2003:2077 - CHARLESLAND (Site F), Wicklow

NMI Burial Excavation Records

County: Wicklow Site name: CHARLESLAND (Site F)

Sites and Monuments Record No.: WI013-077----, WI013-114----, WI013-115---- and WI013-113---- Licence number: 03E0147

Author: Bernice Molloy, Margaret Gowen & Co. Ltd.

Site type: Ring-ditch, Structure and Cremation pit

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

ITM: E 729198m, N 710156m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 53.126276, -6.069514

This site was exposed during monitoring of topsoil-stripping prior to the construction of a dual carriageway from the R671 to Greystones. This site was part of a larger residential and industrial scheme planned for the area. The excavation took place between 19 February and 31 March 2003. The overall area of excavation measured 50m (east-west) by 30m.

Topsoil-stripping exposed a ring-ditch, a structure, a possible temporary structure, a large cremation pit, and a large pit complex along with clusters of stake-holes and post-holes.

A ring-ditch measuring 1.4–1.43m in width enclosed an area 5.6m (north-south) by 5.39m. The sides of the ditch were steep and the base was V-shaped in profile and was, on average, 0.5–0.6m deep. Nine flints were found within the ditch. No cremation deposits were excavated in association with the ditch.

A small structure was excavated c. 10m to the west of the ring-ditch. The structure was defined as a narrow circular slot-trench enclosing an area measuring 2.8m (east-west) by 3m. The slot-trench had steep sides with a flattish base and rounded terminals. It varied in width from 0.05 to 0.17m and in depth between 0.08 and 0.1m. The area defined by the circular slot-trench was irregular in profile; there was a shallow circular depression in the centre of the structure. The shallow depression measured 1.98–2.3m in diameter and was generally 0.05–0.1m deep; it increased to a depth of 0.14m in the north-west. The entranceway was defined by two post-holes demarcating an area 0.9m in width. A stake-hole measuring 0.13m in diameter and 0.19m deep was located in the centre of the structure. It had been recut, probably for additional support. An outer circle of post-holes ringed this structure, in which several fragments of prehistoric pottery were found.

Structure 2 was located in the north-eastern corner of the site c. 11m to the north-east of Structure 1. The structure may have been a small hut site or temporary dwelling. This structure was defined as a small circular depression measuring 2.76m in diameter and with a maximum depth of 0.14m. There was a series of post-holes and stake-holes inside this depression and around it.

A large cremation pit was located 3.07m to the north-east of the ring-ditch. It consisted of one large pit in which various deposits of cremated bone, charcoal and large stones were placed. There was considerable in situ burning around this area and several smaller pits were also associated with this feature. A funerary urn placed upright was found within one of these pits. A large amount of cremated bone was found in this urn.

Post-excavation work is ongoing.

2 Killiney View, Albert Road Lower, Glenageary, Co. Dublin