2003:1669 - Rathscanlan, Sligo

NMI Burial Excavation Records

County: Sligo Site name: Rathscanlan

Sites and Monuments Record No.: SMR 37:49 Licence number: 03E1696

Author: Christopher Read, North West Archaeological Services Ltd, Cloonfad Cottage, Cloonfad, Carrick-on-Shannon, Co. Leitrim.

Site type: Testing

ITM: E 551066m, N 810940m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 54.045300, -8.747175

The proposed development site is located to the west of Tobercurry, Co. Sligo, facing onto the Ballina Road. It comprises two separate fields: one large irregular field (thirteen acres), and a smaller rectilinear field (two acres) to the north of Field 1, facing onto the road. The proposed development is to consist of 34 houses, access, services and green spaces. Located within the site is a ringfort, which is only barely discernible in places as a low-lying curvilinear ditch and a slightly raised interior. A 20m buffer zone around the ringfort will be maintained. The site was tested during the first and second week of November 2003.

Eleven trenches were excavated by machine. Trenches 1-9 were situated in Field 1, while Trenches 10 and 11 were in Field 2. The trenches varied in length between 40 and 120m. No evidence of archaeological activity was revealed in any of them, with the exception of Trench 10. Approximately 30m from the southern end of Trench 10, a substantial deposit of charcoal-enriched clay and heat-fractured stone was revealed, at a depth of 0.25-0.35m below the current ground level. The trench excavation was halted and the entire burnt deposit was exposed by machine. The deposit measured 6.5m north-south by 4.6m, with a depth ranging from 0.08 to 0.14m. After recording, the area was covered with plastic and a thin layer of soil. This possible fulacht fiadh will be fully excavated early in 2004.