2004:0173 - SITE AR100, MANUSMORE, Clare

NMI Burial Excavation Records

County: Clare Site name: SITE AR100, MANUSMORE

Sites and Monuments Record No.: N/A Licence number: 04E0187

Author: Graham Hull, TVAS Ireland Ltd, Ahish, Ballinruan, Crusheen, Co. Clare.

Site type: Prehistoric cremation cemetery

ITM: E 537764m, N 672374m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 52.798766, -8.922890

Evidence has been produced of funerary and perhaps industrial activity, indicated by metal slag, at this site on the N18 Ennis bypass. At present it is not known if these activities were contemporary.

Human burial is represented by 27 pits in which cremated bone was deposited. The cremation burials seemingly form three clusters within an unenclosed cemetery (or cemeteries), although the truncation caused by modern ploughing may have removed potential ditches/gullies. Without the absolute chronology offered by radiocarbon dating, the burials can as yet only be assigned to the 3000 years between the Early Bronze Age and the Late Iron Age.

The presence of pottery and lithics from some of the burials is interesting in itself and will, in combination with the absolute dating offered by radiocarbon, allow relative chronology across the site to be determined. The pottery and bone deposits seem, despite the modern ploughing, to have been token.

Some of the smaller features may have been postholes and might indicate the presence of timber structures or perhaps grave markers.

The funerary landscape of County Clare has been subject to considerable research and speculation and this new site has the potential to be meaningfully integrated into the corpus of knowledge (see, for example, Grogan 1995 and Grogan and Condit 2000).

The relationship of the archaeological site to the nearby Ardsollus River is potentially significant. The modern river course is 120m to the south-east but archaeological testing (Excavations 2003, No. 127, 03E1291) and geological survey suggest that the burial site may have been much closer to water in the prehistoric period.

References
Grogan, E, 1995 North Munster Project. In Discovery Programme Reports 2. Dublin.
Grogan, E., and Condit, T. 2000 The funerary landscape of Clare in space and time. In C. î Murchadha, County Clare studies. Ennis.