2004:0455 - SITE 5:4, GRANGE, BALDOYLE, Dublin

NMI Burial Excavation Records

County: Dublin Site name: SITE 5:4, GRANGE, BALDOYLE

Sites and Monuments Record No.: N/A Licence number: 04E0699

Author: Stuart D. Elder, The Archaeology Company, Birr Technology Centre, Mill Island, Birr, Co. Offaly.

Site type: Pit

ITM: E 724541m, N 740359m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 53.398671, -6.127252

Site 5:4, discovered during spoil heap removal as part of a new town development, comprised an oval pitcontaining four charcoal-rich fills, with a later, smaller, elongated oval pit inserted towards the centre of the uppermost fill of the first pit. This later pit contained three charcoal-rich fills.

The uppermost fill of Pit 1 was dark-greyish/black friable silty clay containing occasional fine angular pebbles, moderate small fragments of burnt bone and frequent charcoal flecks and lumps. Below this was dark-greyish brown soft silty clay containing occasional fine to medium sub-angular stones, occasional flecks of burnt bone and frequent charcoal flecks and lumps. The primary fill was mid-greyishbrown soft silty clay containing occasional sub-angular pebbles and moderate charcoal flecks and lumps. The cut of the pit was an elongated oval measuring 1.1m in length, 0.67m in width and having a maximum depth of 0.3m. It was orientated east-west, with a concave profile. The cut was slightly narrower at the western than at the eastern end and tapered inwards slightly to a point one-third of the length along the cut from the western end before opening out again. The narrowest point of the cut corresponds to the eastern edge of a north-southaligned linear feature running the entire width of Field 5, though not visible on the surface prior to topsoil-stripping.

A layer of light-yellowish-brown, firm, silty, sandy redeposited subsoil was partly cut by, and stratigraphically below, Pit 1. It was irregular in shape and contained occasional fine to medium pebbles and occasional charcoal flecks, as well as a single piece of flint.

Pit 2 contained dark-greyish/black soft charcoal-rich silty clay containing occasional medium sub-angular pebbles, moderate flecks of burnt bone and frequent charcoal flecks and lumps. The oval cut measured 1.5m east-west by 1.27m and had a maximum depth of 0.31m.

The function of the two pits has yet to be determined. The majority of the deposits were charcoal-rich silty clay, but all contained charcoal flecking to some degree. The presence of burnt bone is intriguing, as it suggests that the fills may have been taken from a funerary environment (i.e. leftover from a pyre site) and deposited in the pits, or that the pits were simply used as a repository for waste, which incidentally included bone of thus far undetermined origin. Either way, the pits are not thought to represent a deliberate burial site. No pottery was present in the fills of these pits, nor was there any evidence for a barrow-type monument. The site is, however, close to ring-ditch Site 6:4 (No. 460 below, 04E0704), which lay c. 60m to the north-west.

Post-excavation analysis is ongoing.