2003:1852 - Adamstown 1, Waterford

NMI Burial Excavation Records

County: Waterford Site name: Adamstown 1

Sites and Monuments Record No.: N/A Licence number: 03E1215

Author: Ian Russell, Archaeological Consultancy Services Ltd, Unit 21, Boyne Business Park, Greenhills, Drogheda, Co. Louth.

Site type: Prehistoric

ITM: E 653325m, N 609447m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 52.234172, -7.219328

Three archaeological areas were identified within Adamstown 1. The first, Area 1, c. 60m by 30m, contained the remains of a circular-shaped house measuring c. 7m in diameter. It was constructed from thirteen post-holes, with a large number of internal stake-holes defining internal divisions, and was entered from the south-east. The interior also contained an oval-shaped kiln measuring 0.62m by 0.4m and a large piece of slag, together with many smaller fragments. Three body sherds of coarse pottery were recovered from some of the pits/post-holes within the house, which may date to the Bronze Age. A floor surface was identified consisting of a compact red clay, both within the house and extending outside it to the north-east and west. This floor measured c. 0.4m in thickness and lay above three additional pits.

A second possible structure/animal pen was also exposed c. 50m to the west of this house. It was oval in shape, measured c. 3m in diameter and was constructed from a large number of oval-shaped stake-holes. Some of these stake-holes were also located within the house or pen structure and may have acted as roof supports.

Additional post-holes and pits were excavated within the centre and to the south of Area 1, but they did not appear to be part of any associated structure.

Numerous post-medieval field boundary ditches and drains were also exposed and sectioned. Excavation of this area is ongoing.

Area 2 was located c. 60m north-east of Area 1 and 30m east of Area 3. It contained a single oval-shaped pit, measuring 0.75m by 0.6m and filled with a dark-brown silty clay containing moderate inclusions of small round stone. A fragment of a glass bead was recovered from it.

Area 3 is 30m to the north of Area 1 and contains the remains of at least one, and possibly two, oval-shaped structures. Three stone-lined and packed post-holes have been exposed and excavated to date, together with a number of small stake-holes. A pit containing black silty clay and moderate amounts of burnt bone was exposed above a layer of angular shale. An additional two pits and one oval-shaped hearth have also been exposed. Further stripping is proposed at this site in order to determine the full extent of the house structures.

Additional testing was also conducted within Adamstown 1. A number of additional features have been exposed to the north of Areas 2-3. These consisted of possible stake-holes, pits and post-holes. Trenches were also excavated within the old Bord Gáis pipeline to the south of Area 3 and it was found to contain additional pits and hearths. Twenty stake-holes have also been exposed, to the east of the site within this trench, which appear to belong to a fourth possible structure. Monitoring of the realigned Bord Gáis pipeline to the south of the site did not reveal the presence of any archaeological features (see Dempsey, No. 1857 below, 03E1064).