2003:1743 - FARRANAMANAGH (Site 41), Tipperary

NMI Burial Excavation Records

County: Tipperary Site name: FARRANAMANAGH (Site 41)

Sites and Monuments Record No.: N/A Licence number: 03E0674

Author: Neil Fairburn, for Judith Carroll Network Archaeology Ltd.

Site type: Fulacht fia and Burnt spread

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

ITM: E 606014m, N 640002m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 52.511368, -7.911402

Excavation at Site 41 was carried out in Phase 3 investigations on behalf of South Tipperary County Council in advance of construction of the N8 Cashel Bypass and N74 Link Road. The scheme involves a 6km bypass route of the town and a 2km link road of the N74.

Phase 2 testing work in this section of the proposed N74 Link Road was carried out in April 2003 (No. 1719, Excavations 2003, 03E0295). It uncovered a number of features, including a burnt mound and a number of pits, stake-holes, post-holes and skeletal remains, which were mainly concentrated in the northern portion of the test area. A number of large linear ditches were also uncovered in the southern area, which were possibly the remains of an enclosure or a large rectilinear field boundary.

The whole area of Site 41 was stripped of topsoil, exposing in the northern half a large number of prehistoric features, including a fulacht fiadh with a trough, a burnt spread, clusters of stake-holes, linear ditches, pits and post-holes. In the southern section, the topsoil-stripping revealed the full extent of a large post-medieval double-ditched rectilinear field boundary, but no other features. The features in the northern section of the site were predominantly grouped around the fulacht fiadh, with a small number of features located towards the southern section.

The fulacht fiadh was located on the sloping edge of a hollow, which was probably the source of the water. It was well preserved, as it had been covered by a depth of c. 1m of alluvial material, and it was kidney-shaped, c. 8m by 7.5m, with a rectangular trough c. 1m by 1.2m and a depth of c. 0.45m. Inside the trough, probably from its final use, were a number of still whole water-rolled stones. The trough also contained a small number of stake-holes in its base and around the edges.

On the opposite side of the hollow was a burnt spread of fulacht fiadh-type material, possibly the beginnings of another burnt mound. Beneath the spread was a pit, which was possibly used as a trough. Around the outside of the pit was a series of stake-holes, possibly forming a screen around it.

An east-west-orientated linear ditch c. 20m in length and located some 40m to the south of the fulacht fiadh produced two Late Mesolithic/Early Neolithic flint blades. The ditch fill was sterile and it is not clear if the finds are intrusive to the ditch or are contemporary with it. However, an Early Neolithic flint arrowhead was recovered from a sandy area 20m further south of this ditch close to a cluster of 40 tightly grouped stake-holes. This could suggest that there was early activity in the near vicinity and that some of the features in the northern area may be associated with this activity.

Cocyn Uchaf, Moelfre, Anglesey, Wales