2003:1705 - Site 20, Boscabell, Tipperary

NMI Burial Excavation Records

County: Tipperary Site name: Site 20, Boscabell

Sites and Monuments Record No.: N/A Licence number: 03E0470

Author: John Kavanagh, Sweep Road, Rathmore, Portarlington, Co. Laois, for Judith Carroll Network Archaeology Ltd.

Site type: Enclosure

ITM: E 609626m, N 641291m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 52.522899, -7.858150

Site 20 was excavated in advance of construction of the 6km N8 Cashel Bypass and the 2km N74 Link Road. South Tipperary County Council proposes to construct a new bypass of Cashel town, a scheme involving a 6km bypass route of the town and a 2km link road of the N74. The excavation commenced in May of 2003 for a period of six weeks.

The excavation uncovered the remains of a previously unknown D-shaped enclosure measuring c. 30m by 23m. It was defined by a ditch with a V-shaped profile, 1.2-1.65m wide by up to 0.68m deep. The ditch became shallower as it approached the edge of a wetland area to the south-east. The eastern terminus of the enclosure ditch had been recut and realigned slightly more to the north. The ditch was filled with a mixture of silts and sands and no finds were recovered from the fill. The north-facing entrance was defined by a causeway 2.5m wide. There was no evidence of a bank.

Near the centre of the enclosure was a small oval-shaped pit, 0.53-0.42m wide by 0.14m deep, filled with grey-brown charcoal-flecked silty clay and several small fragments of cremated bone. In the south-west corner of the enclosure four pits and a stake-hole were uncovered. The pits were oval or circular in shape, 0.3-0.83m in diameter and up to 0.3m deep. Three were filled with grey-brown charcoal-flecked sandy silts and one contained traces of oxidised clay and fragments of burnt bone. A further two pits were identified in the south-east corner of the enclosure. The first was a rectangular-shaped pit, 1.86m by 1.31m and 0.35m deep. The second was an oblong, 1.05m by 0.62m and 0.32m deep. Both were filled with grey-brown charcoal-flecked sandy silts.

To the north-west of the enclosure and close to the entrance were three possible stake-holes and a post-hole. An isolated stake-hole was uncovered to the south of the enclosure and two small pits to the north-east. The pits were filled with dark-brown to grey charcoal-flecked sandy silts and contained moderate quantities of small stones. A further two pits were to the west of the enclosure. The first was rectangular in shape, 0.9m by 0.85m and 0.29m deep. This pit was truncated by the second larger circular pit, 1.23m by 1.1m and 0.42m deep. Both pits were filled with charcoal-flecked silty sands. A small pit and a possible post-hole were close to the north-western edge of the enclosure. The pit had an oval shape with a V-shaped profile, 0.7m by 0.6m and 0.3m deep. It was filled with silts and sands. An additional two pits were to the north-west of the enclosure close to the modern field boundary. The first was oval in shape with a bowl-shaped profile, 0.6m by 0.7m and 0.3m deep. The second pit had no archaeological significance. A small cluster of six post-holes and a possible pit were uncovered close to the edge of the enclosure to the south-west. The pit was semicircular in shape with a bowl-shaped profile, 1.57m in diameter and 0.35m deep and filled with grey to brown charcoal-flecked silty clays and occasional small stones. Further to the west was an isolated post-hole.

Two post-medieval boundary ditches aligned north-south cut through the centre of the enclosure and extended across the entire site. Both appeared to have silted up naturally. To the north-east of the site a shallow gully was exposed aligned north-south. This fed into a larger ditch which extended off to the south-east and into the adjacent field. Two field drains were located to the east of the enclosure aligned north-south and extending into the adjacent field. Plough furrows aligned east-west and north-south truncated the upper fills of the enclosure.