2012:087 - Annakisha North, Cork

NMI Burial Excavation Records

County: Cork Site name: Annakisha North

Sites and Monuments Record No.: N/A Licence number: 12E163

Author: MacCotter

Site type: Ringfort

ITM: E 560389m, N 603507m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 52.181944, -8.579221

Excavation at Annakisha North, Doneraile, County Cork was carried out in advance of the construction of a pig farm extension and following the discovery of archaeological features during test excavations that were undertaken in July 2012 by the writer. The excavation site lies on an area of raised ground 230m east of two ringforts (CO025-066001 and CO25-066002). A further fifteen archaeological sites are located within a 1km radius of the site; these include six ringforts, two standing stones and a burnt mound, all of which suggests that the area was a focus of settlement since the late prehistoric period.
The excavation area was roughly L-shaped and measured 192.5m x 50m in maximum extent. Within this area approximately half a univallate ringfort was exposed and excavated; the majority of the remainder of the site had been destroyed in the mid-1990s. The ditch that surrounded the ringfort enclosed an area with a projected internal diameter of 30m. Two roundhouses were located within the centre of ringfort, one of which was attached to a small earth-cut souterrain. An additional larger earth-cut souterrain was also located within the ringfort. The only finds recovered were an iron knife from the smaller souterrain and a fragment of iron slag from the enclosure ditch. The site’s construction, use and abandonment chronology awaits the outcome of a radiocarbon dating programme but it is likely to have occurred within a 600-850 AD bracket. A number of features were also documented outside the ringfort ditch, including a possible circular structure and a series of pits. Their date is as yet unknown. The entire excavation area was overlain by a horizon of ard-marks that are probably the result of late medieval or post-medieval ploughing.
Fortunately the political landscape of the early medieval kingdom of Fir Maige, in which the Annakisha site lies, is the best documented in Ireland because of its contemporary extent, the Críchad an Chaoilli, and its territorial boundaries have recently been reconstructed by Drs Paul McCotter and Tomás Ó Carragáin (MacCotter 2008, 152; MacCotter 2012, MacCotter and Ó Carragáin 2012). The Annakisha ringfort can be placed in the west of the kingdom, within the túatha of Mag Uí Chatháin. This túatha and the adjoining Mag Finn were controlled by Uí Dubacáin kings of the Fir Maige until the eleventh century and both contain a high density of multivallate, high status ringforts. The Annakisha ringfort, with its single enclosure ditch and almost non-existent material assemblage, was most probably occupied by a family of lower status, most likely a client of the ruling dynasty.

MacCotter, P. 2008. Medieval Ireland, Four Courts Press, Dublin.
MacCotter, P. 2012. ‘Túath, Manor and Parish: Kingdom of Fir Maige, Cantred of Fermoy’, Peritia 22 (2012), 1-47.
MacCotter, P. and Ó Carragáin, T. 2012. ‘Archaeology and History: the Value of Interdisciplinary Teamwork’, IAI News (Winter 2012), 6-7.
Cóilín Ó Drisceoil, Kilkenny Archaeology, 12 Parliament Street, Kilkenny.

P. 2008. Medieval Ireland, Four Courts Press, Dublin