2003:2095 - Rathdown Upper/Templecarrig Lower, Wicklow

NMI Burial Excavation Records

County: Wicklow Site name: Rathdown Upper/Templecarrig Lower

Sites and Monuments Record No.: N/A Licence number: 03E0886

Author: Christine Baker, Margaret Gowen & Co. Ltd, 2 Killiney View, Albert Road Lower, Glenageary, Co. Dublin.

Site type: Prehistoric pits

ITM: E 727486m, N 715205m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 53.172036, -6.093084

The excavation was recommended of features identified during monitoring by Teresa Bolger (No. 2094 above) pursuant to an assessment carried out in 2001 by Ed O'Donovan (Excavations 2001, No. 1379). The development site is situated in the townlands of Templecarrig Lower and Rathdown Upper. Two distinct areas of archaeological significance were identified. Area A measured c. 10m north-south by 6m and encompassed four features (F1, F10-F12). Area B, comprising ten features (F2-F8, F13-F15), was located c. 7m south of Area A and encompassed an area that measured 13m north-south by 15m. An isolated feature (F9) was identified 31m east of these areas, c. 6.5m west of the field boundary.

F1 was a spread of charcoal-rich material surrounding relatively large stones, with evidence of a hearth (F10) towards its north-east limit, and overlying a pit (F11) and post-hole (F12). These elements were located within an ill-defined cut in the natural subsoil and measured c. 5.5m north-west/south-east by 3.5-5m. No artefacts were retrieved from this feature, whose function is not immediately discernible.

The four pits in Area B form no discernible pattern. However, F2 (1.49m north-south by 0.57m by 0.14m deep), F4 (0.7m north-south by 1.4m by 0.19m deep) and F8 (1.57m north-north-west/south-south-east by 0.75m by 0.22m deep) display a degree of homogeneity in dimension and fill, particularly the presence of angular stones towards the base. The recovery of possible Early Bronze Age pottery from a sealed context within the pit Feature 2 may also be indicative of the dating of the other pits. The relatively shallow depth of topsoil (0.15-0.25m) and the consistent use of the land for tillage meant that these feature had been truncated. Definitive dating will have to await radiocarbon determination. However, the features excavated at Templecarrig add to the already extensive archaeological landscape in the immediate vicinity, extending from the Neolithic to the medieval period.