An east-west and north-south ditch or slot-trench was excavated and may represent delimiting of the site by a fence to the north and west of the huts. Found in association with Hut II to the east, two pits were excavated. Within these, burnt bone, a flint scraper, one sherd of prehistoric pottery, five pieces of quern stone and a grinding stone were found.

Though severely damaged by machine activity, an area to the east of Hut II suggests that a third structure may have been present.

This project was funded by the Irish government under the National Development Plan 2000–2006.

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