2004:0370 - MCCLEAN AND PARTNERS DIVISION/COOLAFINNY/LARAGHALEAS, Derry

NMI Burial Excavation Records

County: Derry Site name: MCCLEAN AND PARTNERS DIVISION/COOLAFINNY/LARAGHALEAS

Sites and Monuments Record No.: N/A Licence number: AE/04/31

Author: Norman Crothers, Archaeological Development Services Ltd, Unit 48, Westlink Enterprise Centre, Distillery Street, Belfast BT12 5BJ.

Site type: Prehistoric settlement site

ITM: E 583098m, N 649472m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 52.596250, -8.249480

Five fields were advance stripped to investigate features uncovered during trial-trenching on the North-West Gas Pipeline. The majority of features exposed over this large area proved to be modern and the result of enclosure and agricultural improvement in the form of removed field boundaries and 'mole drains'. There were, however, archaeological features of Neolithic and Bronze Age date uncovered as well.

Field 82F08
The features uncovered in this large field were distributed randomly throughout the entire stripped area. The features consisted of twelve curvilinear ditches and twenty pits. Two worked flints and a sherd of possible medieval pottery were recovered from fills in one of the ditches. Two indistinct spreads at the east end of the field proved on excavation to be three pits, one of which contained the butt end of a porcellanite axe.

Field 83F01
The greatest number of features was revealed in the large field 83F01, concentrated in two groups at either end of the field. The features at the east end of the field were 23 randomly spaced pits with no obvious structural pattern. Modern finds were recovered from the fill of pit C19 and two flints were recovered from pit C40, but no finds were recovered from any of the other features. The remaining 22 features lay towards the west end of the field. Eighteen sherds of Neolithic pottery were recovered from the fill of the truncated pit C83 and modern finds were recovered from the linear ditches C167 and C175 and an irregular pit C174. The most interesting group of features comprised a curvilinear ditch and four large pits. Flints were recovered from the curvilinear ditch and one of the pits.

Field 83F02
Only three features were uncovered in the small portion of this field within the working width. All three were small, truncated pits and no finds were recovered from any of them.

Field 83F03
The only features uncovered in this field were a subcircular pit and approximately one-third of a subrectangular structure or small enclosure. The excavated portion of the enclosure measured 9.4m long by 0.6m wide and 0.2m deep. There was a well-defined terminal immediately inside the spoil stack. A pivot stone was recovered from the ditch fill within the terminal. No other finds were recovered from this field.

Field 83F04
Eight possible features were uncovered in this field. Two of these were the remains of removed modern field boundaries and one was a peat-filled natural hollow. The remaining features were pits and a trough associated with a removed burnt mound. The trough measured 2.2m long by 1.2m wide and 0.4m deep.