2009:197 - MAYDOWN/CARRAKEEL/UPPER CAMPSIE/TULLY/MCLEAN AND PARTNERS DIVISION/COOLAFINNY/LONGFIELD MORE/LONGFIELD BEG, Derry

County: Derry Site name: MAYDOWN/CARRAKEEL/UPPER CAMPSIE/TULLY/MCLEAN AND PARTNERS DIVISION/COOLAFINNY/LONGFIELD MORE/LONGFIELD BEG

Sites and Monuments Record No.: N/A Licence number: AE/09/102

Author: Martin McGonigle, John Cronin & Associates, 28 Upper Main Street, Buncrana, Co. Donegal.

Site type: Multi-period sites

ITM: E 648042m, N 920037m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 55.025553, -7.248662

A watching brief revealed twelve archaeological sites along a 6km stretch of new road: the A2 Maydown to City of Derry Airport dualling scheme.

Site 1, Upper Campsie

Site 1 was divided into three separate areas, Areas A–C. In Area A nine features (six pits and three linear features) were excavated in total. The pits produced a variety of ceramic and lithic finds thought to be datable to the Neolithic period.

Two Neolithic houses were found in close proximity to each other in Area B. House 1 measured

c. 13m by 6m internally and was orientated roughly north–south. The north and south gables each post-holes were excavated across the site. A large extended beyond the road-take and therefore were assemblage of prehistoric pottery and flint artefacts not excavated. The foundation trenches measured c. were recovered from the excavation of this site. 0.8m in width and up to 1.1m in depth. Post-holes were identified flanking the interior and exterior of Site 5, Maydown the east and west foundation trenches. A whole Site 5 comprised two isolated pits and was divided smashed pot was found in one of the external post-into two areas due to the distance between the holes. A number of post-pipes were found within the features. Pit cut [c.05] is circular in shape. It measured foundation trenches. Four internal divisions and a 0.5m in diameter and 0.13m in depth. It contained small number of internal non-structural features were two deposits, dark-brown sandy clay containing identified. House 2 measured c. 10m by 6.5m abundant charcoal and cremated bone and a flat stone internally and was orientated roughly north-northplaced in the base of the pit representing a lining east/south-south-west. The north-north-east gable deposit. Pit cut [c.07] is sub-oval in shape. It measured was within the road take and the entrance was 1m in length, 0.65m in width and 0.11m in depth. It located at its the eastern end. The foundation contained a single fill which was made up of silty trenches measured c. 0.5m in width and up to 0.55m sand mixed with charcoal and heat-affected stones. in depth. A small number of discernible post-pipes were found within the foundation trenches. Post-Site 6, Upper Campsie holes flanked the exterior of the long axis foundation Site 6 comprised four separate areas of archaeological trenches. One internal division and a small number features (A–D) located over a large area expanse. of internal non-structural features were identified. A Areas A, B and D consisted of a large number of large assemblage of early Neolithic pottery sherds discrete features, including spreads, pits and and an assortment of lithics, including a porcellanite cremation pits. One pit containing the base stone of a axe, were recovered from the features on Area B. possible cist was found in close proximity to a pit On Area C a total of nine features, seven post-containing the remains of a large urn, which was holes, one pit and an irregular-shaped refuse pit block lifted. A moderate assemblage of prehistoric containing several recuts which was subsequently pottery and flint artefacts was recovered. used as a hearth, were identified. The post-holes were On Area C six circular post-hole cuts were set in a semicircular arrangement running into the identified. They measured on average 0.55m in northern site boundary. The pit and hearth feature diameter and 0.32m in depth. These post-holes were located on the interior of the semicircle of posts. formed a semicircular shape with an internal This is thought to be one half of a round house. These diameter of c. 8m. The remainder of this circle lies features produced a variety of prehistoric ceramic beyond the southern baulk of the site. and lithic finds. Site 7, Tully Site 2, McLean and partners division In Area A, a small subrectangular enclosure Site 2 was divided into three areas, A, B and C, each comprising a narrow gully measuring 0.5m in width comprising a small cluster of assorted pits. None of and 0.42m in depth and with no obvious entrance these clusters of pits formed an obvious coherent was excavated. The enclosure had internal pattern. Many of the features on Site 2 were heavily measurements of 8.8m in length and 5.9m in width. truncated by recent agricultural activity. The lithic It contained ten fills. The fills are uniform on the finds attest to the prehistoric origins of this site. north, south and west sides with most irregularity and localisation of fills on the eastern side. It is on the Site 3, Coolafinny eastern sides that a possible flint scraper and Site 3 comprised a total of seven assorted pits that numerous pieces of vitrified clay were found. formed an obvious coherent pattern. Finds included In Area B, four small post-holes form a more or struck flints, a quartz core and struck pieces and a less straight line. One flint blade and a piece of flint large assemblage of prehistoric pottery, some with debitage were found on the surface close to these impressed cord decoration. features. Site 4, Longfield More Site 8, Tully Site 4 comprised an area measuring c. 70m by 15m, The remains of a burnt mound and a large number of containing a large ring-ditch and an assortment of associated stake-holes, post-holes and pits were associated interior and exterior discrete features. enclosed by a penannular ditch, which measured c. Feature [c.17] is the cut of a penannular ring-ditch 25m in internal diameter. The site is heavily measuring c. 30m in diameter, 1.6m in maximum truncated by north-north-east to south-south-east and width and 0.5m in depth. It contained ten fills. A east-north-east to west-south-west extending modern small number of flint and pottery finds were stone-filled drains and plough furrows. All features recovered from the fills, along with samples of of an archaeological nature are located within the cremated bone and possible iron slag (it is possible area enclosed by the penannular ditch, with the that this may be iron pan). The entrance into the exception of a pit which is located c. 3.5m east of the interior is through a 5m-wide gap opening to the ditch terminus. A total of 102 stake-holes, 27 postsouth-east. A large pit cut [c.18] is located close to the holes and 5 pits were identified and excavated on this southernmost terminus and measured 1.25m in site. One pit may have contained a trough associated length, 1m in width and 0.2m in depth and contained with the burnt mound. A small amount of prehistoric three fills. Cremated bone, pottery and flint finds pottery and flint finds were recovered from the were recovered from the fills. A number of pits and features on this site.



Site 9, Longfield More

Site 9 was located just north-west of Site 4, on slightly raised ground overlooking a bend in the Muff River. A rectangular structure, potentially part of a Neolithic house, measuring c. 6m in length and 4m in width, was uncovered close to the edge of the existing A2 road.

Located c. 0.4m south-south-east of the Neolithic structure is a small timber circle consisting of two almost concentric circular enclosures surrounded to the south by a narrow and shallow semicircular gully. This semicircular gully, although not concentric with the circular enclosures, appears to surround the southern part of the outer circle. The semicircular gully may have been an attempt to add a third circle to the outer circular enclosure, but it does not appear to run beyond the southern part of the site.

The outer circle measures c. 15m in diameter, with a west-facing entrance measuring c. 0.5m. The circle is of a composite construction. The southern half is made up of a continuous semicircular gully measuring c. 0.35m in width and 0.35m in depth. The gully terminates at the southern side of the entrance, with the other side of the entrance being made up of a stake driven into the subsoil. From this point the northern half of the circle consists of a semicircle of stakes measuring c. 0.2m in diameter and 0.28m in depth. The stakes are closely spaced, c. 0.1–0.15m apart on average.

The gap between the two circles is c. 2m in the north, west and eastern sides and slightly larger in the south, as the circles are not fully concentric. A small number of stake-holes and pits are visible in the gap close to the entrances. The inner circle measures

c. 11m in diameter, with a west-facing entrance measuring c. 0.4m. The circle is made up of a penannular gully similar in dimensions to the outer gully, with a west-north-west-facing entrance.

A number of internal and external discrete features were also identified. A small number of Neolithic and Bronze Age pottery sherds and flint pieces including a concave scraper were recovered from the surface cleaning of this site. This site is closely associated with Site 4. It was not excavated and is preserved in situ.

Site 10, Longfield Beg

Site 10 comprises approximately one-third of a penannular ringfort ditch with numerous internal and external features. A large number of linear features consisting of east to west and north to south plough furrows, field drains and field boundaries were observed on the site. A large volume of these features were evaluated and deemed to be of no archaeological consequence. The circular ditch of a univallate ringfort with an internal diameter of c. 35m and north-east facing entrance was uncovered immediately adjacent to the existing A2 road. The ditch measures c. 2m in width and 0.8m in depth.

A number of pits and post-holes located outside the ditch were also excavated. A small assemblage of pottery and flint, as well as three broken rotary quernstones, were found during the excavation of this site. The ringfort was only partly excavated and is preserved in situ.

Site 11, Carrakeel

A cluster of twelve features, including eleven pits and one area of in situ burning, were excavated to assess their archaeological significance. These features were understood to have resulted from agricultural clearance and by root disturbance. No finds were recovered from this site. None of these features were deemed to be of archaeological consequence.

Site 12, Upper Campsie

A number of linear and discrete features were identified clustered throughout the site. These included field boundaries, hearths, pits, post-holes and a possible keyhole kiln. Further south-east the foundations of a probable Neolithic house were identified close to Area B of Site 1. It measured c. 15m by 8m internally and was orientated approximately west-north-west/east-south-east. An entrance was identified at the centre of the south-east long axis foundation trench. A number of internal and external features were identified, including structural postholes, hearths and pits. None of the features on this site were excavated, as this site was preserved in situ.