2004:0125 - SITE 1, POLLAMORE NEAR, Cavan

NMI Burial Excavation Records

County: Cavan Site name: SITE 1, POLLAMORE NEAR

Sites and Monuments Record No.: N/A Licence number: 04E1171

Author: Ros î Maoldœin, 13 Larchfield, Kilkenny.

Site type: Burnt mound

ITM: E 643272m, N 803670m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 53.980483, -7.340308

This excavation was undertaken as part of the archaeological programme for the N3-N55 Cavan link and was funded by the National Roads Authority through Cavan County Council.

Site 1 was situated at the base of a southerly facing slope on the edge of a saturated peat bog. It consisted of a mound and two spreads of burnt/fire-cracked stone and charcoal-rich soil. The mound was c. 6.8m by 4.8m and had a maximum depth of 0.85m. It was placed on the upper edge of an indentation that was cut into the hillside and consisted of burnt/firecracked stone and charcoal-rich silty clay. A large amount of hazelnut shells was retrieved from the lower strata of this material. The indentation was semicircular in plan, measured c. 5.82m by 3.4m and had a maximum depth of 0.63m. Unworked wood/branches and tree trunks were uncovered lying along the edges of the feature. The wood laid on the cut ranged in width from tree trunks of c. 0.28m diameter to branches of 0.04m diameter. No clear tool markings were recorded and only two pieces of wood appeared to be burnt. About 10% of the wood was immediately recognisable as birch from surviving bark.

One of the spreads concealed a pit that contained the partial remains of a horse skeleton. Its skull was found separately suspended in peat near the burnt mound. The spread consisted of a thin layer (c. 0.2m deep) of fire-cracked/burnt stone and charcoal-rich silty clay measuring c. 3.4m by 2.6m. The pit was c. 4m by 4m and 0.22m deep. It was filled by dark-blackish-brown moderately compact silty clay with many hazelnut shells and charcoal. The horse skeleton was laid within this fill on the edge of the cut. It was articulated but only the majority of its ribs and its hindquarters were present.

The other spread measured c. 10m by 7.5m and had a maximum depth of 0.35m. It consisted of charcoal-rich silty clay and burnt/fire-cracked stone. It concealed a number of post-medieval features and was almost certainly redeposited material from the mound.