2018:031 - A6 Dungiven to Drumahoe Dualling Section 2 Test Trenching, Derry

NMI Burial Excavation Records

County: Derry Site name: A6 Dungiven to Drumahoe Dualling Section 2 Test Trenching

Sites and Monuments Record No.: LDY 030:048 LDY 031:014 Licence number: AE/17/149

Author: Jonathan Barkley

Site type: Multi-period

ITM: E 663002m, N 906064m

Latitude, Longitude (decimal degrees): 54.898365, -7.017791

This licence covered monitored mechanical test trenching on the Claudy to Dungiven section (Section 2) of the A6 Randalstown to Castledawson Road Dualling Scheme. This section of the road scheme is characterised as comprising managed pasture and peat bogs as well as one area of rocky upland mountain (Oval Hill). Archaeological testing in Section 2 comprised 1057 mechanically excavated test trenches (TT1258-TT2257, NT13-NT30, CT1-39). TT1258-TT2257 were included in the original scope of works set out in the HED approved WSI (AECOM 2017). Subsequently, NT13-NT30 were added to the test trenching requirements due to design changes. Later CT1-39 were added to either fill gaps in the trenching layout at the request of HED, or to replace hand augers where ground conditions were re-assessed and a bog-master digger was able to access.

Potential archaeological remains were identified in 54 test trenches during the Phase 1 investigations. The trenches where remains were suspected were extended until a clear 10m exclusion zone free of archaeology, or the limit of the vested line, was reached. The areas where remains were confirmed were then separately defined as Sites 6 (Int.2), 8, 15 to 23, and 25 to 29. New archaeological licences were obtained for Sites 8, 16, 18, 19, and 21 to 23. Site 6 (Int.1) already had a licence in place at the start of the scheme (location of a fort depicted on the SMR record) which was then widened to include Int.2 (area adjacent to the western side of the site that was formerly part of Site 8). Sites 15, and 25 to 29 were ‘simple sites’ and were excavated and recorded under the test trenching monitoring licence. Sites 17 and 20 (also investigated under the monitoring licence) proved to be non-archaeological after widening, as did the potential features found in TT1345, TT1365, TT1366, TT1379, TT1383, TT1394 and TT1401.

The sites and licence numbers are as follows:

• Site 6 (Int.2) (TT2248-TT2254) – Licence AE/17/182 – probable prehistoric ring-ditch (possible truncated barrow) (ITM: X 669605 Y 908286, IG: C 69660 08278).

• Site 8 (TT2230-TT2237, TT22239-TT2247) – Licence AE/17/212 – Several charcoal-rich pits and two small cremation pits of probable prehistoric date, large ditch of probable early medieval date, field boundary containing worked stones which may also be early medieval in date (ITM: X 669476 Y 908331, IG: C 69531 08322).

• Site 15 (TT1740) – Licence AE/17/149 – Hearth and 4 pits of probable prehistoric date (ITM: X 662863 Y 909085, IG: C 62918 09076).

• Site 16 (TT1751) – Licence AE/17/219 – 2 possible shallow stone cairns of probable prehistoric date (ITM: X 663002 Y 909064, IG: C 52798 08840).

• Site 17 (TT1977) – Licence AE/17/149 – anomalies proven to be non-archaeological after further investigation.

• Site 18 (TT2046, TT2048, TT2050, TT2054 and TT2057) – Licence AE/18/016 – Late Neolithic stone capped cremation pit surrounded by a ring ditch and a 14m diameter ring of post-holes (ITM: X 666781 Y 908581, IG: C 66844 08593).

• Site 19 (TT264, TT2058, TT2060, TT2062, TT2064, TT2065, TT2066, TT2067, TT2068 and TT2073) – Licence AE/18/015 – extensive remains comprising up to 67 small and large pits and spreads showing abundant evidence for burning (undated but possibly prehistoric on association to other remains in the area) (ITM: X 667195 Y 908470, IG: C 67258 08481).

• Site 20 (TT2139) – Licence AE/17/149 – anomaly proven to be non-archaeological after further investigation.

• Site 21 (TT2154) – Licence AE/17/245 – remains of a Early Neolithic rectangular structure. Excavation recovered abundant pottery and flintwork (ITM: X 669428 Y 908320, IG: C 68491 08331).

• Site 22 (TT2166) – Licence AE/18/11 – evidence for Early Bronze Age occupation comprising a large pit (contained pottery) and a figure of 8-shaped kiln (ITM: X 668585 Y 908424, IG: C 68647 08434).

• Site 23 (TT2196 and TT2197) – Licence AE/17/230 – IHR mill site and buildings (LDY 030:048) shown on 1st ed. OS map (ITM: X 668907 Y 908480, IG: C 68970 08492).

• Site 25 (TT2072) – Licence AE/17/149 – large shallow pit with in-situ burning, date unknown (ITM: X 667066 Y 908261, IG: C 67129 08272).

• Site 26 (TT2081) – Licence AE/17/149 – large shallow charcoal-filled pit, date unknown (ITM: X 667194 Y 908372, IG: C 67257 08383).

• Site 27 (TT2089) – Licence AE/17/149 – three post-holes and a small pit, date unknown (ITM: X 667262 Y 908386, IG: C 67325 08398).

• Site 28 (TT2101) – Licence AE/17/149 – large shallow charcoal-filled pit, date unknown (ITM: X 667262 Y 908338, IG: C 67479 08350).

• Site 29 (TT2104) – Licence AE/17/149 – shallow linear feature, and shallow curving ditch, date unknown (ITM: X 667435 Y 908317, IG: C 67498 08329.

Northern Archaeological Consultancy, 638 Springfield Road, Belfast