2003:1749 - GEORGE'S LAND (Site 23), Tipperary

NMI Burial Excavation Records

County: Tipperary Site name: GEORGE'S LAND (Site 23)

Sites and Monuments Record No.: N/A Licence number: 03E0508

Author: John Kavanagh, National Archaeological Services, for Judith Carroll Network Archaeology Ltd.

Site type: Excavation - miscellaneous

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

ITM: E 609577m, N 641102m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 52.521210, -7.858877

Test excavation and resolution work was carried out here 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.

A large number of features or deposits of archaeological significance were identified during testing of this site, including fulacht fiadh spreads, pits, post-holes and linear features. There is no real area of concentration, with a general distribution of features across the whole site. The features were resolved under an extension to this licence in Phase 3 of the investigations.

The whole area of Site 23 was stripped of topsoil in Phase 3, exposing in the four fields making up the site a large number of prehistoric features, including three fulachta fiadh (one with a trough), three burnt spreads (one with a possible trough), a possible structure, a small collection of worked timbers from an area of peat, stake-holes, linear ditches, pits, post-holes and a modern dump of abattoir material.

Field 1 was on the opposite side of the hedge and stream to Site 21 (No. 1706, Excavations 2003, 03E0480), which also formed the townland boundary with Boscabell. The remains of a truncated fulacht fiadh, c. 1.5m in diameter, and two pits c. 0.8m in diameter containing fulacht fiadh material were located by the edge of this stream. Thirty metres south of these features was a thin spread of burnt-mound material, c. 3m in diameter, and a small pit. It is possible that there may be an association between these features and the features found in Area 22 (No. 1749, Excavations 2003, 03E0503), as they were similar in nature and located only some 40m to the west.

Field 2, with three separate areas of activity, was in a field beside Area 1 about 30m south of the stream. The first area of activity was on the edge of the road-take, where a small spread of material from a fulacht fiadh was uncovered. Due to the alteration of the road design after the commencement of excavation, this area of the site was only partially excavated and the features preserved in situ. A rectangular trough was exposed.

Forty metres south of this feature was a circular arrangement of post-holes, possibly part of a structure. The site was excavated but no artefacts were recovered. Twenty metres further south of this structure there was a spread of dark soil predominantly containing the lower limbs of cattle and of sheep. A local source provided information that the land had been owned by an abattoir owner who had dumped waste material on the land. Nothing was found underneath the spread of bones, although a small feature to the side of the spread had contained a few sherds of prehistoric pottery.

In Field 3, which was located in the next field to the south, two fulachta fiadh and an area of peat with possible worked timber were uncovered.

The area of peat was partially covered by a thin spread of fulacht fiadh material, which was probably associated with the large fulacht fiadh in Site 24 (No. 1751, Excavations 2003, 03E0507). When the spread was cleared, a number of timbers were uncovered poking through the peat. They showed some signs of being worked but are as yet unexamined and undated.

To the south of the peat area, c. 6m away, a fulacht fiadh with a truncated trough was uncovered. It was kidney-shaped, c. 5m in diameter, with a thin spread of material c. 0.1m deep. Three modern field drains had truncated it. Underneath the spread of burnt shattered stone were three possible shallow plough/ard marks, and a small polished stone axe was also recovered. The axe is as yet unexamined and undated.

Another small fulacht fiadh was uncovered 20m further to the south. This feature was 3m in diameter and was also very shallow, c. 0.1m.

In Field 4, opposite Field 3 and adjacent to Site 24 (below), a number of features were uncovered. These consisted of three shallow pits with fulacht fiadh-type material in them, three isolated post-holes, a linear ditch and a spread of burnt material.

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