2004:0329 - RATH-HEALY 3, Cork

NMI Burial Excavation Records

County: Cork Site name: RATH-HEALY 3

Sites and Monuments Record No.: N/A Licence number: 03E1678 ext.

Author: Deirdre Murphy, Archaeological Consultancy Services Ltd, Unit 21, Boyne Business Park, Greenhills, Drogheda, Co. Louth.

Site type: Bronze Age

ITM: E 581976m, N 600026m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 52.151781, -8.263380

The N8 Rathcormac/Fermoy bypass is approximately 17.5km in length and will extend from the northern end of the new N8 Glanmire-Watergrasshill road in the townland of Meenane, passing to the west of Rathcormac and east of Fermoy and onto the existing N8 at Moorepark West. Test-trenching was carried out in advance of construction along the route of the proposed road on behalf of Cork County Council in 2002 under licences 02E0713-02E0720 (see Excavations 2002). A site was identified at Rath-Healy 3 during this phase of works and was subsequently resolved by Annette Quinn (Excavations 2003, No. 333). The features resolved included twenty-two pits, four stake-holes, three linear features and clay spreads. A large quantity of features produced finds in the form of flint artefacts and Bronze Age pottery, with twisted cord impressions on the surface of some.

It was noted that some of the archaeological features extended northwards beneath a concrete yard surface and stone cattle shed, but this land was unavailable for excavation at the time. A second phase of excavation commenced in June 2004 following demolition, under an extension to the existing licence. It was noted that, while the construction of the shed probably truncated archaeological deposits, the area beneath the yard surface was virtually undisturbed. The full extent was established of a large pit identified in the previous phase of work. The vast majority of flint blades and chert debitage found during the campaign were recovered from its fill. In addition, four postholes, an oxidised spread and a linear feature were identified. One of the post-holes produced a flint blade and the other three were devoid of finds. The post-holes were located in the south-western part of the cutting and did not form any regular pattern. An analysis of the archaeobotanical material and the results of radiocarbon dating will provide accurate information on this site. The finds assemblage provides evidence for Bronze Age activity at this site.

This work was funded by the National Development Plan 2000-2006 and awarded by the National Roads Authority.