2004:0175 - SITE AR102, MANUSMORE, Clare

NMI Burial Excavation Records

County: Clare Site name: SITE AR102, MANUSMORE

Sites and Monuments Record No.: N/A Licence number: 04E0189

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

Site type: Prehistoric cremation cemetery

ITM: E 537344m, N 673200m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 52.806147, -8.929274

Excavation on the N18 Ennis bypass has produced evidence of funerary, industrial and domestic activity. At present it is not known if these activities were contemporary.

Human burial is represented by at least five (and as many as eight) pits, into which cremated bone was deposited. The cremation burials seemingly form an unenclosed cremation cemetery, 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.

There are at least two pits associated with metalworking. The presence of iron slag and large quantities of charcoal from two pits indicates that metalworking was taking place on the site. Whether this was related to smelting or primary/secondary smithing will be determined by archaeometallurgical analysis. By definition, the ironworking took place at Manusmore at any period from the Iron Age onwards. Again, radiocarbon dating will assist in placing the activity into a chronological framework.

A further pit seems to have been used to dry cereals, as evidenced by charred seeds and in situ burning on the old ground surface. These seeds will provide an accurate date, which will allow discussion of the role that agriculture played in early societies.

In addition there are 26 other pits that have, as yet, undetermined functions. Some may not be pits at all but could be post-holes indicating the presence of timber structures.