2004:0129 - SITE 2, TIRQUIN, Cavan

NMI Burial Excavation Records

County: Cavan Site name: SITE 2, TIRQUIN

Sites and Monuments Record No.: N/A Licence number: 04E1173

Author: John Channing, Chapel Lane, Stratford-on-Slaney, Co. Wicklow, for V.J. Keeley Ltd.

Site type: Bronze Age

ITM: E 643001m, N 803220m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 53.976463, -7.344502

The proposed Cavan bypass Stage 2 scheme commences at the existing N3, 1.5km east of Cavan town, extending in a predominantly northeast/south-west direction to the existing N55, c. 2.5km south of Cavan town. Site 04E1173 was initially discovered during centre-line testing (04E0968, No. 124 above).

The excavation uncovered a fulachta fiadh complex with associated troughs and pits. Finds included a flint core, a possible scraper and pottery thought to be of Bronze Age date (to be confirmed). Four areas, A-D, were identified.

Area A revealed two deposits of burnt-mound material together with four pits, two post-holes and a trough. One of the pits produced undecorated ceramic sherds that are initially interpreted as dating to the Bronze Age.

The trough was notable in that it possessed an outlet drain/gully at its south-west corner. The drain contained two post-holes that may have facilitated some flow-control device. A spread of charcoal and silt on the subsoil surface at the drain exit evidenced wash from the feature. The trough measured 1.5m by 2.5m with an outlet at the south-west corner. The fill consisted of homogeneous charcoal-stained dark-grey silt with several flat stones in the upper portion of fill (average 200mm by 250mm by 60mm); these were concentrated towards the centre and western half of the feature. A flint core was recovered from the upper surface of the trough.

Two burnt deposits, F4 and F5, were uncovered within Area B. F4 measured 2.4m by 2m and had a maximum depth of 0.13m. The single deposit consisted of dark charcoal-stained silt with small angular stones. The stones averaged 20mm by 30mm by 50mm and occupied c. 70% of the deposit’s volume.

A single irregular burnt deposit, F11, was uncovered in Area C. The deposit lay within an area of 2.4m by 1.7m and had a maximum depth of 0.1m. F11 was truncated by a modern drain and a plough furrow. The deposit consisted of charcoal-stained silt, occasional burnt stone (>25% of the volume) and fired subsoil. The feature lay directly below topsoil and over a natural peat layer and subsoil. The irregular shape, in plan, of the deposit led to a redeposited interpretation, possibly during construction of a later ditch.

Area D consisted of two burnt deposits, F37 and F38, uncovered at the base of a naturally sharp slope that probably defined the southern edge of a stream, now replaced by a drain. The larger deposit, F37, was subcircular in plan with an average diameter of 2m and maximum thickness of 0.3m. The deposit lay directly below topsoil and over subsoil to the east and natural peat to the west. F37 consisted of a single fill of dark-grey charcoal-stained silt with inclusions of both unheated (0.2m by 0.1m by 0.08m) and heat-shattered (0.08m by 0.05m by 0.03m) stone. The stone inclusions accounted for c. 60% of the volume of F37.