2003:1750 - Site 24, George's Land, Tipperary

NMI Burial Excavation Records

County: Tipperary Site name: Site 24, George's Land

Sites and Monuments Record No.: N/A Licence number: 03E0507

Author: Liam McKinstry, 9 Ballantyne Place, Steamboat Quay, Limerick, for Judith Carroll Network Archaeology Ltd.

Site type: Fulachta fiadh

ITM: E 609499m, N 641029m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 52.520547, -7.860028

Phase 2 excavation was carried out at Site 24 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.

Site 24 had previously been tested during Phase 1 pre-construction works in 2002 by Anne Marie Lennon (Excavations 2002, No. 1704, 02E0286). A fulacht fiadh spread was identified during this phase of the work. This feature had been heavily disturbed by modern drainage works and the positioning of a farm gate. Excavation of this area as part of Phase 2 investigations took place in July 2003.

Site 24 was located on the south-western side of Site 23 (No. 1750 above, 03E0508) and south of Site 25 (No. 1752 below, 03E0731). The topsoil across the site had an average depth of 0.15m and the underlying natural subsoil was a compact grey/blue clay formed by natural lying in water.

There were three phases of use on Site 24. The first phase is a large ovoid pit with three fills and timbers in its base, which was then overlain by a burnt mound. The pit had a flat base and steep, almost vertical, sides and a north-south orientation. It measured 3.4m by 1.6m by 0.75m deep. All three fills contained timbers. Large tree-trunk pieces came from the basal fill and smaller pieces came from the other two fills. A number of these timbers are possibly worked. The pit is thought to be a tree bole formed prior to the deposition of the fulacht layer.

The second phase was the creation of a burnt mound. It overlay the large ovoid pit, a naturally formed layer of peat and a layer of clay. The burnt mound was c. 15m in diameter and c. 0.3m deep. No trough was found in this feature. The burnt mound had been truncated by a modern drainage ditch and had also been affected by modern vehicle disturbances and ruts. It is possible that there may have been a trough with the burnt mound and it may have been removed when the modern drainage ditch was cut.