2003:1647 - Drumaskibbole, Sligo

NMI Burial Excavation Records

County: Sligo Site name: Drumaskibbole

Sites and Monuments Record No.: SMR 20:124 Licence number: 03E1041

Author: Tom Rogers, Moore Ltd, Corporate House, Ballybrit Business Park, Galway.

Site type: Stone pathways and fulacht fiadh

ITM: E 568686m, N 831231m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 54.228998, -8.480249

This site was uncovered by Anne Carey during monitoring and testing ahead of the realignment of the R284 road from Drumaskibbole to Ballygawley (No. 1646 above, 03E0929). It is situated at the base of a small valley between two glacial hillocks, upon one of which is a ringfort, SMR 20:114. A layer of peat lay on the base of the valley and beneath this a burnt mound with a square wooden trough was uncovered. Slightly to the north of this a line of rounded unbonded stones, 14.9m long, also lay beneath the peat. Further peat removal west of this feature during the excavation phase revealed a second line of stones, 2.5m long and roughly parallel.

Excavation was carried out in July 2003. Initial investigation showed that the stone features and burnt mound represented two phases of activity separated by a minimum of 0.25m of peat. The stone features were V-shaped in profile. They lay within the peat, although in both cases a harder lens of sand provided a base. It was concluded that these features were stone pathways built to cross the wet base of the valley. No artefacts were found to date these features, but it is hoped that dendrochronological analysis of wood found directly beneath the western path will cast some light on this.

The burnt mound was 19m long (north-south) and 11m wide. It lay on natural blue sand and comprised several layers of burnt and shattered stones with a maximum thickness of 0.5m. The major context was burnt and shattered stones with much charcoal, while other layers to the south contained less charcoal.

Trough 1 was slightly east of centre. This was of c. 1m2, comprising nine wooden elements, some of which were so shaped as to imply reuse. At the southern edge of the mound a second trough was uncovered, in an oval cut filled with burnt and shattered stones. This was rectangular, 1.8m long and 0.8m wide. There was no base and the wooden side elements were thick and roughly hewn. A third wooden feature in a depression at the northern end of the site comprised wooden planking, lined on one side by short upright hazel rods. This may represent an earlier trough but may also be a feature related to the lake which once lay at the base of this valley.