2007:1523 - BALLINCAR, Sligo

NMI Burial Excavation Records

County: Sligo Site name: BALLINCAR

Sites and Monuments Record No.: N/A Licence number: 04E0538

Author: Martin A. Timoney, Bóthar an Corainn, Keash, Co. Sligo.

Site type: Testing

ITM: E 567124m, N 839053m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 54.299181, -8.505062

The proposals are for a housing development on the north side of the inner east end of Sligo Bay. The first phase of pre-development testing took place in 2004 (Excavations 2004, No. 1492); a second phase took place in 2006 (Excavations 2006, No. 1759).

Due to alterations of the proposed layout and the discovery of two objects, a flint blade and a piece of rock crystal, found in disturbed topsoil about 5m apart, further testing took place in two phases during 2007. Two possible gneiss pounding stones, one less convincing than the other, were found in the general area of the other two finds. Despite intensive searching no context for the four finds was established.

The general assessment from many colleagues is that the flint arrowhead is either Early Neolithic or Early Mesolithic, the latter being the preferred dating. However, a deposit of 31 similar pieces of collected rock crystal partially encircled a mudstone axe in the 2.02ha Early Neolithic Magheraboy causewayed enclosure (Danaher 2007, 93, 103, 104, 113–114; these are called prismatic quartz crystals in the report) 4km to the south. Rock crystal, as opposed to quartz crystal, is geologically rare in County Sligo.

There were several finds of modern glass, crockery, etc., in the soil. The possibility arises that these finds came with the discarded modern material from the adjacent 17th- or 18th-century house in the adjacent 32-acre Rosmullen part of this townland as depicted on the 1771 George Hillas map for Owen Wynne, NLI Ms 750,14, area 6. This suggestion is prompted by the absence, after thorough site testing, of any context to which to attribute the finds.

Reference

Danaher, E. 2007 Monumental beginning: the archaeology of the N4 inner relief road, Dublin. National Roads Authority.