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Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)
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Archaeological Report - Busherstown, Co. Offaly (Ireland)

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Archaeological excavation of the site at Busherstown revealed a complex multi-period site with six phases of activity. In broad outline they confirmed the use of the area from the Early Neolithic …

Archaeological excavation of the site at Busherstown revealed a complex multi-period site with six phases of activity. In broad outline they confirmed the use of the area from the Early Neolithic period to the present time. The first period of activity was prehistoric in date and comprised a small assemblage of lithics and a circular structure (Structure A) dated on typological grounds to the Bronze Age. The second phase was dated to the early medieval period, when the area was used for cereal processing, as evidenced by the discovery of at least 17 cereal-drying kilns and a further seven possible kilns. The majority of the kilns were located in a line that extended for a distance of 80 m in a NW-SE direction. The firing chambers of the kiln were for the most part located at the NE. A small number of the kilns were partially enclosed (Structures D and E). The third phase of activity was defined by an enclosure (ditches C.68 and 447) which was probably contemporary with the cereal processing. The continuous use of the area of the enclosure in the medieval period was confirmed when certain areas of the site were enclosed through the construction of deep, wide ditches (ditches C.54 and C.63). The ditches (ditches C.227 and C.78) were re-cut in the later medieval period to function as an annexe to a moated site. A substantial ditch, 5.5 m wide by 1.7 m deep, defined the moated site. Only the southern corner of the moated site was located within the road corridor. However, the entire outline can be clearly seen in aerial photographs of the adjoining field to the north-east. Two structures (C and D) were contemporary with the moated site. The post-medieval period was represented by a large number of furrows crossing the site and material which had been dumped into the top fills of the ditches. The site was levelled in the recent past.
Authors: Ewelina Chrobak, Jacinta Kiely and Tori McMorran

Published in: Education, Technology
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  • 1. Eachtra JournalIssue 13 [ISSN 2009-2237] Archaeological Excavation Report E3661 - Busherstown, Co. Offaly Early medieval kilns and medieval moated site with associated annexe
  • 2. b
  • 3. EACHTRAArchaeological Projects Archaeological Excavation Report Busherstown Co. Offaly Early medieval kilns and medieval moated site with associated annexe. Date: February 2012 Client: Laois County Council and National Roads Authority Project: N7 Castletown to Nenagh (Contract 1) E No: E3661Excavation Director: Tori McMorran Written by: Ewelina Chrobak, Jacinta Kiely and Tori McMorran
  • 4. Archaeological Excavation Report Busherstown Co. Offaly Excavation Director Tori McMorran Written By Ewelina Chrobak, Jacinta Kiely and Tori McMorran EACHTRA Archaeological Projects CORK GALWAY The Forge, Innishannon, Co. Cork Unit 10, Kilkerrin Park, Liosbain Industrial Estate, Galwaytel: 021 4701616 | web: www.eachtra.ie | email: info@eachtra.ie tel: 091 763673 | web: www.eachtra.ie | email: galway@eachtra.ie
  • 5. © Eachtra Archaeological Projects 2012 The Forge, Innishannon, Co Cork Set in 12pt Garamond Printed in Ireland
  • 6. Table of Contents Summary������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� vii Acknowledgements������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������viii1 Scope of the project �������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 12 Route location��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 13 Receiving environment ��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 34 Archaeological and historical background ��������������������������������������������������������������������� 4 Mesolithic(c�8000to4000BC)���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 4 Neolithic(c�4000to2000BC)������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������ 4 � BronzeAge(c�2000to600BC)����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 4 IronAge(c�500BCtoAD500)����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 5 Earlymedievalperiod(c�AD400to1100)����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 5 Highandlatermedievalperiods(c�AD1100to1650)���������������������������������������������������������������� 7 Post-medievalperiod(c�1650tothepresent)�������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 7 �5 Site location and Topography ��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 76 Archaeological and Historical Setting ���������������������������������������������������������������������������� 107 Excavation methodology ���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 118 Excavation results ����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 15 Phase1Prehistoric�����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������16 Phase2Earlymedievalactivity��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������18 Phase3High/Latemedieval(firstphase)���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 48 Phase4High/Latemedieval(secondphase)���������������������������������������������������������������������������������53 Phase5Moatedsite��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������55 Phase6Modernactivity�����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������599 Specialist Results ��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������64 Plantremains��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 64 � Lithicartefacts������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 64 Metalartefacts�������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������65 Animalbone�����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������65 � Humanremains�����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������65 Archaeometallurgy��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 66 Geophysical������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������ 66 Quernstones��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 66 Charcoal������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 66 i
  • 7. Radiocarbondates���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 66 10 Conclusion �������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������68 NeolithicandBronzeAgeactivity������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 68 Earlymedievalactivity���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������69 Earlymedievalenclosure���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������70 Highmedievalperiod����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������72 Moatedsite��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������73 11 References �������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 76 Appendix 1 Stratigraphic Index �������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 79 Appendix 2 Site Matrix �������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������80 Appendix 3 Groups and Subgroups ������������������������������������������������������������������������������������ 87 Appendix 4 Plant Remains ����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������154 Appendix 5 Lithics Finds Report �����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������172 Appendix 6 Metal Artefacts ��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������179 Appendix 7 Animal Bone Report ����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������182 Appendix 8 Osteological report ����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������194 Appendix 9 Metallurgy Report ��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������201 Appendix 10 Geophysical Report ���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 204 Appendix 11 Quernstone Report ������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������ 219ii
  • 8. List of FiguresFigure 1: The route of the N7 Castletown to Nenagh overlain on the Ordnance Survey Discovery Series map� ����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 2 �Figure 2: The route of the N7 Castletown to Nenagh overlain on the Ordnance Survey Discovery Series map with all the excavation sites marked� ����������������������������������������������������� 6Figure 3: Portion of the Ist edition Ordnance Survey Map OF47 showing the location of Busherstown� ����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 8Figure 4: Topography of the area around Busherstown� ������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 9Figure 5: Location and extent of Busherstown E3661 on the N7 Castletown to Nenagh� Note the location of the stream� �������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 12 �Figure 6: Post excavation plan of Busherstown� �������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 14Figure 7: Post-excavation plan of Structure A at Busherstown� ���������������������������������������������������������������� 16Figure 8: Post-excavation plan of ditches C�447 and C�68 at Busherstown������������������������������������������� 17Figure 9: Section plans of ditches C�68, C�63, C�447 and C�78/127 at Busherstown� ������������������������� 19Figure 10: Post-excavation plan of kilns, location of firing bowl of kilns illustrated, at Busherstown� ��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������21Figure 11: Section plan of kilns C�97 and C�74 at Busherstown� ������������������������������������������������������������������27Figure 12: Plan of kilns C�90 and C�97 and associated shelter belt at Busherstown� ���������������������������29Figure 13: Post-excavation plan of kilns located in the northern part of the site at Busherstown� 30Figure 14: Section plan of kiln C�355 and pit C�1043 at Busherstown� ������������������������������������������������������40Figure 15: Post-excavation plan of Buildings C and D within moated site at Busherstown� ������������40Figure 16: Post-excavation plan of Structures E and F at Busherstown� ��������������������������������������������������46Figure 17: Section plans of ditches C�246/C�273 and C�277 and ditches C�54 and C�277 at Busherstown� ��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������49Figure 18: Post-excavation plan of the medieval enclosure and moated site at Busherstown� ������52Figure 19: Post-excavation plan of the moated site at Busherstown� �������������������������������������������������������54Figure 20: Section plans of the ditch C�44 of the moated site� ��������������������������������������������������������������������57Figure 21: Section plan of ditch C�8 and C�19 at Busherstown� ��������������������������������������������������������������������58Figure 22: Plan of geophysical testing at Busherstown (Earthsound)� ������������������������������������������������������60Figure 23: Aerial photography of Busherstown showing the extent of moated site in the adjoining field outside the road corridor� ��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 61 iii
  • 9. List of Plates Plate 1: View of Busherstown from north� ������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������ 13 Plate 2: Flint scraper E3661:1:5 from Busherstown� ������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 15 Plate 3: Building A from south-west at Busherstown� �������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 18 Plate 4: Quern stone E3661:71:1 from Busherstown� �����������������������������������������������������������������������������������20 Plate 5: Kiln C�74 (in foreground) and kiln C�30 from NW at Busherstown� ����������������������������������������23 Plate 6: Kiln C�74 from NE at Busherstown� ����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������24 � Plate 7: Mid-excavation view of kiln C�97 in foreground and kiln C�90 in background at Busherstown� ���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������26 Plate 8: Stone lining in kiln C�90 from east at Busherstown� ��������������������������������������������������������������������33 Plate 9: Bone pin E3661:735:1 from Busherstown� ���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������34 Plate 10: Mid-excavation view of kiln C�872 at Busherstown� ��������������������������������������������������������������������36 Plate 11: Kiln 989 in ditch C�54 at Busherstown� ���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������37 Plate 12: View of Building B and kiln C�490 in background from north at Busherstown� ����������������43 Plate 13: View of interior of moated site and ditch C�44 at Busherstown� ��������������������������������������������44 Plate 14: View of Structure E and kilns C�30 and C�74 from north-east at Busherstown� �����������������47 Plate 15: SE facing section of enclosure ditches C�54, C�277 and C�447 at Busherstown�����������������50 Plate 16: View of mid excavation of ditch C�68 from south, excavated ditches C�54 (in foreground) and C�78 (in middle ground) and kiln 189��������������������������������������������������������������51 Plate 17: Mid-excavation view of ditch C�44 of moated site at Busherstown� �������������������������������������56 Plate 18: View of south-eastern corner of moated site, Structure D, and ditches C�8 (left) and C�68 (right) in middle background at Busherstown� �����������������������������������������������������������59 Plate 19: Edward 1 long penny E3661:3:1 from Busherstown� �������������������������������������������������������������������62iv
  • 10. List of TablesTable 1 Dimensions and orientation of 17 cereal-drying kilns����������������������������������������������������������������24Table 2 Dimensions and orientation of 7 truncated cereal-drying kilns� �����������������������������������39Table 3 Number and date of buildings located at Busherstown ����������������������������������������������������������42Table 4 Dimensions of the slot trenches associated with Structure D �������������������������������������������������44Table 5 Dimensions of the four large pits ������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������45Table 6 Phase of ditches associated with enclosure and annexe of moated site �����������������������������48Table 7 Radiocarbon dates from Busherstown ���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������67Table 8: Relative abundance of the main domestic animals ��������������������������������������������������������������������73 v
  • 11. iSSUE 13: Eachtra JoUrnal - iSSn 2009-2237 archaEological Excavation rEportvi
  • 12. bUShErStown-E3661 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3661-busherstown-co-offaly/SummaryArchaeological excavation of the site at Busherstown revealed a complex multi-period sitewith six phases of activity. In broad outline they confirmed the use of the area from theEarly Neolithic period to the present time. The first period of activity was prehistoric indate and comprised a small assemblage of lithics and a circular structure (Structure A)dated on typological grounds to the Bronze Age. The second phase was dated to the earlymedieval period, when the area was used for cereal processing, as evidenced by the discov-ery of at least 17 cereal-drying kilns and a further seven possible kilns. The majority of thekilns were located in a line that extended for a distance of 80 m in a NW-SE direction.The firing chambers of the kiln were for the most part located at the NE. A small numberof the kilns were partially enclosed (Structures D and E). The third phase of activity wasdefined by an enclosure (ditches C.68 and 447) which was probably contemporary withthe cereal processing. The continuous use of the area of the enclosure in the medieval pe-riod was confirmed when certain areas of the site were enclosed through the constructionof deep, wide ditches (ditches C.54 and C.63). The ditches (ditches C.227 and C.78) werere-cut in the later medieval period to function as an annexe to a moated site. A substan-tial ditch, 5.5 m wide by 1.7 m deep, defined the moated site. Only the southern cornerof the moated site was located within the road corridor. However, the entire outline canbe clearly seen in aerial photographs of the adjoining field to the north-east. Two struc-tures (C and D) were contemporary with the moated site. The post-medieval period wasrepresented by a large number of furrows crossing the site and material which had beendumped into the top fills of the ditches. The site was levelled in the recent past.Road project name N7 Castletown to NenaghSite name BusherstownE no. E3661Site director Tory Mc MorranTownland BusherstownParish CastletownelyCounty OffalyBarony ClonliskOS Map Sheet No. Offaly 47National Grid Reference 20479 / 181806Elevation 145 m OD vii
  • 13. Acknowledgements The project was commissioned by Laois County Council and was funded by the Na- tional Roads Authority under the National Development Plan (2000-2006). The project archaeologist was Niall Roycroft. Kildare County Council supervised the archaeological contract with RE staff of Pat Dowling and Colum Fagan. Kildare County Council Sen- ior Executive Engineer was Joseph Kelly and Kildare County Council Senior Engineer was John Coppinger. The senior archaeologist was John Tierney and the post-excavation manager was Jacinta Kiely. Illustrations are by Maurizio Toscano, photographs by John Sunderland and Eagle Photography and aerial photography by StudioLab. Specialist anal- ysis was carried out by Anne Carey, Mary Dillon, Earthsound Geophysics, Jonny Geber, Penny Johnston, Margaret McCarthy, Órla Scully, Farina Sternke, Tim Young and the 14 Chrono Centre at Queen’s University Belfast.viii
  • 14. bUShErStown-E3661 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3661-busherstown-co-offaly/1 Scope of the projectEachtra Archaeological Projects were commissioned by Laois County Council and theNational Roads Authority to undertake archaeological works along 17.1 km (Contact1) of the 35km N7 Castletown to Nenagh (Derrinsallagh to Ballintotty) national roadscheme (EIS approved in November 2005). The scheme runs from the eastern junctionof the present N7 Nenagh Bypass, North Tipperary a tie in to the M7/M8 Portlaoise-Castletown scheme to the south of Borris-in-Ossory in County Laois. The scheme is ap-proximately 191 hectares. Contract 1 comprises the western half of the scheme and runsfrom Clashnevin to Castleroan passing along the Tipperary North and Offaly countyborder regions. The Ministers Direction Number is A38. It was funded by the Irish Government under the National Development Plan 2000-2006. The total archaeological cost was administered by the National Roads Authoritythrough Laois County Council as part of the Authority’s commitment to protecting ourcultural heritage. The purpose of the archaeological services project was to conduct ar-chaeological site investigations within the lands made available for the scheme and toassess the nature and extent of any new potential archaeological sites uncovered. Phase 1 of the project (archaeological testing of the route) was carried out in 2007under licence E3371, E3372 and E3375-8 issued by Department of the Environment Her-itage and Local Government (DoEHLG) in consultation with the National Museumof Ireland. The principal aim of this phase of the project was to test for any previouslyunknown sites by a programme of centreline and offset testing and to test sites of archaeo-logical potential identified in the EIS. Phase 2 of the project (resolution) involved the resolution of all archaeological sitesidentified within the proposed road corridor prior to commencement of the constructionof the road. This phase of the project was carried out from June 2007 to February 2008and excavations were conducted under the management of a Senior Archaeologist. A totalof 27 sites were excavated during this phase of works under separate licences issued byDoEHLG. A post-excavation assessment and strategy document was prepared in Phase 3 of theproject to present a management strategy for dealing with post-excavation work aris-ing from archaeological works along the route of the new N7 Castletown to Nenagh. Itincluded a proposal for post-excavation and archiving work and a budget for the works.2 Route locationThe route of the N7 Castletown to Nenagh road is located in Counties North Tipperaryand Offaly (OF) (Figure 1). The project (Contract 1) involves the construction of c. 17.5km of the N7 from Clashnevin east of Nenagh to Castleroan south-east of Dunkerrin. Itpasses through the townlands of Clashnevin, Derrybane, Newtown, Lissanisky, Killeisk,Garavally, Derrycarney, Garrynafanna, Gortnadrumman, Kilgorteen, Falleen, Knock-ane, Clash, Park, Rosdremid (OF), Clynoe (OF), Cullenwaine, Moneygall, Greenhills, 1
  • 15. 182550 198900 2152502 193300 193300 ! ( Nenagh iSSUE 13: Eachtra JoUrnal - iSSn 2009-2237 Derg (Lough) 182950 182950 172600 172600 0 5 10 182550 198900 Kilometres 215250 ± Figure 1: The route of the N7 Castletown to Nenagh overlain on the Ordnance Survey Discovery Series map� archaEological Excavation rEport
  • 16. bUShErStown-E3661 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3661-busherstown-co-offaly/Drumbaun, Busherstown (OF), Drumroe (OF), Moatquarter, Loughan (OF) and Cas-tleroan (OF). The townlands are located in the parishes of Ballymackey, Cullenwaine,Castletownely, Rathnaveoge, Finglas and Dunkerrin and the baronies of Upper Ormond,Ikerrin and Clonisk, The route begins at the eastern end of the Nenagh bypass at Clashnevin c. 5 km eastof Nenagh and continues eastward on the northern side of the existing N7 in Co. Tip-perary. It crosses a number of third class roads to the north of Toomyvara and 0.7 kmeast of Clash crossroads crosses the Ollatrim River. It extends into County Offaly directlyeast of Park. From here it crosses the R490 0.6 km north of Moneygall. It extends backin County Tipperary and through the demesne of Greenhills before crossing the existingN7 at the junction of Greenhills and Drumbaun townlands. It crosses back into CountyOffaly and climbs east into Busherstown and Drumroe. It crosses the Keeloge Streaminto Moatquarter in County Tipperary and extends northeast back into County Offalythrough the townlands of Loughan and Castleroan 1.4 km southwest of Dunkerrin.3 Receiving environmentNorth Tipperary is bounded on the west by the River Shannon and Lough Derg withthe Silvermines, to the south, and small hills extending towards Devilsbit and BorrisnoeMountains to the east. The mountains are composed largely of Silurian strata and OldRed Sandstone. Copper, silver and lead deposits have been mined in the Silvermines. Thegeology of the lowlands consists of Carboniferous limestone covered by glacial drift inaddition to tracts of raised bog. The western portion of the study area is drained by the Ollatrim River which flowswestwards into the River Ballintotty which in turns drains into the River Nenagh. Theeastern portion is drained by the Keeloge Stream and other small water sources. These risein the foothills of the Silvermine Mountains and flow north. The Keeloge drains into theLittle Brosna River c. 1 km south of Shinrone, Co Offaly. The Brosna turns north anddrains into the Shannon south of Banagher. The largest population centre in the area is Nenagh. The smaller population centres,are Toomyvara, Moneygall and Dunkerrin. The soils on the route are characterised by 80% grey brown podzolics, 10% gleys, 5%brown earths and 5% basis peat. They are derived from glacial till of predominantly Car-boniferous limestone composition. These soils occur in Tipperary and Offaly and have awide use range being suitable for both tillage and pasture (Gardiner and Radford 1980,97-99). Land use along the route was a mix of grassland devoted to intensive dairying andcattle-rearing and tillage. 3
  • 17. iSSUE 13: Eachtra JoUrnal - iSSn 2009-2237 archaEological Excavation rEport 4 Archaeological and historical background Archaeological sites of numerous periods were discovered along the route of the new road (Figure 2). The periods are referred to as follows: Mesolithic (c. 8000 to 4000 BC), Neo- lithic (c. 4000 to 2000 BC), Bronze Age (c. 2000 to 600 BC), and Iron Age (c. 500 BC to AD 500), early medieval period (c. AD 500 to 1100), medieval period (c. AD 1100 to 1650), post-medieval period (c. AD 1650 to the present). Mesolithic (c. 8000 to 4000 BC) The earliest known human settlement in Ireland dates from the Mesolithic period (c. 8000 BC - 4000 BC). The majority of the evidence (flint scatters) for Mesolithic occupa- tion has come from the river valleys. No evidence for the Mesolithic was recorded on the route. Neolithic (c. 4000 to 2000 BC) The Neolithic Period is characterised by the introduction of agriculture and the begin- nings of the clearance of the woodlands. The population increased and became more sedentary in nature. The most important Neolithic site in the vicinity was at Tullahedy recorded on the route of the Nenagh by-pass. It was a specialist chert arrow manufactur- ing site. No evidence for a Neolithic site was recorded on the route but stone tools dating to the Neolithic were recorded at Busherstown E3661, Clash E3660, Cullenwaine E3741 and Greenhills 2 and 3 E3637 and E3658. Stone tools dating to the late Neolithic/Early Bronze Age were recorded at Busherstown E3661, Castleroan E3909, Cullenwaine E3741, Derrybane 1 E3585, Drumroe E3773, Greenhills 1 E3638 and Moatquarter E3910. Neo- lithic pottery was recorded at Cullenwaine E3741 and Drumbaun E3912. Bronze Age (c. 2000 to 600BC) The Bronze Age is characterised by the introduction of metallurgy and an increase in settlement and burial sites. Copper ores were mined and copper, bronze and gold items manufactured. The range of burial site types includes cist graves, pit and urn burials, cremation cemeteries, barrows, ring-ditches and wedge tombs. Stone circles and stand- ing stones also date to the Bronze Age. Both enclosed and unenclosed settlement sites are known. The most prolific Bronze Age site type is the fulacht fiadh. These monuments survive as low mounds of charcoal rich black silt, packed with heat-shattered stones, and generally situated close to a water source. Fulachta fiadh are generally classified as ‘cook- ing places’, whereby stones were heated in a hearth and subsequently placed in a trough of water, the water continued to boil with the addition of hot stones and wrapped food was cooked within the hot water. The trough eventually filled with small stones, ash and charcoal that were removed, forming the basis of the familiar mound.4
  • 18. bUShErStown-E3661 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3661-busherstown-co-offaly/ Two new fulachta fiadh or burnt mounds were recorded at Clashnevin 1 E3586,Cullenwaine E3741 and six at three separate locations in Greenhills, E3638, E3637 andE3658. Evidence of nine roundhouses or partial round structures were recorded; two atCastleroan E3909, Derrybane 2 E3591 and Drumbaun 2 E3912 and one at Clash E3660,Drumroe E3773 and Moatquarter E3910.Iron Age (c. 500 BC to AD 500)Up to recently there was little evidence of a significant Iron Age presence in Munster.Settlement sites are few and far between as well as being difficult to identify (Woodman,2000) while the material culture of this period is limited. Linear earthworks, believedto have marked tribal boundaries, and hillforts are two of the most visible monumentsof the period. Ten percent of sites excavated on NRA road schemes in recent years haveproduced Iron Age dates. The dates have led to the identification of 30 new Iron Age sitesin Munster from road schemes in counties Cork, Limerick and Tipperary (McLaughlin2008, 51). These include a ditched enclosure in Ballywilliam and a wooden trackway inAnnaholty Bog excavated on the route of the N7 Nenagh-Limerick (Taylor 2008, 54). Three Iron Age dates were returned from pits in Castleroan E3909 and DrumroeE3773 on the route of the N7 Castletown to Nenagh (Contract 1).Early medieval period (c. AD 400 to 1100)The early medieval period is characterised by the arrival of Christianity to Ireland. Thecharacteristic monument type of the period is the ringfort. Ringforts are the most nu-merous archaeological monument found in Ireland, with estimates of between 30,000and 50,000 illustrated on the first edition of the Ordnance Survey 6” maps of the 1840’s(Barry 1987). As a result of continued research, the construction of these monuments hasa narrow date range during the early medieval period between the 7th and 9th centuriesAD. Although there are some very elaborate examples of ringforts, they often take theform of a simple earth or stone enclosure functioning as settlements for all classes of secu-lar society (Stout 1997). North Tipperary is rich in early ecclesiastical sites and the remains of these religiouscentres are at the core of some of the towns and villages. Roscrea, for example, was chosenby St Cronan as a location for his monastery in the seventh century as it was located atthe crossroads on the Slighe Dála, an important roadway in early medieval times (NIAH2006, 4-8). Early medieval activity was recorded at five sites on the route of the N7 Castletownto Nenagh (Contract 1). A series of cereal-drying kilns were recorded at BusherstownE3661. A denuded ringfort (OF046-013) was excavated at Clynoe 2 E3774. An area ofiron-working and associated pits was recorded at Drumbaun E3912. Iron working activ-ity, cereal-drying kilns and settlement activity was recorded at Park 1 E3659. A group ofpits and associated ditch were recorded at Drumroe E3773. 5
  • 19. 190400 196200 202000 2078006 Busherstown 1 186400 186400 Castleroan 1 E 3909 Busherstown 1 E 3661 Loughan 1 iSSUE 13: Eachtra JoUrnal - iSSn 2009-2237 E 4000 Greenhills 3 E 3658 Culleenwaine 1 Moneygall 2 E 3741 E 3635 Moatquarter 1 Clynoe 2 E 3910 E 3774 181800 181800 Park 1 Drumroe 1 Garravally Kilgorteen 1 E 3659 E 3773 E 3589 E 3739 Drumbaun 2 Derrybane 2 E 3912 E 3591 Greenhills 1 Greenhills 2 E 3638 E 3637 Clashnevin 2 E 3590 Clash 1 Park 2 E 3660 E 3772 Derrycarney 1 E 3740 Clashnevin 1 Derrybane 1 Killeisk 1 E 3586 E 3585 E 3587 177200 177200 0 3 6 Kilometres ± 190400 196200 202000 207800 Figure 2: The route of the N7 Castletown to Nenagh overlain on the Ordnance Survey Discovery Series map with all the excavation sites marked� archaEological Excavation rEport
  • 20. bUShErStown-E3661 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3661-busherstown-co-offaly/High and later medieval periods (c. AD 1100 to 1650)This period is characterized by the arrival of the Anglo-Normans and the building of tow-er houses. The Anglo-Normans obtained charters in the thirteenth century for the townsof Nenagh, Roscrea, Thurles and Templemore and established markets. Nenagh grewrapidly in the aftermath of the granting of the lands of Munster to Theobald fitzWalter in1185 (ibid. 8). Moated sites represent the remains of isolated, semi-defended homesteadsin rural areas. They were build mainly in the late thirteenth and early fourteenth cen-turies in counties, such as Wexford, Kilkenny, Tipperary, mid-Cork and Limerick, thatwere colonised by English settlers (O’Conor 1998, 58). The Archaeological Inventory forNorth Tipperary lists 39 moated sites (2002, 298). A medieval enclosure and associated field systems were recorded at Killeisk E3587. Aseries of ditches and settlement activity was recorded at Park 1 E3659.Post-medieval period (c. 1650 to the present)The post-medieval period is characterised by mills, limekilns, workhouses, country hous-es and associated demesnes, vernacular buildings and field systems (Figure 3). A smalldemesne associated with a county house was recorded at Greenhills.5 Site location and TopographyThe site is located in the townland of Busherstown, in the Parish of Castletownely andthe barony of Clonlisk. It is located to the south of the present N7 and at the time of ex-cavation accessed by a small by-road linking the N7 at Moneygall to the third class roadlinking the village of Dunkerrin and the town of Templemore, east of Clonakenny andsouth of Quinlisk’s Cross roads. The site at Busherstown was situated on and around the summit of a low hill on thenorthern edge of the rolling uplands of North Tipperary and South Offaly (Figure 4). Thesite is surrounded on three sides by higher ground being open to the North with excellentviews across the vast expanse of the Offaly bogs and lowlands. The Slieve Bloom moun-tains are visible to the North East. To the west the ground rises gently and levels out, where the prehistoric settlementevidence at Drumbaun 2 E3912 was located, before dropping sharply down to the presentN7 on the north-east side of the village of Moneygall. To the north-west a hill rises steeplyto approximately 175m OD. The lower slopes of this hill are containing a number of ring-forts and enclosures. To the east the landscape rises and gently undulates through thetownlands of Moatquater and Castleroan before rising steeply in the townland of Rathna-veoge Lower. To the south-east, south and south-west the ground rises steeply throughdensely wooded areas through the townland of Durmroe to the source of the Suir Riverjust below the summit (460m OD) of the north end of the Devilsbit Mountain Range. 7
  • 21. 204713 2057138 Castleroan LOUGHAN ea m Loughan S tr 182716 182716 e lo g K ee CASTLEROAN iSSUE 13: Eachtra JoUrnal - iSSn 2009-2237 Moatquarter BUSHERSTOWN 182066 182066 MOATQUARTER Busherstown Drumbaun 2 DRUMROE 0 300 600 DRUMBAUN Drumroe ¥ Meters 204713 205713 Figure 3: Portion of the Ist edition Ordnance Survey Map OF47 showing the location of Busherstown� archaEological Excavation rEport
  • 22. Loughan 1 204100 205400 110 s na ¢ ro B ittl e 13 Motte 0 rL bUShErStown-E3661 15 180 0 Rive 160 182250 182250 140 170 120 160 170 150 15 0 Busherstown 1 150 Drumbaun 2 Drumroe 1 Ke e l og e Str 16 0 eam 181500 181500 17 0 130 140 160 0 16 180 19 0 0 1 Km 204100 205400 Figure 4: Topography of the area around Busherstown� http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3661-busherstown-co-offaly/9
  • 23. iSSUE 13: Eachtra JoUrnal - iSSn 2009-2237 archaEological Excavation rEport The site itself is located at around 140m OD overlooking a wide area of marshy ground to the north-east and east. The ground drops sharply from the northern edge of the road corridor to a small but fast flowing stream now forming part of a field boundary. The post-medieval landscape is the most clearly visible on the landscape today. The rooftop of Busherstown House can be seen nestled into a sheltered part of the valley surrounded by mature woodland. The stone walled deerpark encloses land adjacent to the house and rising up the slope to the east. A linear area of dense woodland bounds the deerpark to the west, named as ‘the shrubbery’ on older maps. Running NE-SW along a current field boundary is a line of wood growth named ‘Beech Grove’, leading into a larger area of Lawn Wood. 6 Archaeological and Historical Setting The following text on the history of Busherstown was written by Paul MacCotter (2011): The Busherstown of 1641 bears only a loose resemblance to the area of the modern townland. In 1641 there was the single townland of Busherstown Drumroe and the second townland of Castletown, the greater portions of which together make up the modern townland. The original Busherstown lay in the west of this area, Castletown in the east. Most of modern Drumroe lay in Castletown, with only that part west of the road lying in Busherstown, hence this western area must be the original Drumroe. The church ruin in modern Drumroe then lay in Castletown, and this is the old parish church of Castletownely, earlier Castle Philip. The newly excavated moated site lies in the origi- nal Busherstown. The name Busherstown must derive from an Anglo-Norman family of Bosser (modern Busher), a fairly common Anglo-Norman cognomen-type surname, literally ‘the butcher’, who appear to have left no record beyond the toponym. Later, two O Carroll families are associated with Busherstown and Castletown, those of Clonagan- nagh and Ballybrack, although only the latter occur as planters in 1619, while both still held property here in 1641. The de Barrys of Castle Philip (Moatquarter and Busherstown) were one of the lead- ing Anglo-Norman settler families in the cantred of Elyocarroll before the destruction of its colony at the hands of the O Carroll chieftains during the second quarter of the 14th century. Among a number of fees they possessed here was that of Castle Philip, a name which refers to the motte in Moatquarter. In the 1305 extent we read that Regi- nald de Barry held ‘one theod at Castle Philip in Ossergele’. Here we should certainly read ‘Offergele’, a colonial theod based on the pre-Invasion túath of Uí Fhearghaile. The identification is certain: references to the church of Castle Philip occur in 1300, 1306, 1425 and 1506, and these references indicate that Castle Philip is the parish now known as Castletown Ely, whose ruined church lies in Drumroe. Note that Drumroe church lies adjacent to the motte of Moatquarter, the normal juxtaposition for manor house and manor church at this period, for in most cases parish and manor share the same shape. In this instance both church and motte bear the original name Castle Philip. The church10
  • 24. bUShErStown-E3661 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3661-busherstown-co-offaly/becomes known as Castletown in 1615 and, eventually, Castletownely. In 17th centuryrecords the name Castletown is also given to the townland in which the church stood,occupying the eastern third of modern Busherstown and most of Drumroe. Therefore,this church is called after a fortification built originally by one Philip (de Barry?) andwhich lay near the church. Yet there is no evidence from any of the topographical sourceswe possess dating from the mid-17th century onwards of any castle in the vicinity of thischurch apart from the nearby motte in Moatquarter. Hence, the inescapable conclusionwe arrive at is that the ‘castle’ in question is this motte. Historical references help us to locate the de Barry theod of Offergele here, whichclearly included Moatquarter, Drumroe and Moneygall. We should expect to find itsshape reflected in that of the parish of Castletownely, but this omits Moatquarter andMoneygall. It has a very different shape in the Down Survey (1656) however, and thisolder extent allows us to add Moatquarter and Moneygall, as well as several other town-lands, including Drumbaun, to the fee of Castle Philip. Given the propensity for civil par-ish boundaries to change over time, a 17th century source is to be greatly preferred over a19th century source. These references allow us to conclude that the motte of Moatquarterwas the site of an early Anglo-Norman manorial caput while the church of Drumroe orCastletownely was its corresponding manor church. Thus both the historical and archae-ological record suggest that this area only became important as the location of an Anglo-Norman manorial caput in the early 13th century. The location of these dual featuresat the centre of an area of significant distribution of late-medieval archaeological sitesconfirms the location of the caput here and its importance. We note especially the largemoated-site at Busherstown. This was clearly the fortified homestead of an importantfree-tenant of the manor of Castle Philip, who was very probably surnamed Busher. Theactual area of the farm attached to the moated site is very probably reflected in the shapeof the 17th century 510-acre townland of Busherstown. Other important sites nearbyinclude a late-medieval settlement in Busherstown, an Anglo-Norman ringwork castlein Lisduff, and a number of possible moated sites in Lisduff and Moatquarter. Again, thearchaeology agrees with the historical record telling of the abandonment of much of thesesettlements as a result of the Gaelic resurgence here, when the O Carrolls destroyed thecolony in Elyocarroll after 1325.7 Excavation methodologyThe site was mechanically stripped of topsoil under strict archaeological supervision.Stripping was done with a tracked machine with a flat toothless bucket. Topsoil strippingcommenced in the areas of identified archaeology and continued radially outward untilthe limit of the road take was reached or until the limit of the archaeological remains wasfully defined. A grid was set up in the excavation area(s) and all archaeological featureswere sufficiently cleaned, recorded and excavated so as to enable an accurate and mean-ingful record of the site to be preserved. The excavation, environmental sampling, site 11
  • 25. 204400 204750 20510012 182000 182000 BUSHERSTOWN iSSUE 13: Eachtra JoUrnal - iSSn 2009-2237 181800 181800 13400 13500 13300 13600 13200 1370 0 13100 1380 0 13900 14000 14100 181600 181600 DRUMROE DRUMBAUN Busherstown 1 (E3661) 0 100 200 Metres 204400 204750 205100 Figure 5: Location and extent of Busherstown E3661 on the N7 Castletown to Nenagh� Note the location of the stream� archaEological Excavation rEport
  • 26. bUShErStown-E3661 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3661-busherstown-co-offaly/Plate 1: View of Busherstown from north�photographs, site drawings, find care and retrieval, on-site recording and site archive wasas per the Procedures for Archaeological works as attached to the licence method state-ments for excavation licences. The site was excavated from the 10th September 2007 and the on-site phase of workwas completed on the 8th February 2008. An area approximately 5185m² was initiallyopened. Only areas within the LMA (lands made available) were resolved (Figure 5). Thisarea was cleaned and examined. On the establishment of the nature, extent and distri-bution of the archaeological remains present a further 400m² was opened on the northside of the site. During the length of the excavation the crew comprised one director, twosupervisors and 22 site assistants. The full record of excavated contexts is recorded in the context register and the strati-graphic matrix (Appendix 2). Detailed stratigraphic descriptions are found in the groupsand sub-groups text (Appendix 3). The context register maybe viewed in the EAPOD(Eachtra Archaeological Projects office database) in the accompanying CD. 13
  • 27. 204720 20478014 Moated Structure C site 181827 181827 Annexe Structure D AD AD 713-888 1292-1394 iSSUE 13: Eachtra JoUrnal - iSSn 2009-2237 Structure B Structure F 145 m O.D. AD 657-769 Structure E AD 658-766 AD 1210-1271 Structure A 181789 181789 AD 1159-1252 Kilns Human skeleton 0 25 m 204720 204780 Figure 6: Post excavation plan of Busherstown� archaEological Excavation rEport
  • 28. bUShErStown-E3661 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3661-busherstown-co-offaly/ Plate 2: Flint scraper E3661:1:5 from Busherstown�8 Excavation resultsArchaeological excavation of the site at Busherstown revealed a complex multi-period sitewith at least six phases of activity identified (Figure 6). In broad outline they confirmedthe use of the area from the Early Neolithic period to the present time. The earliest phaseof activity was prehistoric in date and comprised a small lithic assemblage and possibly acircular structure. The second and third phases of activity were dated to the early medie-val period. The area was used for cereal processing and was defined by an enclosure. Morethan 20 kilns were recorded and upto ten of these were located in a line that extended fora distance of 80 m in a NW-SE direction. The continuous use of the area in the medievalperiod was confirmed by the next phase of activity (Phase 4) when certain areas of thesite were enclosed through the construction of deep, wide ditches. A subsequent phase ofactivity on the site included the construction of a substantial ditch which enclosed a sub-rectangular moated site (Phase 5). The moated site was only partially located within theroad corridor, but the entire outline can be clearly seen in aerial photographs of the ad-joining field to the north-east (Plate 1). The modern period (Phase 6) was represented bya large number of furrows and attempts to level the site. The upper fill of all the medievalditches was modern in origin as the site had been levelled. 15
  • 29. iSSUE 13: Eachtra JoUrnal - iSSn 2009-2237 archaEological Excavation rEport ± 214 389 Structure A 1020 427 563 463 454 398 543 430 419 378 411 0 2.5 m Figure 7: Post-excavation plan of Structure A at Busherstown� Phase 1 Prehistoric The prehistoric phase of activity was defined by a small assemblage of lithics dated to the Neolithic Period and a small circular structure dated, on typological grounds, to the Bronze Age. Neolithic The Neolithic assemblage from Busherstown includes a flint blade dated to the first half of the Neolithic period (E366:365:1), three flakes, possibly Middle Neolithic in date (E3661:1:5, E3661:99:1 and E3661:175:1), three retouched artefacts, including one flint scraper (E3661:1:5, Plate 2) and two rubbing stones dated to Late Neolithic/ Early Bronze Age (E3661:777:1 and E3661:796:1). The lithic finds were recovered from residual con- texts, including the topsoil, the fills of ditches C.68, C.44, C.54, kilns C.30, C.491 and C.743A, post-holes/pit C.366, post-hole C.796, slot trench C.392, pit C.669 and furrow C.287. Bronze Age A circular structure, Structure 1, was recorded in the central part of the site (Figure 7, plate 3). It comprised a ring of seven post-holes (C.214, C.378, C.389, C.398, C.411,16
  • 30. 204720 204780 181827 181827 bUShErStown-E3661 447 622 68 181789 181789 0 25 m 204720 204780 Figure 8: Post-excavation plan of ditches C�447 and C�68 at Busherstown� http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3661-busherstown-co-offaly/17
  • 31. iSSUE 13: Eachtra JoUrnal - iSSn 2009-2237 archaEological Excavation rEport Plate 3: Building A from south-west at Busherstown� C.419 and C.1020) and a hearth (C.427) in the interior. The building measured 4.4 m in diameter. The structural post-holes were similar in size, measuring on average 0.24 m by 0.23 m by 0.33 m in depth. All of them had one mid grey brown silty sand fill with occasional inclusions of pebbles and small stones. The distance between the post-holes averaged 1.9 m with the exception of a gap of 2.3 m between two post-holes on the east- ern side, which defined the area of the entrance. A total of five stake-holes (C.563, C.454, C.463, C.430 and C.543) were associated with the hearth, three of them (C.430, C.454 and C.463) cut the hearth and the other two (C.543 and C.563) were placed on the op- posite sides of hearth. The northern edge of this group of features was truncated by the enclosure ditch C.54. Phase 2 Early medieval activity The second phase of activity comprised two ditches which formed three sides of an enclo- sure and a series of cereal-drying kilns. Early medieval ditches Two ditches (C.68 and C.447) (Figure 8) formed three sides of an enclosure which meas- ured at least 30 m north-south by 45 m east-west. The activity was early medieval in date and contemporary with the kilns. No radiocarbon dates were obtained from the ditches but several of the kilns were located close to both sides of the ditches presumably for shel-18
  • 32. N7CN N7CN Busherstown Busherstown E3661 E3661 NW facing section of C.447 SW facing section of C.127 C.591 bUShErStown-E3661 C.83 C.448 C.80 C.82 C.81 C.607 C.79 C.608 C.78/127 C.447 N7CN Busherstown E3661 SW facing section of C.68 and C.63 C.69 C.64 C.70 C.71 C.72 C.67 C.65 C.73 C.66 C.63 C.68 0 500 mm Figure 9: Section plans of ditches C�68, C�63, C�447 and C�78/127 at Busherstown� http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3661-busherstown-co-offaly/19
  • 33. iSSUE 13: Eachtra JoUrnal - iSSn 2009-2237 archaEological Excavation rEport Plate 4: Quern stone E3661:71:1 from Busherstown� ter. These two ditches were the only V-shaped ditches on site and were both truncated by the later ditches C.277/78. The ditch C.447 was one of the earliest features on the site and it was the only ditch truncated by a kiln (C.491). The ditch was located in the west part of the site and extend- ed for c. 37.6 m in NW-SE direction. It then turns to the NNE and continued beyond the northern limit of the excavation where it probably intersected with the later ditch of the moated site. The cut of the ditch was V-shaped and on average measured 1.5 m wide by 0.75 m deep. It was cut into the underlying clay which overlay gravel deposits. The south- east terminus of the ditch was truncated by the ditch C.277. A total of six sections were excavated on the length of this ditch (Figure 9). Nine different layers/deposits were exca- vated within the ditch. The fills accumulated as a result of silting within the ditch. Three sections were recorded along the NW-SE part of the ditch. In all of these sections, the ditch was covered by a layer (C.591) of re-deposited natural (0.19 m deep) which derived from the leveling of the site in the modern period. The southeastern end of NNE-SSW length of the ditch was cut by a shallow ditch (C.246). The southeast part of the ditch was truncated by pit C.622 and kiln C.491. No finds were recovered from this ditch. Ditch C.68 was situated in the eastern half of the site and was orientated NNE-SSW. The northern part of the ditch was cut by the ditch (C.44) of the moated site. The south- ern part of the ditch was truncated by the ditch C.63/C.19. Ditch C.68 contained 11 fills and was 36.40 m in length and on average 1.70 m wide by 0.9 m deep (see Figure 9). Four sections were dug in the ditch. In three of them, the remains of a possible re-cut were vis-20
  • 34. 204720 204780 1040 872 811 634 bUShErStown-E3661 181827 181827 696 355 802 480 743 97 90 98 581578 576 499 548 491 550 392 490 1042 74 30 1041 990 32 181789 181789 989 189 191 1012 Kilns Firing bowl 421 0 30 m 204720 204780 Figure 10: Post-excavation plan of kilns, location of firing bowl of kilns illustrated, at Busherstown� http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3661-busherstown-co-offaly/21
  • 35. iSSUE 13: Eachtra JoUrnal - iSSn 2009-2237 archaEological Excavation rEport ible. Two pieces of copper alloy book binding strips were found within the upper fill of that ditch (E3661:69:1 and 2) and a rotary quern stone (E3661:71:1) in one of the lower fills (Plate 4). The ditch was linear in plan with a V-shaped profile throughout all its ex- cavated length. It was not possible to determine how far north the ditch had extended as the northern part of the ditch was truncated by the later ditch (C.44) of the moated site. The two ditches C.447 and C.68 were the only V-shaped ditches recorded on the site. The accumulated fills within the ditches were similar. The ditches were parallel to one another and they constituted part of a contemporary enclosing element. The southern boundary of the enclosure had partly survived but the northern boundary had not as it was truncated by the ditch of the moated site. The enclosure was likely to have been early medieval in date but no radiocarbon date was obtained for the ditches. It pre-dated the construction of at least one of the early medieval kilns (C.491) as it had cut ditch C.447. Cereal-drying kilns The site was used as for cereal processing on an intensive scale during the early medieval period. A total of 17 extant kilns and seven truncated kilns were recorded on site (Figure 10). Three early medieval radiocarbon dates were obtained from cereal grains from the kilns. All the kilns, with the exception of one, were figure-of-eight in plan. The exception, kiln C.90 was a stone-lined kiln keyhole kiln which consisted of a fire chamber separated from the drying chamber by a stone-lined flue. A total of 11 of the group of 17 kilns (C.30, C.74, C.97, C.189, C.355, C.490, C.634, C.743A, C.872, C.989 and C.1012) were defini- tive figure-of-eight in plan. The figure-of-eight kilns consisted of two parts, the deeper, wider pit held the fire, from which heat would rise towards the shallower drying chamber or pit, where the grain was laid to dry. All the kilns had distinctive fire reddened bases, in the firing area. The other five kilns were heavily truncated by later features. Three of these (C.480, C.491 and C.743B) were probably figure-of-eight in plan but the shape of the remaining two kilns (C.900 and C.1040) was uncertain. Thirteen of these kilns were truncated by later features such as ditches, gullies, slot trenches, pits or later kilns. Seven of the kilns (C.74, C.30, C.189, C.1012, C.1041, C.989 and C.990) were located in the southern part of the site. They were cut into yellow compact sandy silt clay which overlay gravel deposits. Five of these kilns (C.189, C.1012, C.1041, C.989 and C.990) were truncated by later medieval ditches (C.54, C.63 and C.78). Six kilns (C.490, C.90, C.97, C.743, C.491 and C.480) were situated in the western part of the site. The area was heavily truncated by modern agricultural features, including several deep furrows (C.160, C.167, C.174, C.394, C.407, C.410, C.699 and C.761). Four kilns were situated in the northern part of the site. Two of them (C.872 and C.1040) were located on the edge of the area of the excavation, to the west of the ditch of the moated site. Two others (C.355 and C.634) were located within the area of the moated site.22
  • 36. bUShErStown-E3661 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3661-busherstown-co-offaly/Plate 5: Kiln C�74 (in foreground) and kiln C�30 from NW at Busherstown�No Kiln Shape in Orientation Location of Length Width Depth Truncated by cut no plan firing bowl (m) (m) (m)1 C.30 figure-of NE-SW NE 2.82 1-1.2 0.45-0.9 pit C.32 eight2 C.74 figure-of NE-SW NE 3.18 0.9-1.2 0.4-0.7 eight3 C.90 keyhole NW-SE NW 6 0.62 0.234 C.97 figure-of NE-SW NE 3.15 0.75-1.7 0.32- Kiln C.90 eight 0.675 C.189 figure-of NE-SW NE 2.2 0.97-1.6 0.23- ditch C.63 eight 0.526 C.355 figure-of NE-SW NE 3.24 0.9 0.95-1.3 Foundation eight trench C.6627 C.480 figure-of NW-SE ? 2.3 NA NA post-med ditch eight? C.4758 C.490 figure-of NE-SW NE 3.7 1.2-1.7 0.44- foundation eight 0.62 trench C.3929 C.491 figure-of NW-SE ? 2.12 1.4 0.75 kiln cuts ditch eight? C.44710 C.634 figure-of NW-SE SE 3.55 0.90-1.2 0.45- pit C.875 eight 0.9811 C.743A figure-of NE-SW NE 4.05 1.9 0.75 eight12 C.743B figure-of NE-SW SW NA NA 0.75 kiln C.743A eight?13 C.872 figure-of NW-SE SE 3.5 0.80-1.2 0.97 eight 23
  • 37. iSSUE 13: Eachtra JoUrnal - iSSn 2009-2237 archaEological Excavation rEport Plate 6: Kiln C�74 from NE at Busherstown� No Kiln Shape in Orientation Location of Length Width Depth Truncated by cut no plan firing bowl (m) (m) (m) 14 C.989 figure-of NE-SW NE 3.19 1.5-1.7 0.96- ditch 54 eight 1.05 15 C.990 unknown NE-SW ? 1.84 1.29 0.4 ditch C.54 gully 676 16 C.1012 figure-of NE-SW NE 2.5 0.7-1.35 0.26-0.7 ditch C.78 eight 17 C.1040 unknown ? ? NA NA NA post-med ditch C.1026 Table 1 Dimensions and orientation of 17 cereal-drying kilns� Kiln C.30 Kiln C.30 was situated 1.3m to the southeast of kiln C.74 (Plate 5). The kiln was sub- rectangular in shape and was orientated northeast-southwest. The drying part of this kiln was heavily truncated by a pit (C.32). The overall length of the kiln was 2.82 m, while the width narrowed from 1.2 m at the northern end to 1 m at the disturbed southern end. The base of the kiln sloped gradually down from the southern end to the north. The fire pit measured 0.9 m in depth while the insitu section of the drying pit was 0.45 m deep. The firing chamber was filled with three deposits that were related to the original use of the kiln. The primary fill (C.111) was a charcoal rich layer of brown silt that measured 0.02 m in depth. This deposit was the remains of burnt wood from the firing of the kiln. Analysis of the plant remains from this deposit identified large quantities of oat and barley grains (see Appendix 4). The secondary fill was brown grey clayey silt (C.108) that24
  • 38. bUShErStown-E3661 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3661-busherstown-co-offaly/contained inclusions of charcoal and lenses of burnt clay. The tertiary fill (C.106) wascharcoal rich grey black sandy silt. It was the remains of burnt wood from a second firingof the kiln. The south chamber of the kiln was filled with three deposits which were associatedwith the original use of the kiln. The basal deposit (C.109) was charcoal rich dark graysandy silt that measured 0.07 m in depth. The secondary fill (C.107) was yellowish orangesilt. The fill above (C.106) was a thin layer of charcoal rich sandy silt which also occurredin the north part of the kiln. The kiln was sealed by seven deposits. Three deposits (C.104, C.103 and C.102) di-rectly overlaid C.106. Two of them (C.104 and C.103) were located in the most northernpart of the kiln. These deposits appear to be caused either by intentional backfilling orby collapse of heat affected walls. The third deposit (C.102) situated in the southern andthe central part of the kiln was grey brown silty sand. It contained moderate inclusionsof charcoal and appears to have formed after the kiln went out of use. The fourth back-fill (C.101) covered the whole kiln with re-deposited subsoil for a depth of 0.28 m. Thesmall deposit of brown grey sand (C.100) was located in the central part of the kiln. Itcontained moderate charcoal inclusions. This fill was overlain by a blue grey silt deposit(C.99) that measured 0.11m in depth. A flint flake (E3661:99:1) dated to the Neolithic pe-riod was found within this fill. The top backfill of the kiln was blue grey silty clay (C.31)that measured 0.39m in depth. It contained moderate inclusions of charcoal and pebbles.Kiln C.74Kiln C.74 was situated 1.3m to the northwest of kiln C.30 (Plate 6). It was sub-rectangu-lar in shape and was orientated north-east to south-west with the firing chamber at thenorth-eastern end. The overall length of the kiln was 3.18 m, while its width narrowedfrom 1.2 m at its northern end to 0.9 m at its southern end. The base of the kiln slopedgradually down from a minimum of 0.40 m at its southern end to a maximum of 0.70 mat its northern end (Figure 11). The fire chamber was filled with two deposits that wereassociated with the original use of the kiln. The primary fill of the fire pit (C.120) wasa charcoal rich layer of dark brownish black clayey silt. This deposit was the remains ofburnt wood from the primary firing of the kiln. Analysis of the plant remains from thisdeposit identified large quantities of oat and barley (see Appendix 4). An early medievaldate of cal AD 658–711 (UB–15050) was returned from oat grains from this fill. The sec-ondary fill (C.119) was a mix of orange brown silt with charcoal and heat affected piecesof clay. This deposit was sealed by a layer of yellow brown clayey silt (C.118). It containedcharcoal inclusions and lenses of re-deposited natural. The eastern side of this chamberwas heavily affected by the fire. The shallower southern end of the kiln was filled by asingle deposit (C.120) that was associated with the primary function of the kiln. This wasa charcoal rich layer of dark brownish black clayey silt, which also occurred in the firingpart of the kiln. The kiln was sealed by four deposits. The upper deposit (C.77) of thekiln was re-deposited subsoil material of yellow brown silty sand that measured 0.34m indepth. It contained inclusions of pebbles and charcoal flecks. 25
  • 39. iSSUE 13: Eachtra JoUrnal - iSSn 2009-2237 archaEological Excavation rEport Plate 7: Mid-excavation view of kiln C�97 in foreground and kiln C�90 in background at Busherstown� Kiln C.90 Kiln C.90 was a keyhole shaped stone-lined kiln. The cut of the kiln was orientated NW- SE with the firing chamber situated at the NW end. The kiln measured 6 m in length and comprised a firing chamber separated from the drying chamber by a narrower linear flue. The base of the kiln slopes slightly downwards from southeast to northwest. The fire chamber of kiln C.90 cut the drying pit of kiln C.97 (Plate 7). The kiln C.90 was trun- cated by two furrows (C.167 and C.174). The fire chamber was sub-rectangular in shape with rounded corners. It was 1.2 m long on its NW-SE axis and cut the top fills of kiln C.97 to the depth of 0.23 m. This chamber did not appear to be stone lined. In the place between the firing chamber and the flue lay a boulder. The firing chamber was filled with three deposits. The basal fill (C.129) covered the fire-scorched base of the flue. The secondary deposit (C.132) was brown grey silt with inclusions of charcoal and burnt clay. The firing end of the kiln was truncated by a furrow (C.167). The linear flue was 2.9 m long and the width of it narrowed from 1.2 m at the NW end to 1 m in the place where it joined the drying chamber. The remains of the flue were26
  • 40. N7CN Busherstown E3661 SE facing section of corn drying kiln C.97 # # # # # C.135 # # # C.132 # C.128 # C.129 C.133 # # # # # # # # C.130 # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # ## # # C.160 # # # # C.131 # # # # # # # # # # # bUShErStown-E3661 # # # # # # # # # C.159 # # # C.90 # # # # # # # # # # # # # # C.134 # # # # # C.135 # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # ## # # # # # # # C.141 # # # # # # C.136# # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # C.139 # # C.97 # # # ## # # # # # # # # # # # # C.138# # # # # # C.139 # # # #C.140 C.369 N7CN Busherstown E3661 NW facing section of corn drying kiln C.74 C.76 C.77 C.75 C.115 C.117 C.116 C.119 C.118 C.120 C.121 C.74 0 500 mm Figure 11: Section plan of kilns C�97 and C�74 at Busherstown� http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3661-busherstown-co-offaly/27
  • 41. iSSUE 13: Eachtra JoUrnal - iSSn 2009-2237 archaEological Excavation rEport 0.31 m deep. The walls of the flue were lined with blocks of limestone and sandstone and in the places where the stones where missing, a clear indication of the missing stone was visible (Plate 8). The base and the stone walls of the flue were substantially affected by fire. The flue was filled with two deposits. The basal fill (C.201) of the flue was a small deposit on the NW end of the flue. This layer consisted of brown compact sand. Cereals exam- ined from the layer were composed of predominantly barley (about 70 %), oats (about 30 %) and some rye and wheat (less than 5 %) (see Appendix 4). The next layer (C.129), which was a continuation of the basal layer in the firing chamber, was overlain by brown grey sandy silt (C.168) with inclusions of charcoal. In the place where the flue meets, the base of the drying chamber rises to a depth of 0.10 m. The drying chamber was hemispherical in shape and stone lined in the place where it connects with the flu. Along the NE edge of the drying chamber a stone socket or a possible small slot trench was visible. The drying part of the kiln was filled with grey brown sandy silt (C.169) with inclusions of charcoal and pieces of bones. This deposit was overlain in some places with brown grey silt with inclusions of charcoal and burnt clay (C.132). Nine post-holes, four stake-holes, one pit and a possible foundation trench formed a shelter belt on the NW side of the kiln C.90 (Figure 12). Five postholes (C.525, C.523, C.377, C.388 and C.729) formed a line 2.4 m in length 2.3 m north of the kiln C.90. Three of the postholes (C.525, C.523 and C.377) were circular in plan with flat bases. Two of the postholes (C.388 and C.729) were a bit bigger (averaging 0.28 m by 0.28 m and 0.30m in depth). Two additional postholes (C.368 and posthole /possible pit C.366) were situated 0.5 m to the north of the main alignment. A flint blade (E3661:365:1) dated to the first half of the Neolithic period was recovered from post C.366. A slot trench (C.320), three postholes (C.318, C. 691 and C.285) and three stakeholes (C.693, C.341 and C.343) were located further to the north-west. The possible slot trench was 0.97 long and very narrow and shallow. The postholes (C.318, C.691 and C.285) were circular in plan and concave in profile. The stakeholes (C.693, C.341 and C.343) were situated between the postholes. If these features also formed part of the shelter belt it would have measured 6.3 m in length. It is also possible that the shelter, or the western part only, was associated with the earlier kiln C.97. Kiln C.97 Kiln C.97 was situated 10 m to the northwest of the kiln C.490, 3.95 m to the southeast of kiln C.743 and just 3 m to the north of kiln C.491. The kiln was sub-rectangular in shape and was orientated northeast-southwest. The length of the kiln was 3.15 m long, while its width narrowed from 1.7 m at its northern end to 0.75 m at its southern end (Figure 13). The base of the kiln sloped gradually down from a minimum of 0.32 m at its southern end to a maximum of 0.67 m at its northern end. The sides of the kiln were steep and the base was flat. The upper fills of the kiln were truncated by kiln C.90, post-hole C.159 and furrows C.167 and C.174. The firing pit, at the north-eastern end of the kiln, was filled with four deposits which were related to the primary use of the kiln. These were28
  • 42. bUShErStown-E3661 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3661-busherstown-co-offaly/ 693 691 285 341 343 318 320 366 368 97 729 388 377 523 90 525 98 491 0 2.5 mFigure 12: Plan of kilns C�90 and C�97 and associated shelter belt at Busherstown� a layer of charcoal (C.138) and three deposits of mixed material (C.138, C.136 and C.135).The drying pit was filled with one deposit (C.141) of silty clay mixed with charcoal. Thekiln was backfilled by two deposits (C.130 and C.131). Analysis of the plant remains fromtwo of the basal layers (C.135 and C.136) identified the presence of barley and oat grainswith a prevalence of barley (see Appendix 4).Kiln C.189The kiln C.189 was located 6.5m to the southeast of the kiln C.30 and was truncated byditch C.63. The preserved part of the kiln indicated that it was figure of eight shape andwas orientated northeast-southwest. The length of the kiln was 2.2 m, while its width nar-rowed from 1.6 m at its northern end to 0.97 m at its southern end. The base of the kilnsloped gradually down from a minimum depth of 0.23 m at its southern end to a maxi-mum of 0.52m at its northern end. The sides of the kiln were steep and the base was flat. The fire chamber of this kiln was filled with six deposits which were associated withthe primary use of the kiln. The basal fill (C.267) was a charcoal rich dark sandy silt thatmeasured 0.07 m in depth. Analysis of the plant remains from this deposit identified bar-ley and oat grains (see Appendix 4). The secondary fill (263) was a silty sand which wascontemporary with a layer of dark red black sandy silt (C.323) located in the southwestpart of the firing pit. The tertiary fill (C.264/C.305) was charcoal rich sandy silt, whichcontained small lenses of burnt clay. It was the remains of burnt wood from a secondfiring of the kiln. The fourth deposit (C.266) was dark yellow black silty sand with inclu- 29
  • 43. iSSUE 13: Eachtra JoUrnal - iSSn 2009-2237 archaEological Excavation rEport ± 1040 872 824 788 745 696 752 802 767 480 743 97 573 491 676 561 566 490 568 570 218 Kilns 871 0 10 mFigure 13: Post-excavation plan of kilns located in the northern part of the site at Busherstown�30
  • 44. bUShErStown-E3661 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3661-busherstown-co-offaly/sions of charcoal that measured 0.06m in depth. Two more deposits (C.262 and C.261)may have been connected with the original use of the kiln. A small deposit (C.262) ofdark brown gray sandy silt and a dark yellow gray sandy silt (C.261) were located in thesouthern part of firing pit. Both of these layers contained charcoal inclusions, with a pre-dominance of charcoal in fill C.261. The southern part of the kiln was filled with three deposits that appeared to be relatedto the original use of the kiln. The primary fill of the fire pit (C.265) was orange graysandy silt. It contained inclusions of charcoal. The secondary deposit (263) was a yellowgray silty sand which also occurred in the north part of the kiln. The tertiary deposit(C.261) was dark yellow gray sandy silt. The kiln was sealed up by one backfill deposit(C.188). This fill measured 0.41m in depth. It was dark brown grey silty sand with inclu-sions of charcoal, pebbles and small stones. The south-western edge of kiln C.189 was truncated by two stake-holes (C.249 andC.251).Kiln C.355Kiln C.355 was situated close to the south-eastern corner of ditch C.44. It was orientatednortheast-southeast with the firing chamber at its northwest end. The kiln was sub-rec-tangular in plan with rounded corners. The overall shape of the feature, after removingthe upper layers which were derived from bank material, was visible as a sub-rectangularring of burnt clay. It measured 3.24 m in length and had a maximum 0.40 m width open-ing. The base of the cut was much wider and in average measured 0.9 m in width. Thesides of the kiln were vertical and undercut on the northeast and northwest, vertical andirregular on the southeast and steep and irregular at southwest. Substantial fire markswere visible along the whole height of the firing chamber walls and the upper parts of thedrying chamber. The base of the kiln slopes gently down from a minimum of 0.95 m atits southwestern end to a maximum of 1.3 m at its northeastern end (Figure 14). The base of firing chamber was filled with two deposits of rich charcoal material(C.670 and C.600). The basal layer of charcoal (C.600) contained pieces of burnt timber.Above this fill lay a deposit of ash mixed with burnt timber pieces (C.604). They wereoverlain by various deposits of ash (C.672, C.648, C.602 and C.579) and grey silt mixedwith charcoal and pieces of burnt clay (C.671, C.590, C.565 and C.540). Analysis of plantremains from the basal fill C.670 confirms the presence of barley and oat (Appendix 4).An early medieval date of cal AD 713–888 (UB–15053) was returned from barley grainsfrom this fill. The drying chamber of the kiln was filled with a rich charcoal layer (C.513) which waspartially covered by mix of silt, ash and charcoal (C.539). The deposit C.539 also filled thefiring chamber and was 0.22 m deep. Both chambers were overlain by a layer of grey brown silt with inclusions of charcoal(C.514). This fill contained animal bones. The kiln was sealed up by a layer of re-depositednatural (C.401) which measured 0.78 m in depth. The central section of the kiln was cut 31
  • 45. iSSUE 13: Eachtra JoUrnal - iSSn 2009-2237 archaEological Excavation rEport by a pit C.1043, which measured 2.35 m long and 0.35 m deep and the southern section was cut by a slot trench C.622, associated with Structure D. Kiln C.480 Kiln C.480 was situated 10.4m to the south-west of kiln C.743 and 2.13m to the south- east of kiln C.696. The kiln was 2.3 m long by 0.5 m in depth and was truncated by ditch C.475 over the whole of its length. The remains of the cut of the kiln indicate that it was sub-rectangular in plan with rounded corners and the base was flat. The kiln was orientated northwest-southeast. It comprised six fills, the three lower fills (C.488, C.486 and C.485) were connected with the primary function of the kiln. The upper fills (C.484, C.482 and C.481) were derived from the backfill of the kiln. Analysis of plant remains from the basal deposit (C.488) revealed almost equal percentage of barley and oat seeds within the fill (see Appendix 4). Kiln C.490 Kiln C.490 was situated 11.6 m to the northwest of kiln C.74 and 10.3 m to the south- east of kiln C.97. The kiln was sub-rectangular in shape and was orientated northeast- southwest. The length of the kiln was 3.7 m long, while its width narrowed from 1.7 m at its northern end to 1.2 m at its southern end. The base of the kiln sloped gradually down from a minimum of 0.44 m at its southern end to a maximum of 0.62 m at its northern end. The sides of the kiln were steep and the base was flat. The central part of the kiln was truncated by Structure B. The firing part of the kiln was filled with ten deposits that appeared to be connected with the original use of the kiln. The basal fill (C.537) was charcoal rich black sandy clay that measured 0.09 m in depth. The secondary fill (C.551) was yellow silt that measured 0.05 m in depth. This fill contained inclusions of charcoal and burnt clay. The tertiary de- posit (C.538) was a light grey silt with charcoal inclusions that was 0.11 m deep. Analysis of the plant remains from deposit C.538 identified barley and oat grains with a high pro- portion of oat (see Appendix 4). An early medieval date of cal AD 657–769 (UB–15051) was returned from cereal from this fill. The three fills (C.551, C.535 and C.532) overlying deposit C.538 seem to be typical mixed material from the interval between succeeding fir- ings of the kiln. These fills were a mix of yellow grey silt, clayey sand and sandy clay with pieces of charcoal and burnt clay. They measured between 0.03 m and 0.05 m in depth. The fifth deposit (C.531) was charcoal rich black clay that measured 0.05 m in depth. This fill was derived from the second firing of the kiln. The next two deposits (C.501 and C.518) contained inclusions of charcoal and burnt clay and were a brown black deposit of silty clay (C.501) and orange yellow sandy clay (C.518). On top of them lay another de- posit of rich charcoal sandy clay (C.502 and C.473) which was the remains of burnt wood. The last deposit (C.495) connected with the primary use of the kiln was a small deposit of yellow firm clay with inclusions of charcoal and flecks of burnt clay. The drying part of the kiln was filled with three deposits (C.562, C.552 and C.536) connected to the primary use of the kiln. The middle fill (C.552) was a layer charcoal-rich32
  • 46. bUShErStown-E3661 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3661-busherstown-co-offaly/Plate 8: Stone lining in kiln C�90 from east at Busherstown�silt, 0.03 m in depth. Within this fill was found a small decorated copper alloy bindingstrip (E3066:552:1). The other two deposits were a mix of silt with inclusions of charcoal.The kiln contained five backfill deposits (C.182, C.442, C.443 and C.444) which evenlyfilled both parts. The base of kiln C.490 was cut by three stake-holes (C.566, C.568 and C.570). Theywere situated in the edge of the drying chamber just before it sloped into the firing partof the kiln.Kiln C.491Kiln C.491 was located 3m to the south of kiln C.97 and C.90 and was cut into ditchC.447. The kiln was orientated NW-SE and was sub-rectangular in plan. The remainingpart of the kiln measured 2.12 m in length by 1.4 m in width and was 0.75 m deep. Thekiln was filled with six deposits. They comprised two layers of charcoal (C.511 and C.509),three intervening layers of mixed material (C.510, C.508 and C.507) and one backfill de-posit (C.449). This fill was overlaid by a stony layer (C.450) of fire affected medium andbig size stones. The kiln and the ditch C.447 were covered by two layers (average depth0.08 m) of re-deposited material (C.503 and C.505). A fragment of a rotary quernstone(E3661:450:1) was recovered from one of the fills and a retouched flint (E3661:509:1)dated to Late Neolithic/Early Bronze Age from another. A clay pipe stem (E3661:510:1)was recovered from the basal fill. 33
  • 47. iSSUE 13: Eachtra JoUrnal - iSSn 2009-2237 archaEological Excavation rEport Plate 9: Bone pin E3661:735:1 from Busherstown� Kiln C.634 Kiln C.634 was located 2.9 m to the south of the northern limit of excavation, within the area of the moated site. It was sub-rectangular in plan and orientated northwest- southeast. The overall length of the kiln was 3.55 m, while its width narrowed from 1.2 m at its southeastern end to 0.9 m at its northwestern end. The base of the kiln stepped down from a minimum of 0.45 m at its northwestern end to a maximum of 0.98 m at its southeastern end. The sides were steep and undercut. The firing pit of the kin was situated at its southeast end. The firing chamber of the kiln comprised nine fills which could be connected with the original function of the kiln. They were layers of charcoal material (C.740, C.738 and C.736) alternated by various deposits of grey silt mixed with inclusions of charcoal and burnt clay (C.739, C.765, C.768, C.737 C.736 and C.735).The drying chamber was filled with two deposits which were probably connected with the use of the kiln (C.632 and C.631). Both these fills also occurred in the firing chamber. The analysis of plant remains from fill C.631 shown evidence of barley and oat grains (see Appendix 4). The kiln was sealed by four backfill layers (C.651, C.650, C.649 and C.633) which were truncated by the later pit C.875. A perforated bone pin (E3661:735:1) was recovered from one of the basal fills of this kiln (Plate 9).34
  • 48. bUShErStown-E3661 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3661-busherstown-co-offaly/ A steep-sided pit C.875 cut the drying chamber of kiln C.634. It measured 2.3 m inlength by 1.15 m in width and 0.6 m in depth. Fragments of animal bone were recoveredfrom this pit.Kiln C.743A BKiln C.743A was located 4 m to the west of kiln C.97. It was oval in plan and orientatedNE-SW. The overall length of the kiln was 4.05 m with a maximum width of 1.9 m. Thebase of the kiln was cut into the drying chamber of an earlier kiln C.743B. The base ofkiln C.743A sloped gradually down from a minimum of 0.42 m at its southern end to amaximum of 0.75 m at its northern end. The sides were steep and irregular and the baseof the cut was concave. The deeper, fire reddened northern end of the kiln acted as a firechamber, while the shallower southern end was where the grain was dried. The firing pit was filled with three deposits (C.893, C.892 and C.926) connectedwith the primary function of the kiln. These deposits were overlain by yellow clay withinclusions of burnt clay (C.890 and C.891).The drying part of the kiln was filled with onecharcoal-rich grey silt deposit (0.03 m deep) connected to the last use of the kiln (C.925).The entire kiln was sealed by a deposit (C.889) of grey brown clay with inclusions of peb-bles and small stones (0.12 m deep). The next deposit (C.888) measured 0.13 m in depthand was a layer of re-deposited charcoal rich silt. The last fill (C.887) was a grey sandy silt. Kiln C.743B was orientated NE-SW with the firing pit located in its south-westernend. The drying pit of this kiln was truncated by a later kiln (C.743A). The preserved fir-ing pit of the kiln was 1.2 m long and 1.5 m wide. It was filled with four deposits (C.794,C.269, C.180 and C.155). Two of them (C.269 and C.155) were charcoal rich residues ofburnt wood. The kiln was sealed by two layers of backfill material (C.941 and C.931).Analysis of plant remains from two fills (C.888 and C.893) from kiln C.743A and onefill (C.269) from kiln 743B recognized oat and barley grains within all three samples (seeAppendix 4).Kiln C.872Kiln C.872 was situated partially under the northern balk of excavation 2.3 m southwestof kiln C.1040. The feature was covered with layer of re-deposited medium and largestones (C.918) and a layer of clayey sand (C.919) (Plate 10). The kiln was sub-rectangularin shape and orientated northwest-southeast with the drying chamber on its northwesternside. The overall length of the kiln was 3.5 m, while its width narrowed from 1.2 m at itssoutheastern end to 0.8 m at its northwestern end. The base of the kiln sloped graduallydown from its northwestern end to 0.97 m deep, southeastern end. The sides were steepand the base was slightly concave. The fire reddened southeastern end was filled withcharcoal layers (C.959, C. 953 and C. 951) alternated by layers of ash (C.957 and C.946)and red silt with frequent inclusions of burnt clay (C.952, C.948 and C.947). Four layerssituated in the eastern side of this chamber (C.955, C.950 and C.949) seem to be collapsedmaterial. They were covered with subsequent layers of charcoal (C.951) and ash (C.946). 35
  • 49. iSSUE 13: Eachtra JoUrnal - iSSn 2009-2237 archaEological Excavation rEport Plate 10: Mid-excavation view of kiln C�872 at Busherstown� Kiln C.989 C.990 Kiln C.989 was situated 4.7 m to the southwest of kiln C.30 and was orientated northeast- southwest. It was difficult to establish the exact shape of the kiln as the sides of the north- ern pit were disturbed by the cut of ditch C.54 (Plate 11). The length of the kiln was 3.19 m, while its width narrowed from 1.7 m at its northern end to 1.5 m at its southern end. The base of the kiln sloped gradually down from south to north. The northern firing pit measured 1.05 m in depth while the southern pit was 0.96 m deep. The firing part of the kiln was filled with seven fills that were related to the primary use of the kiln. The basal fill (C.980) a charcoal rich silty clay measured 0.05 m in depth. Analysis of the plant remains from this deposit identified large quantities of barley and oat grains with a relatively high quantity of rye grains. The fill had an exceptional high proportion of weeds for the examined assemblage. These were identified as common ar- able weeds such as Knotgrass type and Daisy and Marigold type. The deposit contained also high proportion of Wild radish and Hemp-nettle (see Appendix 4). The secondary deposit (C.979) was a mix of silt and ash that measured 0.12m in depth. The tertiary fill (C.978) was charcoal rich clay that was 0.06 m deep. This deposit was the remains of burnt wood from the second firing of the kiln. The fourth deposit (C.977) was yellow red oxidized clay with inclusion of large pieces of charcoal. This fill was 0.09 m deep. A fifth deposit (C.976) was a charcoal rich clay that measured 0.05 m in depth was the remains of subsequent firing of the kiln. The next deposit (C.975) was a silty clay that measured 0.03 m in depth. The fill was very similar to the subsoil and could be the result of a re- deposition of it. The last charcoal rich deposit (C.974) within the firing pit was a silty clay36
  • 50. bUShErStown-E3661 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3661-busherstown-co-offaly/Plate 11: Kiln 989 in ditch C�54 at Busherstown�that measured 0.08 m in depth. This fill appear to be the remains of the last firing of thekiln. The drying part of the kiln was filled with two deposits (C.981 and C.973). The basalfill (C.981) measured 0.23 m in depth. The fill contained charcoal inclusions and appearsto be debris of mixed/dumped material. The silt deposit C.973 was 0.08 m deep and oc-curred in the most southern part of the drying pit. This fill seems to be silted up or col-lapsed material. The kiln was backfilled by two deposits. The lower one (C.972) measured0.15 m in depth. The upper backfill (C.971) was a clay that was 0.66 m deep. The south-western part of Kiln C.990 was truncated by the ditch C.54 and the north-eastern end by a small ditch (C.676). The remaining part of the kiln measured 1.84 min length by 1.29 m in width and 0.41 m in depth. The cut comprised three deposits ofcharcoal or charcoal rich slit (C.987, C.986 and C.985) sealed by re-deposited naturalmaterial (C.984) and an upper most layer of grey brow sandy silt (C.983). The base andthe west side of the cut were fire reddened. It was not possible to establish the orientationof the kiln. The stratigraphic relation between kiln C.990 and C.989 was not determined as theywere both truncated by the later enclosure ditch C.54. 37
  • 51. iSSUE 13: Eachtra JoUrnal - iSSn 2009-2237 archaEological Excavation rEport Kiln C.1012 The kiln C.1012 was placed 5.8 m to the southeast of the kiln C.189 and was truncated by the later ditch C.78. The preserved part of the kiln indicated that it was sub-rectangular in shape and was orientated northeast-southwest. The length of the kiln was hard to es- tablish as it was heavily truncated in the northern part by ditch C.78. The preserved part of the kiln was 2.5 m long, while its width narrowed from 1.35 m at its northern end to 0.7 m at its southern end. The base of the kiln sloped gradually down from a minimum depth of 0.26 m at its southern end to a maximum of 0.7 m at its northern end. The walls of the kiln were steep and the base was flat. The firing chamber of the kiln was filled with four deposits that were related to the original function of the kiln. The primary fill of the fire pit (C.1018) was a charcoal rich layer of sandy silt that measured 0.04 m in depth. The secondary fill (C.1017) contained inclusions of charcoal and lenses of burnt clay. The tertiary fill (C.1014) was charcoal rich sandy silt. The last deposit (C.1015) connected with the primary use of kiln was a charcoal grey clayey silt that was 0.08 m deep. Analysis of the plant remains from this deposit identified large quantities of barley and oat grains with a predominance of barley (see Appendix 4). The base of the drying part of the kiln was filled with charcoal rich clayey silt (C.1014) and was 0.11m deep. This fill occurred in both parts of the kiln but in the northern part also contained small lenses of burnt clay. The kiln was sealed by one backfill (C.1013) which was 0.45 m in depth. Kiln C.1040 Kiln C.1040 was located under the northern balk, 2.3 m to the northeast of kiln C.872 and was heavily truncated by the ditch C.1026. The remains of the kiln were visible in the section of ditch C.1026 as a sub-rectangular fire reddened pit. The interior of the kiln was filled with six deposits. The two lower ones were a deposit of brown red sandy slit with inclusions of charcoal (C.1039) and a tiny layer of a charcoal rich deposit (C.1038). The next four upper fills (C.1037, C.1046, c.1035 and C.1034) were derived from backfill material. As only the remains of the firing chamber were recorded, the orientation of the kiln and location of the drying chamber are uncertain. Interpretation The kilns were generally located in a line orientated on a NW-SE axis, with the exception of the kilns in the northern part of the site. Further kilns could be located beyond the LMA both north and south of the area of excavation. 60% of the kilns were orientated northeast-southwest, with the firing chamber located at the north-eastern end in 90% of the kilns. 40% were orientated northwest-southeast, three of the firing chambers were located at the south-eastern end and two in the north-western end. Three of the kilns were dated, from charred grain, to the early medieval period. The dates ranged cal AD 657–888. A quern stone fragment, a decorated copper alloy strip and a bone pin were the only artefacts recovered from the fills of the kilns. The charred cere-38
  • 52. bUShErStown-E3661 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3661-busherstown-co-offaly/als identified from the kilns consistently show a strong predominance of oat and barley,with only two kilns (C.189 and C.355) producing a combined rye and wheat percentageabove 10 % (see appendix 4). This pattern is consistent with other early medieval cerealprocessing sites.Possible kilnsA total of seven truncated kilns (C.191, C.421, C.696, C.802, C.811, C.1041 and C.1042)were recorded on the site. They were similar in plan to the group of 17 but were sub-stantially shallower and the same degree of burning was not apparent. Kiln C.421, forexample was visible as a fire-scorched red patch of burnt subsoil, figure-of-eight plan, onthe south-eastern edge of the area of excavation. One of the group (C.1041) was truncatedby the ditch C.63. Charred grain was recorded, though not identified in two of the kilns(C.191 and C.802). No Cut no Shape in plan Orientation Location Length Width Depth (m) Truncated of fire (m) (m) by bowl 1 C.191 Figure-of-8 NW-SE SE 2.7 1.13-1.66 0.23-0.32 - 2 C.421 Figure-of-8 NW-SE NW 1.8 1.16-1.9 NA - 3 C.696 Figure-of-8 NW-SE SE? 2.0 1.45-0.75 0.07-0.2 - 4 C.802 Figure-of-8 NE-SW NW? 2.83 1.1 0.38 C.699 5 C.811 Figure-of-8 NE-SW NE? 2.11 0.78 0.22 C.815 6 C.1041 ? NE-SW? NE? NA NA NA C.63 7 C.1042 Figure-of-8 NE-SW NE? 1.75 1.4 0.27 -Table 2 Dimensions and orientation of 7 truncated cereal-drying kilns� Kiln C.191Kiln C.191 was located 3.85 m to the southeast of kiln C.989. It was sub-rectangular inshape and was orientated northwest-southeast with a possible fire pit at its southwest end.It measured 2.7 m in length and the width narrowed from 1.66 m at its southern end to0.13 m at its northern end. The base of the pit sloped gradually down from a minimumof 0.23 m at its northern end to a maximum of 0.32 m at its southern end. The sideswere moderate and irregular and the base was concave. This feature was filled with sixdeposits. The basal fill was a clayey sand (C.227). The secondary fill (C.226) was a clay siltwith inclusions of charcoal and burnt clay. The skull of a small animal, possibly a rodent,was found within this fill. The tertiary fill (C.203) was a clayey silt. The upper thin layerof charcoal rich clayey silt (C.222) was covered with grey brown clayey silt (C.190) withinclusions of charcoal. A high percentage of seeds were recorded, but not identified fromone of the fills (C.226) of this kiln.Kiln C.421A burnt subsoil patch C.421 was situated next to the southern limit of excavation, 14 mto the south-west of kiln C.1012. It was figure-of-eight in plan and orientated northwest-southeast with the deeper part at the northwest end. It measured 1.8 m in length and was 39
  • 53. iSSUE 13: Eachtra JoUrnal - iSSn 2009-2237 archaEological Excavation rEport N7CN Busherstown E3661 SE facing section of corn drying kiln C.355 C.335 C.382 C.402 C.355 C.405 C.404 C.403 Pit C.1043 C.401 C.514 C.513 C.514 C.542 C.540 C.565 C.541 C.580 C.539 C.579 C.588 C.602 C.589 C.604 C.590 C.648 C.672 C.601 C.668 C.671 C.600 C.663 C.670 C.355 10 cm 0 50 cmFigure 14: Section plan of kiln C�355 and pit C�1043 at Busherstown� 460 465 786 688 462 686 458 819 467 674 805 811 349 468 684 678 882 880 873 680 682 815 815 834 884 863 Structure C 817 809 634 441 349 497 628 647 646 620 55 610 59 731 669 614 61 666 612 664 741 644 627 1008 751 642 839 Structure D 355 662 Kilns0 5mFigure 15: Post-excavation plan of Buildings C and D within moated site at Busherstown� 40
  • 54. bUShErStown-E3661 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3661-busherstown-co-offaly/1.8 m wide at the north and 1.16 m wide at the south. The base sloped gradually from thesouth-eastern end to the 0.2 m deeper north-western part. A deposit of charcoal rich siltysand (C.424) was located in the northwestern part of this feature.Kiln C.696Kiln C.696 was located close to the western limits of the excavation and was figure-of-eight shaped. It was orientated WNW-ESE and was 2 m long and 0.2 m deep. The widthof the feature narrowed from c. 1.45 m at its eastern end to 0.75 m at its western end. Thebase slopes gently from the minimum of 0.07 m in the western end to the maximum of0.2 m in the eastern end which suggests that the firing bowl was located at the SE end.The cut was filled with brown grey sandy silt with inclusions of pebbles and charcoal(C.697).Kiln C.802Kiln C.802 was located 3.4 m to the northwest of kiln C.97 and 4.5 m to the northwestof kiln 743A. It was orientated NE-SW with the slightly deeper part at the NE end. Itwas sub-rectangular in plan and measured 2.83 m in length by 1.1 m in width and 0.38m in depth. The cut was filled with a mix of dark brown silt with inclusions of pebbles,charcoal and re-deposited natural (C.803). Fragments of animal bones and charred seedswere recorded within the fill. The charred seeds were not identified. The base was cut intothe gravel layer. The southeastern edge of the feature was truncated by furrow C.699.Kiln C.811Kiln C.811 was located inside the moated site, 7.3 m to the northwest of kiln C.355. Itwas 2.11 m long by 0.78 m wide with a wider chamber situated at its northeast end. Thebase of the cut sloped gently down from a minimum of 0.17 m at its southwestern end toa maximum of 0.22 m at its northeastern end. The northeast part of the feature was filledwith a deposit of large and medium size stones mixed with compact clayey sand (C.808)and inclusions of charcoal and ash, which suggests that the firing bowl was located at thisend. The southwest end was covered with a sandy clay (C.812). It was truncated by a slottrench (C.815) associated with Structure C.Kiln C.1041Kiln C.1041 was located 8 m to the east of kiln C.30 and was severely truncated by ditchC.63.The remains of the kiln were recorded in the section of ditch C.63 and comprisedthree deposits. They were a fire affected sandy silt (C.66), a mix of burnt clay and sandysilt (C.68) and a charcoal rich deposit of grey clayey silt (C.65). In the same section theremains of re-deposited subsoil material, connected with the backfilling of the kiln wererecorded.Kiln C.1042Kiln C.1042 was situated 2.8 m to the north-west of kiln C.74. The cut was orientatedNE/SW with its deeper part at the SW end. The remains of the pit were a shallow cut in 41
  • 55. iSSUE 13: Eachtra JoUrnal - iSSn 2009-2237 archaEological Excavation rEport the shape of figure-of-eight. It measured 2.5 m in length by 1 m in width. The base was approximately 0.15 m deep. The feature was filled with two deposits: a brown clayey sand with inclusions of charcoal and small stones (C.202), overlain by orange brown clayey sand (C.217) with inclusions of charcoal and small and medium stones. Buildings A total of six buildings, including the prehistoric round house Building A, were recorded within and outside the annexe and within the area of the moated site. Three of them were associated with kilns and date to the early medieval period. Building Location Phase Association A South of the annexe Prehistoric B Interior of annexe early medieval Truncated kiln C.490 C Interior of moated site high medieval Truncated kiln C.811 D Interior of moated site high medieval Truncated kiln C.355 E Interior of annexe early medieval Enclosed kiln C.30 and C.774 F Interior of annexe early medieval Table 3 Number and date of buildings located at Busherstown Structure B Structure B was located in the annexe (see Figure 18). It comprised a sub-circular wall foundation trench C.392 with an entrance located on the north side (Plate 12). The di- ameter of the structure was 6.7 m on the NW-SE axis and 6.1 m on the NE-SW axis. The total length of the foundation trench measured 15.3 m and was 0.33 m wide and on average 0.32 m deep with steep, straight sides and a wide concave base. A single fill (C.391) was recorded in the foundation trench. A piece of flint debitage (E3661:391:1) was recovered from the fill. The eastern terminus of the foundation trench was defined by two post-holes (C.550 and C.548) and two stake-holes (C.576 and C.578). The exact location of the western terminus was unclear because of the location of the kiln C.490. A single post- hole C.499 was located 1m north-east of the intersection of the foundation trench and the kiln C.490 and it could have defined the western side of the entrance. The entrance, between post-holes C.499 and C.550 was 3.2 m wide. The remains of an occupation layer (C.746) was recorded within the structure. It was 0.07 m in depth. A single pit C.581 was located outside the area of the entrance. The foundation trench cut through the upper fill of kiln C.490 (see plate 12). The slot trench deepened where it cut the kiln C.490 to a depth of 0.5 m. The relationship between the kiln C.90 and the foundation trench was not established. The foundation trench could have been cut by the kiln C.90 or was associated with it. This area was truncated by deep modern agricultural furrows. Structure C A small structure (3.8 m by 1.7 m) was situated in the interior of the moated site (Fig- ure 15). It comprised an L-shaped foundation trench (C.815), two post-holes (C.809 and42
  • 56. bUShErStown-E3661 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3661-busherstown-co-offaly/Plate 12: View of Building B and kiln C�490 in background from north at Busherstown�C.880) and a pit (C.882). The L-shaped foundation trench measured 4 m by 0.3 m by 0.18m in depth and it cut the kiln C.811. A post-hole C.809 was located in the eastern returnof the trench. The pit C.882 and post-hole C.880 were situated to the NW of the trenchC.815 . A single pit, three post-holes and five stake-holes were located in vicinity of the L-shaped foundation trench and kiln. The pit C.805 was situated 0.47 m to the NW of thekiln C.811 and may have been in the interior of the structure. It was circular in planwith a concave base and was filled with black brown silty clay with inclusions of charcoal.Three stake-holes (C.834, C.863 and C.817) were located to the south of the slot trench.They may have been associated with the kiln or the foundation trench. One post-hole(C.786) and one stake-hole (C.819) were situated to the 1.2 m to the north of the trench.A single post-hole C.884 and stake-hole C.873 were cut into the base of the kiln C.811.Structure DA group of three foundation trenches, six pits, two stake-holes, one post-hole and threemetalled surfaces were located in the south-eastern corner of the moated site (see Figure15, see plate 13). The features comprised an incomplete building or a shelter associatedwith a work area which was located c. 1.5 m inside the curve of the south-eastern cornerof the moated site ditch C.44. 43
  • 57. iSSUE 13: Eachtra JoUrnal - iSSn 2009-2237 archaEological Excavation rEport Plate 13: View of interior of moated site and ditch C�44 at Busherstown� The three foundation trenches (C.662, C.839 and C.1008) enclosed the southern and south-eastern sides of an area which measured c. 3.1 m north-south by 3.3 m east-west. A possible entrance (0.7 m wide) was recorded in the south-east corner. Context Dimensions (m) 662 3 x 0.3 x 0.3 839 2 x 0.17 x 0.38 1008 2.5 x 0.4 x 0.41 Table 4 Dimensions of the slot trenches associated with Structure D Two of them (C.662 and C.839) were curve-linear in plan with flat bases and the third (C.1008) was linear in plan with a concave base. Slot trench C.662 was the most defined of the three, it truncated the south-eastern edge of the cereal-drying kiln C.355. Four small areas of metalling (C.55, C.59, C.61 and C.406) were located c. 3.5 m north-west of the slot trenches. They extended over a length of c. 6.6 m. One of the metalled surfaces (C.406) overlay the kiln C.355, a small quantity of animal bone was recovered from this layer. A group of five small pits (C.627, C.644, C.666, C.741 and C. 751), two post-holes (C.614 and C.664) and two stake-holes (C.612 and C.642) were located in the space be- tween the slot trenches and the metalled surfaces. Four large refuse pits (C.441, C.646, C.669 and C.1043) and a hearth (C.674) were located in the vicinity. One of the pits (C1043) cut the early medieval kiln C.355. The other three pits were located to the north-east and west. Animal bone was recovered from44
  • 58. bUShErStown-E3661 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3661-busherstown-co-offaly/some of the fills of the pits, it was burnt and fragmentary (see Appendix 7). Iron slag wasrecovered from some of the pits but no features of metallurgical origin were identified.The slag is indicative of iron smithing in the general area (see Appendix 9).Context Dimensions (m) Associated finds441 2.05 x 1.36 x 0.8 Animal bone646 1.75 x 1.55 x 0.75 Animal bone slag669 2.66 x 2 x 3.8 Animal bone, quernstone fragment (E3661:777:1) rubbing stone (E3661:777:2) 1043 2.35 x 0.6 x 0.35 Animal bone slagTable 5 Dimensions of the four large pits Seven stake-holes (C.458, C.460, C.462, C.465, C.467, C.468 and C.497) and a shortsection of a foundation trench (C.349) were located between the two northern pits (C.441and C.646). A layer of charcoal rich sandy silt C.268 (2.5 m by 1.1 m by 0.23m) overlaythe pit C.441, the stake-holes and the trench. An additional five post-holes were locatedon the edge of the pit C.646. The hearth (C.674) was situated 2.8 m to the north-east of pit C. 441. It was filledwith charcoal rich sandy clay with inclusions of burnt bones (C.673). Hearth-side furni-ture, comprised two post-holes and two stake-holes (C.678, C.680, C.682 and C.684) onthe southwest edge and a single stake-hole C.686 and post-hole C.688 on the northeasternedge.Structure EStructure E measured c. 6.4 m NE-SW by 5.7 m NW-SE and partially enclosed two kilns(C.30 and C.74) (Plate 14). It comprised a single foundation trench (C.210), 14 stake-holes and eight post-holes and pits (C.113, C.123, C.148, C.208, C.922, C.204, C.206and C.186) (Figure 16). It was open to the north-east, the same direction as the firingchamber within both kilns. The number and interval between the features was irregularand many were concentrated on the north-western and south-western sides. No definitesouthern corner post was recorded. The north-western wall measured 6.1 m in lengthand comprised eight stake-holes (C.898, C.900, C.917, C.915, C.913, C.912, C.966 andC.968) and four post-holes and pits (C.148, C.922, C.113 and C. 123). The south-westernwall comprised three post-holes and pits (C.208, C.206 and C.204). The slot trench C.210was located to the exterior of the line of posts. The south-eastern wall measured 5.4 min length and comprised one post-hole (C.186) and three stake-holes (C.939, C.937 andC.935). Three stake-holes (C.866, C.868 and C.870) formed a return on the north-easternside. A group of five post-holes (C.259, C.309, C.334, C.346 and C.992) and two pits (C.993and C.996) were located to the south-east of Structure E.Structure FStructure F was located in the annexe 6 m to the north-east of Structure E. It was rectan-gular in plan and comprised a group of 14 post-holes (C.436, C.446, C.452, C.796, C.798, 45
  • 59. iSSUE 13: Eachtra JoUrnal - iSSn 2009-2237 archaEological Excavation rEport 313 906 311 791 907 903 829 908 315 826 233 832 909 904 910 452 470 837 472 793 438 446 Structure F 804 858 798 813 436 846 796 859 862 841 800 1042 876 847 218 898 Structure E 900 871 911 913 917 1022 912 915 870 966 148 968 74 868 866 113 922 1021 208 123 30 1041 206 935 210 937 204 32 939 186 990 259 992 993 189 996 989 334 309 251 249 346 191 998 1012 358 375 Kilns Hearth 421 0 10 mFigure 16: Post-excavation plan of Structures E and F at Busherstown� 46
  • 60. bUShErStown-E3661 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3661-busherstown-co-offaly/Plate 14: View of Structure E and kilns C�30 and C�74 from north-east at Busherstown�C.800, C.826, C.832, C.837, C.846, C.858, C.859, C.862 and C.992), seven stake-holesand six pits (C.438, C.470, C.472, C.813, C.841 and C.876) (see Figure 16). It measured5 m NW-SE by 4 m NE-SW. The southern, northern and eastern corners of the structurewere defined by a single post-hole (C.452, C.800 and C.858 respectively) and the westernby two post-holes (C.832 and C.826). One of the western posts (C.832) was surroundedby five stake-holes (C.906, C.907, C.908, C.909 and C.910) and a stake-hole (C.903 andC.904) supported either end of the second post (C.826). The post-holes were circular orsub-circular in plan and were similar in size, measuring on average 0.3 m by 0.27 m by0.23 m in depth. Three post-holes (C.436, C.446 and C.804) and two pits (C.438 and C.813) werelocated in the interior. Charred seeds were recorded, but not identified, in the two pits.Three post-holes (C.796, C.798 and C.862) were located in close proximity to one anotheron the western exterior of the building and one post (C.846) on the eastern. Evidence ofstone packing was recorded in these four posts. A rubbing stone (E3661:796:1) dated tothe Late Neolithic/Early Bronze Age was recovered from post C.796. Two pits (C.470 and C.472) were recorded on the northern side and two pits (C.841and C.876) on the south-eastern side of the building. Charred seed were recorded, butnot identified, in two of these pits. The base of a hearth was recorded 0.5 m south of pitC.876. It measured 1.18 m by 0.56m. 47
  • 61. iSSUE 13: Eachtra JoUrnal - iSSn 2009-2237 archaEological Excavation rEport Phase 3 High/Late medieval (first phase) The early medieval enclosure, associated with large scale cereal processing, was recut in the late 12th – early 13th century. The recut was similar to the earlier form which implies continuity on site during the 10th – 11th centuries. The new enclosure (Annexe 1) was more clearly rectangular than before, measuring c. 32 m by 43 m. A radiocarbon date of cal AD 1210–1271 (UB–15049) was returned from charred cereal from a fill of the east- ern ditch C.63. An infant burial was recorded in the southern corner of the ditch, placed within the ditch while the ditch was open. It was dated to cal AD 1159–1252 (UB–15054). The enclosure terminated 5.5 m south of the southern corner of the ditch of the moated site and this area formed the entrance. Area Phases Ditches Entrance Period Enclosure 1 C.447 and C.68 Unknown early medieval Enclosure 2 C.54 and C.63 SE High medieval cal AD 1210–1271 Enclosure 3 C.277 and C.78 SW High/late medieval Moat C.44 and C.8 Unknown High/late medieval cal AD 1292–1394 Table 6 Phase of ditches associated with enclosure and annexe of moated site Ditch C.54 The excavated length of the ditch C.54 extends from the southern limit of excavation in the SE of the site in a NW direction for a distance of 58 m. The ditch was U-shaped in profile and measured 2 m in width by 0.84 m in depth (Figure 17, see plate 11). It was ex- cavated in eight sections. A total of 17 different layers/deposits were excavated within the cut. Eleven fills (C.161, C.162, C.175, C.183, C.184, C.194, C.195, C.231, C.492, C.494 and C.970) accumulated in the base of the ditch from silting. The upper fill of the ditch (C.49/C.493/C.477/C.476) was recorded over the full length of the ditch and derived from the ditch being backfilled. It was a mottled clay silt with occasional inclusions of pebbles and charcoal and ranged 0.35 m–0.84 m in depth. This was the only fill recorded in some of the ditch sections. In the remainder of the sections a substantial depth of this layer overlay the basal fills. The ditch ran parallel to ditch C.277 (at the NW end) and ditch C.78 (at the SE end) and the northern edge of the western length was truncated by ditch C.277 (Plate 15). There was a gap of 0.3–0.8 m between ditch C.54 and ditch C.78. The ditch cut a kiln (C.989 see plate 11). Ditch C.63 Ditch C.63 was located on the south-eastern side of the annexe and was orientated NE- SW. There was a gap of 5.5 m between the northern terminus of the ditch and the south- east corner of the moated site ditch. It was U-shaped in profile and measured 31.6 m in length by 1.6 m in width and was on average 0.71 m deep (see Figure 9). Four sections were excavated along the length of this ditch. At the NE end four fills (C.64, C.65, C.66 and C.67) were recorded in the ditch. A radiocarbon date range of cal AD 1210–1271 (UB-15049) was returned from cereal grains from the basal fill C.65. Eight fills were48
  • 62. N7CN Busherstown E3661 south facing section of C.273 and C.277 # # # # # C.242 # bUShErStown-E3661 # # # # # C.243 # # # # # # C.234 C.244 # # # # # # # C.245 # # C.235 # # # # # C.277 C.236 # # # C.237 # # # # C.238 # # C.239 # # C.240 # # # # # C.241 C.273/246 N7CN Busherstown E3661 SE facing section of C.54 and C.277 C.48 C.50 Natural C.49 C.183 C.175 C.184 0 500 mm C.165 C.277 C.54 Figure 17: Section plans of ditches C�246/C�273 and C�277 and ditches C�54 and C�277 at Busherstown� http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3661-busherstown-co-offaly/49
  • 63. iSSUE 13: Eachtra JoUrnal - iSSn 2009-2237 archaEological Excavation rEport Plate 15: SE facing section of enclosure ditches C�54, C�277 and C�447 at Busherstown� recorded within the ditch at the southern end. An infant burial (C.216) was recorded within one of the lower fills (C.253) (see Appendix 8). It must have been placed in the ditch when the annexe was in use and the ditch was open. The infant burial was dated to cal AD 1159–1252 (UB-15054). The burial was situated 0.3 m from where the later medi- eval ditch C.78 cut the southern end of ditch C.63. This ditch truncated the entire length of the east side of the early medieval enclosure ditch C.68 and for a length of 9 m (this section of the ditch is referred to as C.19 in the groups and subgroups) at the southern end obliterated the earlier ditch. At the southern end the ditch C.63 cut the east side of the kiln C.189 (Plate 16). The two ditches C.54 and C.63 were contemporary and formed the eastern and south- ern side of an enclosure. The terminal at the northern end of ditch C.63 may mark the location of an entrance. The construction of the annexe post-dated the early medieval enclosure (which was defined by ditches C.447 and C.68) and the intensive cereal-drying activity on the site. The southern ditch C.54 cut two of the kilns (C.990 and C.989) and the eastern ditch C.63 cut the eastern side of the earlier ditch C.68 and one of the kilns (C.189). The extensive deep fill (C.49/C.493/C.477/C.476) within the ditch C.54 was interpreted as a single depositional event undertaken to backfill an open ditch. The com- position of the fills in the north-eastern part of ditch C.63 was similar to those recorded within ditch C.54.50
  • 64. bUShErStown-E3661 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3661-busherstown-co-offaly/Plate 16: View of mid excavation of ditch C�68 from south, excavated ditches C�54 (in foreground) and C�78 (in middle ground) and kiln 189�Small Ditches and GulliesThree gullies (C.149, C.676 and C.783) were recorded to the north of ditch C.54. Thegully C.783 extended from the southern side of ditch C.277 (close to the terminus) to thenorthern edge of ditch C.54 and truncated the northern edge of the ditch cut C.54. Itwas parallel to and 1.4m south of gully C.676. The gully C.676 extended between, andwas cut by, the terminals of ditches C.277 and C.78, it also cut the kiln C.990. The gullyC.149 extended from the southern side of ditch C.78 to the northern edge of ditch C.54,9.5 m east of gully C.783. It was cut by the ditch C.78 but the stratigraphic relationshipwith ditch C.54 was not established. The gully C.149 could be a continuation of gullyC.676. All three of the gullies post-dated the construction of the ditch C.54 and were trun-cated by the later ditches C.277 and C.78. They may have functioned as conduits forsurface water runoff.Ditches C.321 and C.1026Ditch C.321 extended in a NW-SE direction in the center of the site. It was visible for36 m and was 1.20 m wide and 0.84 m deep. The ditch was excavated in 3 sections andcontained 12 fills along its length. A fragment of animal tooth and two pieces of iron slagwere found within the ditch. Ditch C.1026 extended in a NW-SE direction for 12 m and 51
  • 65. 204720 20478052 1026 Structure C 277 44 1008 181827 181827 61 1010 839 Structure D 662 321 338 337 iSSUE 13: Eachtra JoUrnal - iSSn 2009-2237 54 63 8 783 676 181789 181789 150 Phase 3 78 149 Phase 4 46 Phase moated site Earlier phases 62 27 Kilns Human skeleton 26 28 0 30 m 204720 204780 Figure 18: Post-excavation plan of the medieval enclosure and moated site at Busherstown� archaEological Excavation rEport
  • 66. bUShErStown-E3661 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3661-busherstown-co-offaly/continued beyond the northern limit of excavation. It truncated the kiln C.1040. It wason average 0.83 m wide by 0.43 m deep. There was a gap of 3.3 m between it and ditchC.321. Both ditches were similar in size and composition and are likely to be contemporary.They post-date the early medieval activity on the site but are likely to be contemporarywith the high medieval annexe and served as an internal division within the annexe.Phase 4 High/Late medieval (second phase)The area of the annexe was extended to the south-east when the moated site was con-structed. Two new ditches (C.277 and C.78) were dug to increase the size of the areawithin the annexe from c. 1354 m sq to 1822 m sq (Figure 18). A new entrance wasformed (5.3 m in width) in the southern corner of the annexe between the two ditches.Ditch C.78Ditch C.78 extended from the entrance, in the south-east corner of the annexe, in a SEdirection for a length of 20.5 m, it turned sharply towards the ENE and extended for afurther 16.8 m. It was truncated at the eastern end by the ditch C.8, which was alignednorth-south and associated with the ditch of the moated site C.44. The ditch C.78 meas-ured 2.7 m wide by 0.75 m deep and a total of 27 fills were recorded in the four sectionsexcavated in the ditch (see Figure 9). The accumulated fills within the ditch were derivedfrom silting processes with localised dumped deposits. On the southern side (external) ofthe ditch, at the southern end, a slight ledge was cut into the side of the ditch. The onlyartefact recovered from the ditch was an iron nail (E3661:81:1) and a few pieces of animalbone were recorded in fill C.80. The ditch cut the gullies C.149 and C.676, the cereal-drying kilns C.189 and C.1012, and the annexe ditch C.63. Two post-holes (C.358 and C.375), a patch of burnt natural (C.304) and a pit (C.32)were located in the southeast part of the site between ditches C.8, C.78 and C.54.Ditch C.277The ditch C.277 served as the southern and western boundary of the annexe and termi-nated at the north-western side of the entrance in the south-eastern corner of the annexeand at the western corner of the ditch of the moated site just beyond the edge of the areaof the road corridor. It was constructed on the northern side (interior) of ditch C.54. Itclipped the northern edge of this ditch for a length of 28 m and obliterated the ditch C.54for a further length of 6.7 m to the western return. Ditch C.277 extended from the entrance, in the south-east corner of the annexe, ina NW direction for a length of 32.6 m, it turned sharply to the north and extended for afurther 22.1 m to the edge of the area of excavation. The ditch had a maximum width of2.4 m and a depth of 0.8 m and a total of 12 fills were recorded in the eight sections ex-cavated in the ditch (see Figure 17). The accumulated fills within the ditch were the result 53
  • 67. 54 786 688 819 674 686 805 880 811 882 684 873 678 815 680 682 634 iSSUE 13: Eachtra JoUrnal - iSSn 2009-2237 834 863 809 441 817 460 349 1026 497 628 647 55 620 669 610 59 731 646 614 666 61 612 664 44 741 644 627 1008 751 642 839 1010 321 355 662 338 337 307 313 311 791 Kilns 315 233 68 86 0 10 m Figure 19: Post-excavation plan of the moated site at Busherstown� archaEological Excavation rEport
  • 68. bUShErStown-E3661 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3661-busherstown-co-offaly/of silting processes with localised dumped deposits. Animal bones were recovered fromthe fills (C.50, C.126, C.81, C.165, C.213 and C.142) situated in the SE part of the ditch. The southern extent of the ditch cut the ditch C.54 and the early medieval ditch C.447(see Plate 15). The western extent of the ditch was parallel to ditch C.246 (see Figure 17).Phase 5 Moated siteThe south-eastern corner of a medieval moated site was recorded in the northern part ofthe site (Figure 19, plate 13). The area of the moated site within the LMA measured 295msq m, c. 12m NS by 20 EW. The area of the moated site outside the LMA (4000 m sq) wasclearly visible in an aerial photograph taken of the site (see Plate 1). A stream (not namedon any editions of the OS maps) flows to the east and north of the site and then flows intothe into the Little Brosna River c. 1 km to the west of the site. There were some occupa-tion features located in the interior of the moated site, in the south-east corner.Moated ditch C.44The south-eastern corner of the ditch C.44 of the moated site was recorded. The easternlength measured 22 m and the western 33 m. The ditch C.44 had a maximum width of5.56 m and a minimum of 4.80 m and had steeply sloped sides and a wide flat base. Itwas 1.50 m to 1.70 m in depth (Figure 20). The ditch was excavated in four sections and atotal of 48 fills were recorded within. The NW section of the ditch was filled for c. 15 mwith big boulders above and between which silted material accumulated (Plate 18). Theditch was noticeably shallower in this part. These boulders were derived from glacial ma-terial and may have been left in situ by the medieval builders of the ditch. Two of the fills(C.40 and C.41) comprised layers of charcoal 0.14 m in depth. Iron nails and rivers wererecovered from layer C.40. A rotary quern (E3661:42:1) was recovered below the charcoallayers. Fragments of animal bone were recorded in the fills in the NW section. The central part of the ditch was filled with deposits of silt and sand. The fills weremore sterile and contained less animal bone. A late medieval date of cal AD 1292–1394(UB–15049) was obtained from the basal fill. A sherd of 18th/19th century pottery(E3661:301:1) was recovered from the middle fill and a piece of quartzite (E3661:300:1)dated to the Late Neolithic/ Early Bronze Age from the upper fill. The NE part of the ditch was filled with deposits of silted up material. A charcoal richlayer (C.585), 0.25 m deep, was also recorded in this section. The SW part of the ditch and the interior of the moated site were heavily disturbed bylater activity and various layers (e.g. C.37, C.38, C.39, C.292, C.553, C.764 and C.694) ofbackfill material overlay the area. The layers had accumulated when the site was levelledby the landowner in the recent past. An iron rivet, clay pipe stem, blue glass and blade ofiron knife were recovered from the upper ditch fills (C.37, C.39 and C.553). In additionthe sides of the SE part of the ditch were disturbed by animal activity in the form of deepburrows. 55
  • 69. iSSUE 13: Eachtra JoUrnal - iSSn 2009-2237 archaEological Excavation rEport Plate 17: Mid-excavation view of ditch C�44 of moated site at Busherstown� A linear cut C.337 was located along the outer edge of the southern side of ditch C.44. It was visible as a shallow cut with south eastern terminus just before C.44 turned to north. It was 12.50 m in visible length, 0.80 m wide and 0.35 m deep. Two more linear cuts (C.338 and C.339) were recorded in the upper parts of the ditch C.44. They were placed on the outer side of ditch, 5.5m before it turns to the NE. Linear/gully C.338 ex- tended for a length of 2.80 m, was 0.40 m wide and 0.15 m deep. Gully C.339 extended for 1.50 m and was 1.10 m wide and 0.25 m deep. Both cuts were filled with the ditch fill C.296. A layer of re-deposited bank material C.1044 was recorded on the inside of the ditch C.44. It overlay both the natural subsoil and several features, for example pits C.699 and C.646, kilns C.355 and C.634, slot trenches C.1008, C.662 and C.839 (Structure D). The layer measured 5 m in width and was 0.05 m in depth. The bank material was not recorded on the interior of the western part of the ditch but the natural subsoil in this area was loose gravel. Ditch C.8 Ditch C.8 extended from the southern corner of the ditch of the moated site C.44 for a distance of 51 m to the edge of the area of excavation and extended beyond the LMA to the south (Plate 19). It was aligned NS and measured 1.3 m in width by 0.69 m in depth and was U-shaped in profile (Figure 21). The ditch was excavated in 5 sections and a total of 16 fills were recorded within. The fills in the southern part of the ditch accumulated from successive episodes of silting with localised evidence of dumped material. The north-56
  • 70. bUShErStown-E3661 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3661-busherstown-co-offaly/ N7CN Busherstown E3661 NW facing section of ditch C.44 C.37 C.38 # # # # # # # # # # C.39 # # # # # # # # # C.40 # # # # # # # # # # # ## # # # # # # # # # # # C.41 # # C.42 C.91 C.91 C.43 C.45 C.44 0 500 mmN7CNBusherstownE3661SW facing section of ditch C.44 C.694 C.695 C.708 C.709 C.710 # # # C.707 # # # C.704 # # # # # # # # # C.585 # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # C.705 C.706 C.44 0 500 mmFigure 20: Section plans of the ditch C�44 of the moated site� 57
  • 71. iSSUE 13: Eachtra JoUrnal - iSSn 2009-2237 archaEological Excavation rEport N7CN Busherstown E3661 South facing section of C.8 C.87 C.88 C.8 N7CN Busherstown E3661 North facing section of C.8 # ## # # # # C.13 C.10 # # # # # # C.9 # # # # # # # # # C.11 # # # # # C.12 # C.14 C.8 N7CN Busherstown E3661 North east facing section of C.19 C.20 C.21 C.21 C.23 C.22 C.22 C.19 0 500 mmFigure 21: Section plan of ditch C�8 and C�19 at Busherstown�58
  • 72. bUShErStown-E3661 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3661-busherstown-co-offaly/Plate 18: View of south-eastern corner of moated site, Structure D, and ditches C�8 (left) and C�68 (right) in middle background at Busherstown�ern part of the ditch was cut through gravel subsoil but similar patterns were recordedin the accumulation of the fills. The ditch was narrower and shallower. An Edward 1st(1272-1307) long penny was recovered from the upper fill (E3661:3:1) of the ditch north ofthe point of the intersection of ditches C.78 and C.8 (Plate 20). A fragment of a copper-alloy sheet metal (E3661:3:2) from a domestic vessel was recovered from the same fill. Afragment of Leinster-type pottery (E3661:87:1), 13th century in date, was recovered closeto the remains of a human burial (C.1007). The remains of a juvenile were not placedwithin a grave cut but were deposited into the upper fill of the ditch (Appendix 8). Thisditch truncated ditch C.78 and was contemporary with the ditch C.44 of the moated site. A cluster of features including one pit (C.62), four post-holes (C.26, C.28, C.46 andC.89), one stake-hole (C.27) and a spread (C.24) was located to the east of ditch C.8 inthe SE corner of the site.Phase 6 Modern activityA series of 26 furrows (including C.160, C.167, C.174, C.394, C.407, C.410, C.699 andC.761) truncated the archaeological features. They were located within the moated siteand in the vicinity of the kiln C.90 in particular. A layer of mixed re-deposited material(C.503) overlay the medieval features in the vicinity of the kiln C.90. Ten fragments ofclay pipes, two fragment of 19th century pottery and the bottom and neck of a blue glassbottle were recovered. 59
  • 73. iSSUE 13: Eachtra JoUrnal - iSSn 2009-2237 archaEological Excavation rEport 204710 204820 ±181872 181872 Annexe Moated site181728 181728 Gradiometer interpretation Ditch Industry 0 50 m 204710 204820Figure 22: Plan of geophysical testing at Busherstown (Earthsound)�60
  • 74. bUShErStown-E3661 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3661-busherstown-co-offaly/ ± 0 20 mFigure 23: Aerial photography of Busherstown showing the extent of moated site in the adjoining field outside the road corridor� 61
  • 75. iSSUE 13: Eachtra JoUrnal - iSSn 2009-2237 archaEological Excavation rEport Plate 19: Edward 1 long penny E3661:3:1 from Busherstown� Ditch C.150 A ditch C.150 extended to the south-west the annexe for a length of 36 m. It was 1.45 m in width and 0.57 m in depth and a total of four fills were recorded in two sections. The relationship between ditch C.150 and ditches C.54 and C.277 was not established but it is likely that ditch C.150 was a later medieval or modern field boundary. Ditch C.714 Ditch C.714 extended from the western end of the site in a NW-SE direction. It measured c. 10 m in length by 1.41 m in width and 0.6 m in depth within the area of excavation. The ditch was cut into the natural gravel subsoil. It was U-shaped in profile and was filled with three fills similar in composition. The SE terminus of the ditch was truncated by ditch C.246. No finds were recovered from the ditch. Ditch C.246 Ditch C.246 was located in the NW quadrant of the site and ran on an NE-SE axis paral- lel to ditch C.277. This ditch was 1.85 m in width by 0.97 m in depth and had a U-shaped profile. The edges of the ditch were diffuse. The ditch was 21.4 m long within the area of the excavation. In that place the ditch was very shallow. The ditch was excavated in 3 sections and was filled with six fills of sandy silt material. It truncated the east terminus of ditch C.714.62
  • 76. bUShErStown-E3661 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3661-busherstown-co-offaly/The two ditches C.246 and C.714 were not directly related to the medieval enclosurebut may have formed part of a wider late or post-medieval field system similar to thatrecorded at Killeisk E3587 (Ó’Faoláin 2011). 63
  • 77. iSSUE 13: Eachtra JoUrnal - iSSn 2009-2237 archaEological Excavation rEport 9 Specialist Results Plant remains The plant remains were examined by Penny Johnston (Appendix 4). The remains were split into two distinctive groups: those from early medieval kilns and those from later medieval ditch fills. The plant remains from the early medieval kilns suggested that oat and barley were the most common cereal types in use. This evidence is replicated in many other early medieval archaeobotanical assemblages from around Ireland. The weed seeds from these samples suggest that the crop fields were contaminated with common arable weeds that were brought to the site and fired in the kiln along with the grain harvest. Although cereals from the later medieval ditch fills were not as numerous as in the kiln samples, patterns were, nevertheless, evident. It is clear that by the later medieval period wheat, probably mostly free-threshing wheat, was the predominant cereal type. Once again, this pattern is mirrored at numerous other Irish archaeological later medieval sites. It is thought that the change in preferred cereal type was linked to agricultural changes brought about by the Anglo-Norman colonisation. That this is reflected at Busherstown is particularly apt, given that it is a moated site, and therefore possibly linked to the second- ary wave of Anglo-Norman colonisation. Lithic artefacts The lithic artefacts were examined by Farina Sternke (Appendix 5). The lithic finds from the archaeological excavation at Busherstown 1, Co. Offaly were twelve flaked pieces of flint, three modified pieces of chert, one modified piece of limestone and three modified pieces of quartzite. The flaked assemblage contains a flint blade, three flakes, seven pieces of debitage and three retouched artefacts including a micro disc scraper. In addition, a pointed chert pin/rod, two rubbing stones, a utilised stone and a rotary mill/whet stone were also identified. The assemblage is technologically and typologically diagnostic and contains artefacts from four periods: (1) the only blade dates to the first half of the Neolithic; (2) the three flakes are possibly Middle Neolithic in date; (3) the three retouched artefacts and the rub- bing stones date to the Late Neolithic/Early Bronze Age and (4) the pin/rod and the mill/ and whet stone appear to be medieval in date. The presence of a number of flakes and debitage pieces suggests that a limited lithic production also took place at the site during the Neolithic and Early Bronze Age. Togeth- er with the discarded retouched tools, the recovered flakes, blades and debitage represent waste from lithic production and the immediate use and resharpening of lithic tools, pos- sibly in domestic activities.64
  • 78. bUShErStown-E3661 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3661-busherstown-co-offaly/Metal artefactsThe metal artefacts were examined by Órla Scully (Appendix 6) The artefacts from Bush-erstown included remnants of prestigious personal artefacts, including two copper alloybooking binding strips (E3661:69:1 2) which may have been attached to a leather boundbook, a decorated copper alloy binding strip (E2661:552:1) which probably adorned a cas-ket or reliquary and a hasp (E3661:41:1) used to fasten the lock on a casket or chest. Abodkin bladed arrow head (E3661:41:2) was recovered from the ditch of the moated site.It was designed and used to pierce mail armour and was worn by knights throughout themedieval period. Two different knive forms (E3661:1:7 and E3661:553:1) which illustratesthe development of the knife over the centuries.Animal boneThe animal bone was examined by Margaret McCarthy (Appendix 7). Over 3500 frag-ments of bone were submitted for study and of these almost 85% was recovered fromthe ditch surrounding the moated site. The main domestic animals, horse, cattle, sheep/goat and pigs accounted for most (84%) of the identifiable bone in the collection. Horsesplayed a significant role at Busherstown (32.5%) and their remains were more abundantnumerically than sheep and pig and there was evidence that horseflesh was consumed bythe occupants of the site. There was very little evidence that wild species of mammals andbirds were exploited.Human remainsThe osteological analysis of human inhumation burials from Busherstown was carriedout by John Geber (Appendix 8). Two skeletons found at Busherstown were the remainsof non-adult individuals and both were recovered from within the ditches. The neonatalskeleton C.216 was found within the fill of the southern end of ditch C.63. This was analmost complete skeleton. Only bones from left hand and the left foot were missing.The bones were well preserved and had suffered from moderate fragmentation. The bodywas lying supine, with the arms crossed over the torso and the legs slightly flexed. It wasorientated in a west-east direction. The partial skeleton C.1007 was found within ditchC.86. It consisting of the skull, the neck, the clavicles, the lower legs and some foot bones.The bones were very well preserved. The body was lying prone, with the face down, in anorth-east orientation. The arrangement of the skeleton in the ground suggests that thebody had been rolled into the ditch. Both skeletons discovered at Busherstown displayedpathological lesions indicative of metabolic disorders which could explain the cause ofpremature deaths for these individuals. The location of the burials within the ditches sug-gests that they could be excommunicated burials. 65
  • 79. iSSUE 13: Eachtra JoUrnal - iSSn 2009-2237 archaEological Excavation rEport Archaeometallurgy The archaeometallurgy was examined by Tim Young (Appendix 9). The assemblage com- prises 1.4kg of material. The features that contained slag were three ditches C.78, C.321 and C.475, three pits (C.644, C.614 and C.646) and an area in grid 170E 145N. Most of the slag came from the area of the internal, southeast corner of the moated ditch. The concentration of the slag pieces could indicate some sort of smiting activity in this part of moated site. Geophysical Geophysical survey was carried out by Earthsound Archaeological Geophysics (Appendix 10) to the north and south of the LMA (Figure 22). A number of ditches were detected which appear to represent a continuation of the archaeological activity revealed during the excavation. An arcing enclosure ditch has been identified to the south of the excava- tion. Further linear and curvilinear possible ditches w ere also detected which may be archaeological or agricultural in origin. Quern stones The quern stones were examined by Anne Carey (Appendix 11). They comprised six rotary quern fragments. The rotary quern was represented in largely fragmented form, with some diagnostic elements, such as central perforations and handle holes surviving in part. They had sustained much damage, to the extent that the diameters of the grinding stones could not be estimated. Of the six fragments, four are upper stones and two are lower stones. Central perforations survive on five of the stones and handle holes partly survive on two examples. The dressing of the stones is generally uniformly simple, ran- dom pock-marking. There was no evidence of decorated stone and the stone did not pos- sess any diagnostic features to allow a closer dating. Charcoal The charcoal was examined by Mary Dillon in advance of radiocarbon dating. Radiocarbon dates Radiocarbon analysis was carried out by the 14 Chrono Centre in Queen’s University Belfast. Dates were calibrated using Calib Rev5.0.2 (©1986-2005 M.Stuiver P.J. Re- imer) and in conjunction with Stuiver Reimer 1993 and Reimer et al. 2004.66
  • 80. bUShErStown-E3661 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3661-busherstown-co-offaly/Lab code Context Material Un-calibrated δ 13 C 2 sigma calibration Period date15049 298 Cereal from 627 +/- 17 -24.2 cal AD 1292–1394 high/late ditch of moat medieval C.44 15050 120 Cereal from 1317 +/- 17 -25.8 cal AD 658–766 early medieval kiln C.74 15051 538 Cereal from 1314 +/- 21 -25.7 cal AD 657–769 early medieval kiln C.490 15052 65 Cereal from 802 +/- 21 -21 cal AD 1210–1271 high medieval ditch C.63/68 15053 670 Cereal from 1213 +/- 25 -26.5 cal AD 713–888 early medieval kiln C.355 15054 216 Burial in ditch 847+/-19 -22.8 cal AD 1159–1252 high medieval C.19Table 7 Radiocarbon dates from Busherstown 67
  • 81. iSSUE 13: Eachtra JoUrnal - iSSn 2009-2237 archaEological Excavation rEport 10 Conclusion Neolithic and Bronze Age activity A small assemblage of flint, chert, limestone and quartzite lithics, dated to the Neo- lithic, Late Neolithic/Early Bronze Age periods, was recovered from residual contexts at Busherstown. A circular structure (Structure A) was located near the southern edge of the site. It comprised a ring of seven post-holes and was dated, on typological grounds, to the Bronze Age. The distance between the post-holes averaged 1.9 m with the exception of a distance of 2.3 m between two post-holes on the eastern side, which must be the entrance. The internal diameter was 4.4 m. A central hearth with evidence for an associated tripod was located in the interior. Three retouched flint and chert artefacts recovered from topsoil and the fill of a kiln may have been contemporary with the building. A recent survey of Bronze Age buildings in southern Ireland lists a total of 41 Bronze Age sites where more than 80 individual structures have been recorded (Doody 2007, 86– 7). That figure has probably since doubled with the addition of sites from infrastructural projects in Counties Cork, Tipperary and Limerick, including ten Bronze Age buildings on the N7 Castletown to Nenagh Contract 1 (Eachtra Archaeological Projects), 13 re- corded on the N7 Contract 2 (VJK Ltd.) and a further 24 Bronze Age structures were excavated along the route of the N8 Cashel to Mitchelstown (McQuade et al. 2009, 85). The plan, size and internal arrangement within the ten Bronze Age buildings, exca- vated by Eachtra, in Clash, Castleroan, Derrybane 2, Drumbaun, Drumroe and Moat- quarter are varied. Three of these buildings, including two in Drumbaun and one in Derrybane, were constructed along the principle of axial symmetry. This means that was arranged on an axis between the entrance and a post-hole directly opposite it, two post-holes flank the entrance and the remaining post-holes have a corresponding partner at either side of the axis. The distance between the post-holes on either side of the axis is roughly the same (Tierney and Johnston 2009, 105). Three other incomplete build- ings (Building B at Castleroan, Moatquarter and Drumroe) may have originally been constructed along the same principles. The pattern of axial symmetry has been noted in several buildings excavated in Tipperary, Kerry and North Cork (ibid.). A similar struc- tural arrangement has also been identified in Britain (Guilbert 1982, 68–9; Brück 1999). A single building was recorded at Clash E3660, Drumroe E3773 and Moatquarter E3910. Multiple structures were found at several of these sites, for example at Castleroan E3909, Derrybane 2 E3585 and Drumbaun E3912. Only those recorded at Drumbaun were similar in plan to one another. Both of these sites demonstrate similar patterns to those identified in Bronze Age settlements in lowland Britain, where round houses are known to occur in pairs, with one house usually slightly larger than the other (Bradley 2007, 190).68
  • 82. bUShErStown-E3661 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3661-busherstown-co-offaly/ Bronze Age houses are quite a common site type and the vast majority of these arecircular. In Doody’s list, almost 63% of the houses, where details were known, were circu-lar or oval (Doody 2008, 87). All of the ten houses excavated by Eachtra ArchaeologicalProjects on the N7 were circular or sub-circular in plan. The sizes of Bronze Age roundhouses are known to vary considerably, with a survey of houses excavated from Munstersuggesting the most examples were between 5 m and 9 m in diameter (ibid.). The houseat Busherstown was smaller than average though not as small as an Early Bronze Agestructure excavated at Derrybane 2.Early medieval activityThree phases of medieval activity were recorded at Busherstown. Each phase of activityat the site was constructed on the footprint of the earlier phase though the site may havefallen into disuse at the end of the early medieval phase of activity. The full extent of theearly medieval enclosure could not be traced as it had been cut away by ditches dating tothe high medieval period. Intensive crop-processing was undertaken in the early medievalperiod within the enclosure with evidence for several of the kilns arranged in a line, longaxis NW/SE. It is likely that further kilns are located beyond the area of the road cor-ridor as two of the kilns were positioned at the northern and southern edges of the areaof excavation. Intensive cereal processing was undertaken at Busherstown in the early medieval pe-riod. The remains of 24 kilns were recorded. A total of seven (of the group of 24 kilns)were similar in plan to the main group of 17 but were substantially shallower and thesame degree of burning was not apparent. The sequence of usage is not completely cleardue to subsequent activity on the site but one of the phases comprised at least 13 mediumand large-sized figure-of-eight type cereal drying kilns. Typically the larger kilns meas-ured 2–3 m long (firebox and pit below drying area) by 1–2 m wide at the top and up to1 m deep. Fireboxes were approximately half the size of the kilns. It is likely the dryingareas projected above ground with a superstructure and a proper floor, upon which grainscould be dried (as opposed to being dried in a basket). 15 of the kilns (nine of the large and six of the smaller varieties) were orientated NE-SW with their drying chamber at the NE end. Of these 13 were located within the areaof the annexe and two within the area of the moated site. The 13 kilns were set out in aline, orientated NE-SW, close to the NE edge of one of the ditches presumably for shelter.A pair of kilns (C.30 and C.74) may have formed a double drying machine. They wereenclosed in a structure (Structure E, 6.4 m by 5.7 m) that may have utilised the south-ern corner of the early medieval enclosure for the eastern wall and had a line of postsand stakes forming the southern and western walls. The entrance was probably from thenorth, the side nearest the fireboxes. Many of the remainder of the group of nine do not seem to adhere to any particularpattern but seven of the eight are orientated NW-SE with the drying chamber locatedat either end. Only one of the kilns (C.90) was stone lined and keyhole in shape. It was 69
  • 83. iSSUE 13: Eachtra JoUrnal - iSSn 2009-2237 archaEological Excavation rEport orientated NW-SE and was longer and narrower than any of the remainder of the group. A line of posts to the north-east of this kiln formed a northern wall to a possible lean-to covering of the associated flue and firebox area. The lean-to may have utilised the line of the enclosure bank as the southern wall. Kiln C.491, located c. 3 m to the south of C.90, was orientated in the same direction. It cut the ditch C.447 of the early medieval enclo- sure and may be one of a small group of kilns belonging to a later phase of use. Radiocarbon dates were obtained from charred grain from three of the kilns. The dates ranged cal AD 657–888. Three dates was not sufficient to enable detailed phasing of the kilns. At best it can be suggested that the kilns, orientated NE-SW, located close to the NE edge of one of the ditches presumably for shelter, belong to the same phase. But it is not known if the other kilns are associated with the same phase of activity, or earlier or later phases. Six of the group of kilns were truncated by later ditches, two by kilns and one of the kilns cut one of the early medieval ditches (see Table 1). A total of 21 charred plant remains samples from 13 kilns were examined (see Ap- pendix 4). The general results indicated that barley (59% of the assemblage) was the most common cereal type found and that oat grains (37% of the assemblage) were also found in abundance. As these were often found in the same sample it is possible that these were deliberately sown together as a maslin, two crop types sown together to reduce the risk of total crop failure. Or it may reflect the fact that the kilns were used to dry different crop types in quick succession and that the leftovers were later mixed together. Early medieval sites in the vicinity of Busherstown with more than one corn-drying kiln are reasonable common, three kilns dated to the Iron Age/early medieval period were recorded at Gortybrigane, Co. Tipperary and two kilns dated to the early medieval period at Sallymount, Co. Limerick (Long 2008). Farther afield eight corn-drying kilns were recorded at Dowdstown 2 (Cagney 2009, 129) in Co. Meath. Thought it must be said that early medieval sites with more than 20 kilns are exceptional. More than 24 kilns were recorded at Corbally, Co. Kildare (Tobin 2002) and 16 kilns dated to the Iron Age were excavated at Waterunder, Mell, Co. Lough (McQuade 2005, 41). The kilns were as- sociated with furnaces used for smelting iron. Early medieval enclosure No definitive early medieval settlement site was recorded at Busherstown though it may be located outside the area of the road corridor. Three of the buildings (B, E and F) re- corded on site may have been associated with the early medieval phase of activity. The oval structure was the most complete (Structure B, 6.7 m by 6.1 m) and was located in the midst of the main group of kilns. It comprised a foundation trench (0.32 m in depth) with an entrance to the north-west. The foundation trench had cut kiln C.490. The build- ing may have been associated with the kilns and functioned as a store house or a malting house. Structure E enclosed a pair of the kilns and has been described above. The third structure (Structure F) was indicated by a cluster of postholes (6.4 m across) but the exact plan was unclear. Charred plant remains (95% barley and 5% oat) were recovered from70
  • 84. bUShErStown-E3661 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3661-busherstown-co-offaly/one of the post-holes and charred seeds were recorded (but not identified) from six otherposts and pits associated with the building. The may have functioned as a post-dryingstore house / granary as a large amount of charred barley (95%) contrasted with the pro-portions of charred seeds from the kilns (55% barley and 37% oat). Chris Lynn’s (1994) studies have shown that the earliest medieval house structureswere usually roundhouses, constructed of stone or post-and-wattle walls, with woodenposts for joists and roofs of thatch. The smaller structures measured 4-5 m in diameterand the larger structures 6-10 m in diameter. Structure B at Busherstown fits into the sec-ond category. The foundation trench measured 0.33 m in width by 0.32 m in depth. Thisis consistent with early medieval round houses such as those recorded at Gortnahown 2,Co. Cork (Johnston Kiely forthcoming) which ranged cal AD 593–771. Structure Awas 7.2 m in diameter and the foundation trench was 0.45 m wide by 0.48 m deep. Struc-ture B was 4.3 m in diameter and the foundation trench was 0.3 m wide by 0.38 m deep. The second building was rectangular in plan. It may have functioned as a store houseassociated with the cereal processing activity at the site in the early medieval period as alarge amount of charred seeds were present in the building. The relative proportions ofcharred seeds (95% barley and 5% oat) recovered from one of the associated post-holescontrasted with the proportions of charred seeds (55% barley and 37% oat) recoveredfrom the kilns. The building was small in size (measuring 5 m NW-SE by 4 m NE-SW)but was comparable to other rectangular buildings recorded at early medieval sites. Tworectangular buildings (measuring 3.8 m by 2.9 m and 3.9 m by 2.7 m respectively) wereexcavated in a D-shaped enclosure, which was occupied from the 6th–8th centuries, atBallynacarriaga 2 (ibid.). Two other buildings or shelters were directly associated with the cereal processing,one with the stone-lined kiln and the second with the pair of kilns. There was evidence that the area of cereal processing was partially enclosed duringthe early medieval period but the full extent of the enclosure could not be estimated asit was destroyed by later medieval activity. Portions of three sides of the early medievalenclosure could be traced on site, it measured c. 42 m in width. The ditches measured onaverage 1.5 m in width by 1.05 m in depth and were distinguished from later medievalU-shaped ditches by being narrower in width and deeper (V-shaped in profile). The ditchthat formed the south-western boundary of this enclosure was cut by one of the kilns. Thekiln was orientated NW-SE, which was not the alignment shared by the majority of thekilns on site. A large pit (diameter 2.65 m by 1.6 m in depth) was also cut into this ditch. A NE/SW ditch running across the middle of the rectilinear enclosure has beenplaced in this phase as it appears to respect the enclosure ditch. It could have acted as agated partition. 71
  • 85. iSSUE 13: Eachtra JoUrnal - iSSn 2009-2237 archaEological Excavation rEport High medieval period An enclosure was constructed on the site in the high medieval period. It was similar, in terms of location and orientation, to the earlier enclosure, though it was larger in size. It was rectangular in plan and measured c. 32 m NE/SW by 43 m NW/SE. The southern ditch (C.54) measured 2.15 m in width by 0.85 m in depth. The eastern ditch (C. 63) measured 1.6 m in width by 0.7 m in depth. The entrance to the enclosure was located at the northern end of the eastern side. An infant burial, placed in the south-eastern corner within the open ditch (C.63) was dated to cal AD 1159–1252 (UB-15054) and charred cereal from the base of the ditch C.63 was dated to cal AD 1210–1271 (UB-15052). No features could be assigned with certainty to this phase of activity. The enclosure was enlarged in the late 13th/14th century as an annexe to a moated site. The fact that the recut is so similar to the earlier forms implies continuity on site from the early medieval period though not necessarily continuous occupation. The new enclosure Annexe 1 was more clearly rectangular than before. The area of the annexe was extended from 1354 m sq to 1822 m sq and it measured 32 m NE-SW by 57.5 m NW- SE. The entrance was re-located to the south and measured 5.3 m in width. New ditches were dug to form the annexe. One of these (C.277) was constructed, on the internal side of the 12th century ditch, to form the south-western side of the annexe. The western end of this ditch (C.277) clipped the northern side of the earlier (12th century) ditch (C.54). It separated from the earlier ditch after a distance of c. 20 m and was constructed 0.4 m inside the line of the earlier ditch. The 12th century ditch may have been backfilled prior to the construction of the 13th/14th century annexe as a substantial layer of re-deposited material (c. 0.5 m deep) was recorded in the ditch. The south-western ditch (C.277) measured 2.4 m wide by 0.8 m deep and the north- eastern ditch (C.78) 2.7 m wide by 0.75 m deep. The western ditch intersected with the western corner of the ditch of the moated site just outside the area of the road corridor. The eastern ditch connected with a leat (C.8; 1.3 m wide by 0.69 m in depth) that fed into the south-eastern corner of the ditch of the moated site. A long penny (Edward 1 1272–1307) was recovered from an upper fill of the ditch close to the intersection of the eastern boundary and the leat. The remains of a juvenile burial (undated) were deposited into the upper fill of the leat. It was not possible to ascertain if the 12th/13th century ditch (C.63) remained open during the 13/14 century phase of occupation. If it did it would have divided the annexe into two areas, a trapezoidal Annexe 2 created on the southern side of Annexe 1. The annexe may have functioned as an animal enclosure or as a large house plot. Extramural activities were recorded at the moated site at Carrowreagh where a pottery kiln and an area demarked by well built stone drains was located outside the ditch of the moated site (Tierney 2009, 194). A silver long penny (Edward 1 1272–1307, London mint) was recovered from an upper fill of this ditch as well as the remains of a juvenile burial (again probably dating to the 14th century), cut through one of the upper fills.72
  • 86. bUShErStown-E3661 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3661-busherstown-co-offaly/Moated siteThe moated site was located on a northeast-facing slope, looking towards a un-namedstream, located 70 m to the NE. It occupied a site that had its antecedents in the earlymedieval period. Only the south-eastern corner of a moated site was recorded within thearea of the excavation but the outline of the full extent of the site could be traced in theadjoining field (Figure 23). It was a defensive enclosure enclosed by a wide ditch with asub-enclosure on the south-western side enclosed by a shallower ditch. The ditch of themoat measured a maximum of 5.56 m in width and the depth ranged 1.5 -1.7 m. Charredcereal from the base of the ditch returned a date of cal AD 1292–1394 (UB-15049). Noevidence for an entrance between the moated site and the adjoining annexe to the south-west was recorded. Only a small number of moated sited have been excavated but threerecently published sites at Ballyvinny South, Carrowreagh and Coolamurray (Corlett Potterton 2009) can be compared to the moated site at Busherstown. The ditch at Bush-erstown measured 5.5 m in width and was dated to 14th century. The size of the ditchis consistent with the ditch at Coolamurry, Co. Wexford (ranged 4.5–5 m in width by1.2–2.2 m in depth) (Fegan 2009, 91-108), Carrowreagh, Co. Wexford (ranged 4–5 min width by 1.7 m deep) (Tierney 2009, 189-200) and was dated cal AD 1290–1410. Incontrast the ditch at Ballyvinny South Co. Cork was smaller in size (ranged 2.8–1.7 m inwidth by 1.15–0.58 m in depth, Cotter 2009, 49-58). The majority of the animal bone at the site was recovered from the fills of the moatedsite ditch. In all, 2988 fragments of bone were analysed. The main domestic animals,horse, cattle, sheep/goat and pigs accounted for most (84%) of the identifiable bone in thecollection. Horse Cattle Sheep/Goat PigNISP* 32.5 34.5 16.2 16.7MNI* 16.1 40 24.4 19.5NISP* Number of identified specimens MNI* Minimum number of individualsTable 8: Relative abundance of the main domestic animals Charred plant remains from the ditch were dominated by wheat (78%) showing adifferent crop culture to the early medieval period, where barley was the favoured crop. The incomplete footprint of two buildings (Structure C and D) and associated domes-tic activity were located in the south-east corner of the moated site. It should be noted,however, that these features could relate to the pre-moated phase and be associated withthe earlier kiln-based activity in the rectilinear enclosure(s). Any internal bank or gate-bridge for the moat would have covered these features. The features comprised portionsof foundation trenches, three substantial pits, a number of post-holes, stake-holes and ahearth. Portions of three foundation trenches formed the southern and eastern sides ofan incomplete building (it measured at least 4.6 m north-south by 1.9 m east-west). Anentrance (0.7 m wide) was located in the south-eastern side. The remains of a metalledsurface (maximum length 6 m by 1 m in width) were located 3 m west of the founda- 73
  • 87. iSSUE 13: Eachtra JoUrnal - iSSn 2009-2237 archaEological Excavation rEport tion trenches. The surface may represent the extent of the western wall of the building. A number of stake-holes and post-holes, which formed pit and hearth-side furniture, were located in the vicinity of one of the pits, a hearth and a foundation trench. The pits were waste pits with steep sides and flat bases. The largest (measuring 2.66 m by 2 m by 3.8 m in depth) was located 3 m to the north-west of the building. Animal bone, including cattle, sheep/goat and pig, a fragment of a quern stone (E3661:777:1) and a small amount of slag were recovered from the waste pits. A second incomplete structure (Structure C) was located c. 5 m to the north-east of the general group. It comprised an L-shaped foundation trench (0.3 m wide by 0.18 m in depth) which measured 4 m in length and two post-holes. Evidence of partial house plans were recorded at the other three moated sites. Two rectangular structures, their long axis at right angles, were recorded in the interior in Bal- lyvinny South (ibid. 55). There was evidence for a building c. 13 m sq in the interior at Coolamurry (Fegan 2009, 97). A portion of a single house (measuring 6 m by 6.3 m) was excavated within the road corridor at Carrowreagh (Tierney 2009, 193). These buildings date from the 13th and 14th centuries but do not all exhibit a similar associated range of material culture. There was no mention of the recovery of animal bone or charred plant remains from the ditches at Ballyvinny South, Carrowreagh or Coolamurry. This contrasts with the recovery of almost 3,000 animal bone fragments and an assemblage of charred plant remains (dominated by 78% wheat and 21% oat) from the ditch at Busher- stown. Charred plant remains, which had been stored in the house, were recovered from the burnt house at Carrowreagh (ibid. 195). Only three sherds of Leinster-type ware, from one jug, were recovered from Bushers- town, though it must be remembered that the majority of the moated site and more than half the ditch were not excavated. The amount of pottery recovered from the moated site at Ballinvinny South was comparably small, comprising 28 sherds (Cotter 2009, 54). The presence of a single jug contrasts with much larger assemblages of pottery recovered from other 13th and 14th century sites including the moated sites at Carrowreagh (Tierney 2009, 194) and Coolamurry (Fegan 2009, 102) Co. Wexford and the medieval farmsteads at Killegland, Ashbourne, Co. Meath (Frazier, 2009, 120) and Moneycross Upper, Co Wexford (Schweitzer 2009, 184). A small, but interesting, assemblage of metal artefacts was recovered from Bushers- town though not all date to the high and later medieval period of activity. Comparable numbers of metal or bone artefacts were recovered from other moated and medieval farmsteads. The varied number of items that have survived is due to preservation and re- covery conditions that exist on sites and may also relate to the number of items owned by the occupiers of the medieval farms. The recorded artefacts include a fine pair of copper alloy dividers from a pit at the moated site in Coolamurry (Fegan 2009, 98), the metal assemblage from the 13th/14th century farm at Killegland included horse fittings and an iron casket key (Frazer 2009, 117) and a small but comprehensive range of artefacts, including a silver penny (minted 1307-1327), a stick pin, a ring-broach, a needle, iron knives, a buckle, horse-shoes, iron nails, worked animal bone, bone comb, gaming die,74
  • 88. bUShErStown-E3661 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3661-busherstown-co-offaly/hollowed bone cylinder and a bone needle were recovered from the betagh at Attyflin(Eogan 2009, 74-5). 75
  • 89. iSSUE 13: Eachtra JoUrnal - iSSn 2009-2237 archaEological Excavation rEport 11 References Bradley, R 2007 The Prehistory of Britain and Ireland. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. Bruck, J 2009a Overview of findings in M McQuade, B Molloy, and C Moriarty In the Shadow of the Galtees, Archaeological excavations along the route of the N8 Cashel to Mitchelstown Road Scheme, xvi – xviii. Dublin, National Roads Authority. Cagney, L and R O’Hara 2009 An early medieval complex at Dowdstown 2 in M B Deevy and D Murphy (eds) Places Along the Way; first findings on the M3, 123–133. NRA Scheme Monographs 5. National Roads Authority, Dublin. Corlett, C and Potterton M (eds) 2009 Rural Settlement in Medieval Ireland in light of recent archaeological excavations. Wordwell, Bray. Cotter, E 2009 The medieval moated site at Ballyvinny South, Co. Cork in C Corlett and M Potterton (eds) Rural Settlement in Medieval Ireland in light of recent archaeological excavations, 49–58. Wordwell, Bray. Doody, M 2007 Excavations at Curraghatoor, Co. Tipperary, University College Cork. Doody, M 2008 The Ballyhoura Hills Project. Discovery Programme Monograph No. 7, Dublin. Eogan, J 2009 A betagh settlement at Attyflin, Co. Limerick in C Corlett and M Potterton (eds) Rural Settlement in Medieval Ireland in light of recent archaeological excavations, 67–78. Wordwell, Bray. Farrelly, J and O’Brien, C 2002 Archaeological Inventory of County Tipperary Vol. 1 - North Tipperary. The Stationery Office, Dublin. Fegan, G 2009 Discovery and excavation of a medieval moated site at Coolamurry, Co. Wexford in C Corlett and M Potterton (eds) Rural Settlement in Medieval Ireland in light of recent archaeological excavations, 91–108. Wordwell, Bray. Frazer, W 2009 A medieval farmstead at Killegland, Ashbourne, Co. Meath in C Corlett and M Potterton (eds) Rural Settlement in Medieval Ireland in light of recent archaeological excavations, 109–124. Wordwell, Bray. Gardiner, M.J. and Radford, T 1980 Soil Associations of Ireland and Their Land Use Potential. Dublin, An Foras Talúntais.76
  • 90. bUShErStown-E3661 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3661-busherstown-co-offaly/Guilbery, G 1982 ‘Post-ring symmetry in roundhouses at Moel y Gaer and some other sites in prehistoric Britain’, in P J Drury (ed), Structural Recognition: approaches to the interpretation of excavated remains of buildings, 67 – 86. British Archaeological Reports 110.Johnston, P and Kiely, J forthcoming The Archaeology of North Cork archaeological excavations on the route of the N8 Fermoy to Mitchelstown. NRA Scheme Monograph Series. National Roads Authority, Dublin.Long, P 2009 Food for though: newly discovered cereal-drying kilns from the south- west midlands in M Stanley, E Danaher J Eogan (eds), Dining and Dwelling, 19–28. Archaeology and the National Roads Authority Monograph Series No. 6. National Roads Authority, Dublin.Lynn, C J 1994 ‘Houses in Rural Ireland, AD 500–1000’, Ulster Journal of Archaeology, Vol. 57, 81–94.MacCotter P forthcoming Encounters between people in the 14th century: consideration of a ‘Gaelic’ site at Killeisk, Co Tipperary and an ‘Anglo-Norman’ site at Busherstown, Co. Offaly in National Roads Authority Monograph 2012. National Roads Authority, Dublin.McLaughlin, M and Conran, S 2008 ‘The emerging Iron Age of South Munster’ in Seanda, Issue 3, 51-53. Dublin.McQuade, M 2005 ‘Archaeological Excavation of a Multi-Period Prehistoric Settlement at Waterunder, Mell, Co.Louth’, Journal of the County Louth Archaeological and Historical Society, Vol. 26, No. 1. 31–66.McQuade, M, Molloy, B Moriarty, C 2009 In the Shadow of the Galtees. Archaeological excavations along the N8 Cashel to Mitchelstown road scheme. National Roads Authority, Dublin.National Inventory of Architectural Heritage 2006 An Introduction to the Architectural Heritage of North Tipperary. Government of Ireland.O’Conor, K D 1998 The Archaeology of Medieval Rural Settlement in Ireland, Discovery Programme Monographs No 3, Discovery Programme/Royal Irish Academy Dublin.Reimer, P.J. Baillie, M.G.L., Bard, E., Bayliss, A., Beck, J.W., Bertrand, C., Blackwell, P.G., Buck, C.E., Burr, G., Cutler, K.B., Damon, P.E., Edwards, R.L., Fairbanks, R.G., Friedrich, M., Guilderson, T.P., Hughen, K.A., Kromer, B., McCormac, 77
  • 91. iSSUE 13: Eachtra JoUrnal - iSSn 2009-2237 archaEological Excavation rEport F.G., Manning, S., Bronk Ramsey, C., Reimer, R.W., Remmele, S., Southon, J.R., Stuiver, M., Talamo, S., Taylor, F.W., van der Plicht, J. and Weyhenmeyer, C.E. (2004) ‘IntCal04 Terrestrial Radiocarbon Age Calibration, 0–26 Cal Kyr BP’, Radiocarbon 46, 1029-1058. Schweitzer, H 2009 A medieval farmstead at Moneycross Upper, Co. Wexford in C Corlett and M Potterton (eds) Rural Settlement in Medieval Ireland in light of recent archaeological excavations, 185–188. Wordwell, Bray. Stuiver, M., and Reimer, P.J. 1993 ‘Extended (super 14) C data base and revised CALIB 3.0 (super 14) C age calibration program’, Radiocarbon 35, 215-230. Stout, M 1997 The Irish Ringfort. Dublin, Four Courts Press. Taylor, K. 2008 ‘At home and on the road: two Iron Age sites in County Tipperary’ in Seanda, Issue 3, 54-55. Dublin. Tierney, M 2009 Excavating feudalism? A medieval moated site at Carrowreagh, Co. Wexford in C Corlett and M Potterton (eds) Rural Settlement in Medieval Ireland in light of recent archaeological excavations, 189–200. Wordwell, Bray. Tierney, J and Johnston, P 2009 No corners Prehistoric roundhouses on the N8 and the N7 in counties Cork, Tipperary and Offaly in M Stanley, E Danaher J Eogan (eds), Dining and Dwelling, 99–108. Dublin, National Roads Authority. Tobin, R Stratigraphic Report for Kilns and associated features at Corbally 01E0299. Unpublished report Margaret Gowan Ltd. Woodman, P.C. 2000 ‘Hammers and Shoeboxes: New Agendas for Prehistory’., pp. 1 -10 in Desmond, A., Johnson, G., McCarthy, M., Sheehan, J. and Shee Twohig, E. New Agendas in Irish Prehistory. Papers in commemoration of Liz Anderson. Bray, Wordwell. Monteith, J., and Wren J. 2008 ‘Drying the harvest: cereal-drying kilns on N9/N10’ in Seanda, Issue 3, 28-30.Dublin. O’Sullivan, M., and Downey, L., 2005 ‘Corn drying kilns’ in Archaeology Ireland, Vol. 19, No. 3, 32-35. Dublin.78
  • 92. bUShErStown-E3661 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3661-busherstown-co-offaly/Appendix 1 Stratigraphic IndexPlease see attached CD. 79
  • 93. iSSUE 13: Eachtra JoUrnal - iSSn 2009-2237 archaEological Excavation rEportAppendix 2 Site Matrix Busherstown 1 Matrix 1 409 173 170 408 228 229 423 310 520 439 8 410 furrow 407 230 8 422 8 307 furrow 8 521 furrow 440 furrow 393 128 133 760 370 8 394 furrow 160 8 159 1 8 761 2d 371 linear furrow furrow 376 395 166 3311b 377 stakehole 396 8 167 furrow 324 397 8 174 furrow 132 515 325 1b 388 posthole 168 516 326 517 327 129 169 328 201 219 332 329 199 330 200 2d 321 ditch 1 197 384 364 353 1 198 385 352 386 351 387 2e 383 linear 1b 90/98 kiln 130 391 131 3e 392 slot trench 134 1b 746 spread 182 171 443 135 444 136 442 137 141 474 495 475 138 473 139 498 502 140 518 369 501 1a 97 kiln 489 536 531 571 552 532 1b 570 stakehole 562 535 538 551 537 567 569 1b 566 stakehole 1b 568 stakehole 464 1a 490 kiln 280
  • 94. bUShErStown-E3661 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3661-busherstown-co-offaly/ 1 151 13 3 1007 192 757 176 425 271 1004 242 152 158 9 15 86 196 193 758 50/603 314 2c 1005 ditch 243 153 10 16 87 195 255 51/172 1025 1002 282 1b 150 ditch 11 194 52 1006 244 12 146 558 572 999 245 14 53 1000 2b 8 / 86 ditch 142 1001 156 163 177 179 2e 676 gully 83 164 178 2c 247/277/1003ditch 157 82 165 80 81 79 154 492 126 125 2c 78/127/143 ditch 144 145 2e 149 ditch 48 49 970 231 161 183 493 162 184 194 175 492 195 494 2a 54 ditch 84 64 20 255 278 1013 1019 971 526 69 21 256 1014 1015 3b 1020 posthole 972 527 70 23 257 1016 973 974 528 71 22 258 1017 975 529 72 67 359 252 1018 976 530 73 65 253 1a 1012 kiln 977 66 216 978 360 254 979 361 980 2a 19/63/68 ditch 981 188 1a 989 kiln 260 261 266 983 262 984 279 283 264/305 985 280 263 323 306 986 281 265 987 3d 259 posthole 267 1a 990 kiln 248 250 1b 249 stakehole 1b 251 stakehole 1a 189 kiln 2 81
  • 95. iSSUE 13: Eachtra JoUrnal - iSSn 2009-2237 archaEological Excavation rEport 1 503 274 652 624 234 623 661 33 75 76 504 275 625 235 635 92 77 450 276 626 236 734 93 115 449 237 636 95 116 505 238 637 639 96 117 506 239 638 640 94 118 507 240 641 114 119 508 241 677 1b 32 pit 120 509 2d 246/273 ditch 1b 622 well 187 31 121 510 661 3d 186 posthole 99 1a 74 kiln 511 733 712 100 1a 491 kiln 713 101 476 591 605 2d 714 linear 102 477 448/606 103 105 478/479 596 607 104 2d 475 ditch 592 608 106 481 597 108 107 482 593 109 483 594 111 484 595 1a 30 kiln 485 486 2a 447 ditch 487 488 1a 480 kiln 282
  • 96. 1 350/645 667 615 665 726 643 838 613 365 319 284 317 367 727 340 342 522 524 699 slot1b 1b 644 pit 1b 666 pit 1b 614 pit 1b 664 1b 741 pit 1b 642 7f 1008 trench 612 1b 366 pit 1b 320 1b 285 1b 318 1b 368 728 1b 341 1b 343 1b 523 1b 525 690 803 692 posthole stakehole slot posthole posthole posthole stakehole stakehole stakehole stakehole stakehole trench 742 628 1b 729 posthole stakehole 1b 691 1b 802 pit 1b 693 posthole 1b 751 linear 1b 627 pit bUShErStown-E3661 2 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3661-busherstown-co-offaly/83
  • 97. 184 918 895 629 609 58 17 1038 901 slot 942 887 630 7f 662 trench 85 18 1032 902 888 1b 875 recut 382 7d 59 pit 7d 55 pit 945 1031 962 919 896 633 60 335 433 1030 963 943 944 889 649 406 404 434 1029 964 934 890 650 7d 61 pit 1027 965 946 891 651 405 2d 1026 ditch 2d 903 ditch 947 920 921 894 631 1035 948 892 735 403 402 1036 iSSUE 13: Eachtra JoUrnal - iSSn 2009-2237 949 925 736 401 1037 950 951 893 737 514 1038 955 952 926 762 541 540 542 1039 953 1a 743A kiln 738 565 1b 1040 pit 954 931 769 739 765 768 961 956 941 632 580 579 958 957 155 740 539 959 180 1a 634 kiln 545 590 588 960 269 513 589 1a 872 kiln 794 601 602 1a 743B kiln 604 648 600 672 663 668 671 670 675 1a 355 kiln 2 archaEological Excavation rEport
  • 98. bUShErStown-E3661 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3661-busherstown-co-offaly/ 1 Subgroup 3a Subgroup 3b 808 810 818 864 835 820 883 881 787 225 379 390 399 412 420 544 181 432 807 pit 809 817 863 834 819 882 880 786 190 378 389 398 411 419 543 214 428 posthole stakehole stakehole stakehole stakehole posthole posthole stakehole stakehole stakehole stakehole stakehole stakehole stakehole stakehole 816 203 429 455 453 564 slot 815 trench 226 430 454 463 563 stakehole stakehole stakehole stakehole 812 227 427 hearth 874 885 191 pit 873 stakehole 884 stakehole 2 811 pit 2 1 799 796 831 827 830 904 905 906 907 908 909 910 865 867 869 914 923 215 795 912 913 916 stakehole stakehole stakehole stakehole stakehole stakehole stakehole stakehole stakehole 798 797 832 828 829 stakehole 866 868 870 915 924 218 871 917 posthole posthole posthole stakehole stakehole stakehole stakehole stakehole posthole stakehole 833 922 posthole 826 posthole 2 1 Subgroup 3e Subgroup 3f Subgroup 3g burnt burnt burnt burnt burnt 995 994 997 991 533 577 500 547 549 575 560 582 747 subsoil 748 subsoil 749 subsoil 753 subsoil 754 subsoil 4 5 6 7 24 spread 996 pit 993 pit 998 pit 992 pit 534 578 512 548 550 576 599 581 pit 2 62 pit 26 27 28 stakehole posthole stakehole stakehole stakehole posthole stakehole posthole 499 posthole 561 stakehole 2 2 1 Group 6 Subgroup 7a 1011 653 611 619 732 616 621 7g 886 spread slot 3f 1010 trench 647 610 pit 618 731 617 620 stakehole stakehole stakehole stakehole 583 694 292 764 654 553 695 37 655 556 700 709 322 656 554 701 708 38 657 584 707 710 39 658 559 40 300 293 659 585 41 301 758 294 660 702 704 586 42 339 646 pit 703 705 589 43 303 302 763 295 2 706 91 413 296 45 414 297 337 338 415 298 416 299 417 362 418 363 Moat 44 ditch 2 1 Group 8 856 850 852 785 854 773 771 822 855 furrow 849 furrow 851 furrow 784 furrow 853 furrow 772 furrow 770 furrow 821 furrow 2 85
  • 99. iSSUE 13: Eachtra JoUrnal - iSSn 2009-2237 archaEological Excavation rEport 1 Subgroup 3c 801 847 877 823 860 857 843 456 437 471 469 814 435 445 1024 1023 899 897 861 spread 800 posthole 878 804 859 858 posthole 844 451 438 pit 472 pit 470 pit 813 pit 436 446 1022 1021 900 898 862 stakehole posthole posthole posthole posthole posthole stakehole stakehole posthole 879 842 845 452 stakehole 876 pit 841 846 posthole 2 1 Subgroup 3d 969 967 124 147 205 223 207 209 211 936 938 940 792 840 911 347 308 333 stakehole slot 968 966 123 148 221 224 206 220 210 trench 935 937 939 793 836 346 309 334 posthole stakehole stakehole posthole posthole posthole stakehole pit stakehole posthole posthole posthole 122 222 208 posthole 837 posthole 112 204 posthole 113 posthole 2 1 Group 4 Group 5 29 34 825 789 232 316 312 790 212 766 744 774 185 372 304 421 697 burnt deposit 47 89 848 788 pit 233 315 311 stakehole 313 791 752 767 755 2e 775 ditch 357 373 424 696 pit posthole posthole stakehole stakehole posthole stakehole stakehole burnt deposit 46 posthole 824 pit 756 358 374 posthole 745 pit 375 posthole 2 2 1 Subgroup Subgroup 7c 7d 286 288 348 345 290 7g 1028 layer 679 681 683 685 687 689 17 58 60 715 8 287 furrow 8 289 8 furrow 349 furrow 8 291 furrow 678 680 682 684 686 688 18 85 402 716 stakehole stakehole stakehole stakehole stakehole stakehole 270 673 2 55 pit 59 pit 61 pit 717 7e 272 recut 7c 674 hearth 718 7g 268 719 466 457 459 461 496 400 7207b 467 stakehole 7b 468 458 stakehole 7b 465 460 7b 462 7b 497 344 721 7b 7b stakeholes stakehole stakehole stakehole stakehole 426 725 431 723 7b 441 pit 7e 730 recut 722 2 776 711 777 778 780 779 781 669 pit 286
  • 100. bUShErStown-E3661 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3661-busherstown-co-offaly/Appendix 3 Groups and SubgroupsGroup Description Subgroup No. Description Context No.No.1 Kilns and asso- 1a Kilns 15 kilns C.30, C.74, C.97, C.189, C.743A, C.743B, ciated features C.355, C.480, C.490, C.491, C.634, C.872, C.989, C.990 and C.1012 1b Features 7 postholes, 14 C.285, C.318, C.368, C.388, C.664, associated with stakeholes, 1 C.691, C.729, C.159, C.249, C.251, kilns linear feature, 9 C.341, C.343, C.377, C.523, C.525, pits, 1 spread, 1 C.566, C.568, C.570, C.612, C.642, well C.693, C.751, C.32, C.614, C.627, C.666, C.741, C.802, C.875, C.1040, C.644, C.746 and C.6222 Ditches (not 2a Early ditches 3 ditches C.447, C.19/63/68 and C.54 including C.44) 2b Medieval 1 ditch C.8/86 ditches 2c Annexe 2 ditches C.78/127/143 and C.247/277/1003/1005 ditches 2d Post-medie- 9 ditches C.150, C.351, C.246/273, C.321, C.371, val ditches C.475, C.714, C.903 and C.1026 2e Small 7 ditches/gullies C.149, C.337, C.338, C.783, C.676, ditches and C.383 and C.775 gullies3 Structures 3a Structure 7stakeholes, 3 C.796, C.817, C.819, C.834, C.863, C.873, within the moat pits, 2 postholes, C.884, C.807, C.811, C.882, C.809, C.880 C.44 1 slot trench and C.815 3b Round 1 hearth, 5 C.427, C.563, C.454, C.463, C.430, C.543, structure next stakeholes, 7 C.214, C.378, C.389, C.398, C.411, C.419, to the ditch postholes C.1020 C.54 3c Cluster of 1 poss. hearth, C.847, C.438, C.470, C.472, C.813, C.841, features to the 6 pits, 13 C.876, C.836, C.446, C.796, C.798, north of ditch postholes, 12 C.800, C.826, C.832, C.846, C.858, C.68 stakeholes C.859, C.862, C.1021, C.1022, C.452, C.804, C.829, C.898, C.900, C.904, C.905, C.906, C.907, C.908, C.909 and C.910 3d Cluster of 1 slot trench, C.210, C.992, C.993, C.996, C.998, C.113, features to the 4 pits, 1 pit/ C.123, C.148, C.186, C.206, C.208, C.259, north of ditch posthole, 13 C.309, C.334, C.346, C.793, C.837, C.871, C.143 postholes and 14 C.922, C.218, C.866, C.868, C.870, C.911, stakeholes C.912, C.913, C.915, C.917, C.935, C.937, C.939, C.966 and C.968 3e Curvilin- 1 slot trench, C.392, C.499, C.581, C.548, C.550, C.576, ear foundation 6 postholes, 2 C.578, C.534 and C.561 trench C.392 stakeholes with associated features 3f Possible slot 1 slot trench, 5 C.1010, C.747, C.748, C.749, C.753 and trench C.1010 areas of burnt C.754 burnt subsoil subsoil, east of C.44 3g Cluster of 1 pit, 4 post- C.62, C.26, C.28, C.46, C.89, C.27 features to the holes, 1 stake- and C.24 east of ditch hole, 1 spread C.8 87
  • 101. iSSUE 13: Eachtra JoUrnal - iSSn 2009-2237 archaEological Excavation rEport Group Description Subgroup No. Description Context No. No. 4 Isolated features 3 pits, 2 C.745, C.788, C.824, C.233, C.791, within the postholes, 5 C.311, C.313, C.315, C.752 and C.76 Annexe stakeholes 5 Isolated features 2 postholes, 3 C.358, C.375, C.304, C.421, C.424, outside the An- deposits, 2 pits C.696 and C.191 nexe and Moat 6 Moat C.44 1 ditch C.44 7 Features within 7a Pit C.646 2 pits, 4 C.646, C.610, C.617, C.618, C.620 and the moat (not and associated stakeholes C.731 including kilns) features 7b Pit C.441 1 pit, 7 C.441, C.458, C.460, C.462, C.465, C.467, and associated stakeholes C.468 and C.497 features 7c Hearth 1 hearth, 6 C.674, C.678, C.680, C.682, C.684, C.686 C.674 and asso- stakeholes and C.688 ciated features 7d Pits 1 pit C.669 7e Pit re-cuts 2 pits C.272 and C.730 7f Slot trenches 3 slot trenches C.662, C.839 and C.1008 7g Spreads 4 metalled sur- C.55, C.59, C.61, C.406, C.268 and and metalled faces, 2 spreads C.886 and C.1028 surfaces and 1 layer 8 Modern furrows 23 furrows C.160, C.167, C.174, C.761, C.770, C.772, C.784, C.287, C.289, C.291, C.307, C.349, C.394, C.407, C.410, C.422, C.521, C.699, C.821, C.849, C.851, C.853, and C.855 9 Non 6 spreads, 3 C.25, C.35, C.36, C.202, C.217, archaeological features C.750, C.573, C.805 and C.932 10 Natural Topsoil C.1 Deposits Subsoil C.2 Group 1 Kilns and associated features The earliest use of the landscape was as a centre of cereal processing including cereal dry- ing and storage. The large ‘blank’ areas on site may represent spaces set aside for other activities associated cereal processing. Subgroup 1a Kilns Fifteen kilns were excavated in total C.30, C.74, C.97, C.189, C.743A, C.743B, C.355, C.480, C.490, C.491, C.634, C.872, C.989, C.990 and C.1012.88
  • 102. bUShErStown-E3661 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3661-busherstown-co-offaly/Context Context numbers Dimensions Orienta- Truncated Truncates? Location number of fills (lxbxd) metres tion by? comments30 31, 99, 100, 101, 2.82 x 1.2 x NE-SW 32 N/A Annexe 102, 103, 104, 105, 0.92 106, 107, 108, 109, 11174 75, 76, 77, 15, 116, 3.18 x 1.3 x 0.7 NE-SW N/A N/A Annexe 117, 118, 119, 120, 12197 129, 130, 131, 132, 2.5 x 1.73 x NE-SW Stakehole 90, 167, Annexe 134, 135, 136, 137, 0.62 C.159 is 174 138, 139, 140, 141, cut into fill 369 C.132.189 188, 261, 262, 263, 2.2 x 1.6 x NE-SW 19/63, 78, N/A Outer annexe 264/305, 265, 266, 0.63 249, 251 267, 306, 323355 335, 382, 401, 402, 3.24 x 0.9 x 1.3 NE-SW 61, 662 N/A Interior of 403, 404, 405, 406, C.44.Features 433, 434, 513, 514, associated with 539, 540, 541, 542, C.355 include 545, 565, 579, 580, pits C.644, 588, 589, 590, 600, 666, 614, 741, 601, 602, 604, 648, 627, posthole 663, 668, 670, 671, C.664, stake- 672, 675 holes C.642 C.612 short linear feature C.751.480 481, 482, 483, 484, 1.9 x 0.6 x 0.5 NW-SE 475 N/A Outside the 485, 486, 487, 488 annexe490 182, 442, 443, 444, 3.7 x 1.8 x NE-SW 392. Base N/A Annexe 464, 473, 474, 489, 0.62 is trun- 495, 498, 501, 502, cated by 518, 531, 532, 535, stakeholes 536, 537, 538, 551, C.566, 568 552, 562 570.491 449, 450, 503, 504, 2.12 x 1.4 x NW-SE N/A 447 Annexe 505, 506, 507, 508, 0.75 509, 510, 511634 629, 630, 631, 632, 3.55 x 1.23 x NW-SE 875 N/A Interior of 633, 649, 650, 651, 0.98 C.44. A bone 735, 736, 737, 738, pin with a 739, 740, 762, 765, perforated head 768, 769 was recovered from a fill of this kiln. Re- cut by C.875743A 887, 888, 896, 889, 4.05 x 1.9 x NE-SW N/A 743B Annexe 890, 891, 892, 893, 0.77 894, 895, 920, 921, 925, 926743B 931, 941, 155, 180, 1.84 x 1.5 x NE-SW 743A N/A Annexe 269, 794 0.37872 918, 919, 934, 942, 3.5 x 2.6 x NW-SE N/A N/A Annexe. 943, 944, 945, 946, 0.96 Pit C.1040 947, 948, 949, 950, contains waste 951, 952, 953, 954, possibly associ- 955, 956, 957, 958, ated with kiln 959, 960, 961 C.872989 971, 972, 973, 974, 3.19 x 2.03 x NE-SW 54 990 Annexe ditch 975, 976, 977, 978, 1.05 979, 980, 981 89
  • 103. iSSUE 13: Eachtra JoUrnal - iSSn 2009-2237 archaEological Excavation rEport Context Context numbers Dimensions Orienta- Truncated Truncates? Location number of fills (lxbxd) metres tion by? comments 990 983, 984, 985, 986, 1.84 x 1.29 x NE-SW 54,78, 676, N/A Annexe ditch 987 0.85 989 1012 1013, 1014, 1015, 2.5 x 1.3 x 0.55 NE-SW 78 N/A Annexe ditch 1016, 1017, 1018 Table of kilns Kiln C.30 filled with C.31, C.99, C.100, C.101, C.102, C.103, C.104, C.105, C.106, C.107, C.108, C.109 and C.111 The kiln was sub-rectangular in plan. It measured 2.82m in length by 1.2m in width and 0.92m in depth. The kiln was orientated northeast-southwest. The break of slope at the top was sharp. The sides were vertical and smooth. The break of slope at the base was sharp at southeast northwest, and gradual at northeast. The base was sub-circular in plan and flat in profile. The kiln was truncated by pit C.32. Con- Dimension/ Depth Fill description text length x (m) width (m) 31 2.1 0.39 Mid blue grey firm silty clay with occasional pebbles, small and medi- um stones and moderate flecks and occasional small pieces of charcoal 99 1.06x0.35 0.11 Mid blue grey soft silt with occasional pebbles 100 0.64x0.4 0.08 Mid brown grey loose sand with occasional pebbles and moderate flecks of charcoal 101 1.23x0.65 0.28 Mid yellow grey soft silty sand with occasional pebbles and flecks of charcoal 102 1.26x0.65 0.28 Mid grey brown soft sandy silt with occasional pebbles and moderate flecks and occasional small pieces of charcoal 103 0.95x0.65 0.08 Light pink yellow firm sand with occasional pebbles 104 0.73x0.7 0.07 Mid yellow pink firm silty sand with occasional pebbles 105 0.53x0.3 0.1 Mid brown grey soft sandy silt with occasional pebbles and flecks of charcoal 106 2.03x0.83 0.12 Dark grey black very soft sandy silt with occasional pebbles and mod- erate flecks, medium pieces and frequent small pieces of charcoal 107 0.62x0.45 0.08 Mid yellow orange soft silt with occasional pebbles and flecks and small pieces of charcoal 108 1.19x0.88 0.18 Light brown grey very soft clayey silt with occasional flecks of charcoal and moderate flecks of burnt clay 109 0.94x0.82 0.07 Dark blue grey soft sandy silt with occasional pebbles, frequent flecks, moderate small and occasional medium pieces of charcoal 111 0.96x0.9 0.02 Dark black friable silt with frequent flecks, small and medium pieces of charcoal Table of fills of kiln C�30 The kiln C.30 comprised a firing chamber lined with fire reddened clay on the north and slightly higher placed, drying chamber on the south with no evidence of been sub- jected to fire. The pit C.32 was cut into south end of kiln, at the location of drying cham- ber. This appeared to be a later cut, possibly not associated with original function of kiln. In the fill C.99 was found flint flake (E3661:99:1) dated to Neolithic period. A posthole C.186 was located on the edge of kiln C.30. The posthole was truncated by the pit C.32. Kiln C.74 filled with C.75, C.76, C.77, C.115, C.116, C.117, C.118, C.119, C.120 and C.12190
  • 104. bUShErStown-E3661 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3661-busherstown-co-offaly/ The kiln was sub-rectangular in plan with rounded corners. It measured 3.18m inlength by 1.3m in width and 0.7m in depth. The kiln was orientated northeast-southwest.The break of slope at the top was sharp. The sides were steep and irregular at north east,vertical and irregular at west south. The break of slope at the base was gradual. Thebase was irregular in plan and concave in profile. Con- Dimension/ Depth Fill description Fill text length x (m) interpretation width (m) 75 0.16x0.4 0.16 Mid brown grey firm silty clay with moderate Top fill of dry- pebbles, small stones and frequent flecks and oc- ing chamber casional small pieces of charcoal 76 0.56x0.55 0.12 Mid grey brown firm clayey silt with moderate Top fill of firing pebbles, small stones, flecks and small pieces of chamber charcoal 77 2.98xna 0.34 Mid yellow brown compact silty sand with oc- Upper fill of casional pebbles and flecks of charcoal kiln 115 N/Ax0.69 0.2 Mid yellow brown firm silty clay with occasional Upper fill of pebbles and moderate flecks of charcoal kiln 116 N/Ax2.5 1.5 Mid brown stiff silty clay with moderate pebbles Upper fill of fir- and occasional flecks of charcoal ing chamber 117 N/Ax2.97 0.2 Mid brown firm clayey silt with occasional pebbles Upper fill of and flecks of charcoal drying chamber 118 N/Ax1.48 0.09 Mid yellow brown firm clayey silt with occasional Fill of firing pebbles and moderate flecks of charcoal chamber 119 N/Ax1.97 0.1 Mid orange brown firm silt with occasional peb- Fill of firing bles and moderate flecks of charcoal chamber 120 N/Ax2.6 0.1 Dark brown black firm clayey silt with occasional Lower fill of pebbles and frequent flecks, moderate small, me- kiln dium and large pieces of charcoal 121 N/Ax0.39 0.04 Mid red brown compact sand with occasional peb- Basal fill of fir- bles and flecks of charcoal ing chamberTable of fills of kiln C�74 Kiln C.30 and C.74 were located within the ‘Annex’ close to the junction of ditchC.19/68 and ditchC.78. They were similar in shape and fills. Both of them were earth-cut,deep sub-rectangular shaped kilns. They each comprised a firing chambers lined with firereddened clay on the north and, slightly higher placed, drying chamber on the south withno evidence of been subjected to fire. The two kilns had similar layers of charcoal richmaterial, in particular from their firing chambers. The kiln C.74 was radiocarbon datedto 658-766AD. The kilns C.30 and C.74 were surrounded by cluster of pits, postholes, stakeholes andslot trench C.210 described in Subgroup 3d. Kiln C.189 filled with C.188, C.261, C.262, C.263, C.264/305, C.265, C.266, C.267,C.306 and C.323 The kiln was oval in plan with rounded corners at south and east and square cornersat north and west. It measured 2.2m in length by 1.6m in width and 0.63m in depth. Thekiln was orientated northeast-southwest. The break of slope at the top and at the base wasimperceptible at south, gradual at east and sharp at north. The base was oval in plan and 91
  • 105. iSSUE 13: Eachtra JoUrnal - iSSn 2009-2237 archaEological Excavation rEport flat in profile. The base of the kiln was truncated by two stakeholes C.249 (filled with C.248) and C. 251(filled with C.250). The stakeholes were circular in plan with vertical and smooth sides and tapered rounded pointed basses. They had the same fill of light yellow brown silty sand with occasional flacks of charcoal. The stakeholes were situated on the southeast edge of the kiln. The kiln was truncated by ditch C.19/63/68 and ditch C.78. Context Dimension/ Depth Fill description length x width (m) (m) 188 1.81x1.5 0.41 Dark brown grey loose silty sand with occasional pebbles, small stones and moderate flecks of charcoal 261 0.86x0.85 0.11 Dark yellow grey soft sandy silt with occasional pebbles and moder- ate flecks of charcoal 262 N/Ax0.41 0.06 Dark brown grey soft sandy silt with occasional pebbles and flecks of charcoal 263 1.2x0.82 0.14 Mid yellow grey loose silty sand with occasional pebbles and flecks of charcoal 264/305 1.7x0.5 0.12 Dark grey black soft sandy silt with frequent pieces of charcoal 265 N/Ax0.65 0.11 Mid orange grey soft sandy silt with occasional pebbles, flecks and small pieces of charcoal 266 N/Ax0.6 0.06 Dark yellow black loose silty sand with occasional pebbles and moderate flecks and small pieces of charcoal 267 1.73x1 0.08 Mid yellow black soft sandy silt with occasional pebbles and fre- quent flecks and small pieces of charcoal 306 N/Ax0.5 0.11 Mid orange grey loose silty sand with occasional pebbles and flecks of charcoal 323 N/Ax0.41 0.07 Dark red black soft sandy silt with frequent flecks and small pieces of charcoal Table of fills of kiln C�189 Kiln C.189 was located at the junction of ditch C.78 and C.19/C.63. Group of post- holes (C.308, C.334 and C.346) was located to the northeast of kiln. The postholes are described in subgroup 3d. Kiln C.989 filled with C. 971, C.972, C.973, C.974, C.975, C.976, C.977, C.978, C.979, C.980 and C.981 The kiln was oval in plan. It measured 3.19m in length by 2.03m in width and 1.05m in depth and was orientated northeast-southwest. The break of slope at the top was sharp. The sides were moderate and concave. The break of slope at the base was sharp at south- west and gradual elsewhere. The base was irregular in plan and concave in profile. The kiln cut kiln C.990 and was truncated by ditch C.54. Con- Dimension/ Depth (m) Fill description text length x width (m) 971 3.21x1.9 0.66 Dark brown black very soft clay with pebbles and small stones 972 2.9x1.9 0.15 Mid yellow brown firm silt with occasional pebbles and flecks of charcoal 973 0.3x0.19 0.08 Light brown yellow firm silt with occasional flecks of charcoal 974 1.98x1.8 0.06 Dark black very soft silty clay with occasional pebbles and fre- quent flecks and small pieces of charcoal92
  • 106. bUShErStown-E3661 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3661-busherstown-co-offaly/975 1.71x1.7 0.03 Light brown yellow very soft silty clay with occasional pebbles976 1.7x1.4 0.05 Dark black very soft clay with occasional pebbles and frequent flecks and small pieces of charcoal977 1.51x0.15 0.09 Light yellow red soft clay with occasional pebbles and frequent large pieces of charcoal978 1.28xna 0.06 Dark black very soft clay with occasional pebbles and frequent flecks and small pieces of charcoal979 1.17x1 0.12 Light grey yellow friable silt with occasional pebbles980 0.92xna 0.05 Dark black very soft silty clay with moderate pebbles and fre- quent flecks and small pieces of charcoal981 1.78x1 0.23 Dark brown grey soft silty clay with occasional pebbles and frequent flecks and moderate small pieces of charcoalTable of fills of kiln C�989 Kiln C.990 filled with C. 983, C.984, C.985, C.986 and C.987 The kiln was sub-rectangular in plan. It measured 1.84m in length by 1.29m in widthand 0.85m in depth. The kiln was orientated northeast-southwest. The break of slope atthe top was sharp. The sides were steep and smooth at northeast, gentle and concave atsoutheast. The break of slope at the base was gradual at southeast and sharp at northwest.The base was sub-rectangular in plan and flat in profile.Con- Dimension/ Depth Fill descriptiontext length x (m) width (m)983 1.84x1.29 0.85 Mid grey brown soft sandy silt with occasional pebbles and small stones984 1.49x1 0.14 Mid yellow brown firm silty clay with occasional small and medium pieces of charcoal985 1.56x1 0.25 Dark brown black soft sandy silt with occasional pebbles and frequent flecks, small and medium pieces of charcoal986 1x0.92 0.02 Dark orange black very soft sandy silt with frequent flecks, small and medium pieces of charcoal and frequent small and medium pieces of burnt clay987 1x0.86 0.06 Dark black sandy silt with frequent flecks, small and medium pieces of char- coal and occasional flecks of burnt clayTable of fills of kiln C�990 Kiln C.990 was truncated in south western part by kiln C.989 and in north easternpart by small ditch C.676. The kilns C. 989 and C.990 were situated to the southwest of kilns C.30 and C.74. Kiln C.1012 filled with C.1013, C.1014, C.1015, C.1016, C.1017 and C.1018 The kiln was sub-oval in plan with rounded corners. It measured 2.5m in length by1.3m in width and 0.55m in depth. The kiln was orientated northeast-southwest. Thebreak of slope at the top was sharp. The sides were steep and smooth at northwest, steepand convex at northeast and southwest. The break of slope at the base was gradual. Thebase was sub-oval in plan and flat in profile. The kiln was truncated by ditch C.78.Con- Dimension/ Depth Fill descriptiontext length x (m) width (m)1013 2.05xna 0.45 Mid grey yellow soft clayey silt with occasional pebbles, small stones and flecks and small pieces of charcoal 93
  • 107. iSSUE 13: Eachtra JoUrnal - iSSn 2009-2237 archaEological Excavation rEport Con- Dimension/ Depth Fill description text length x (m) width (m) 1014 N/Ax1.5 0.11 Dark brown grey soft clayey silt with occasional pebbles and frequent flecks, small and moderate medium pieces of charcoal 1015 N/Ax0.6 0.08 Dark black soft silt with occasional pebbles and frequent flecks, small, medium and large pieces of charcoal 1016 N/Ax0.6 0.07 Mid grey soft silt with occasional pebbles and flecks and small pieces of charcoal 1017 N/Ax0.5 0.5 Mid red yellow firm clay with occasional pebbles, flecks and small pieces of charcoal and occasional flecks of burnt clay 1018 nac0.8 0.04 Dark black soft sand silt with moderate pebbles and frequent flecks, moderate small and medium pieces of charcoal Table of fills of kiln C�1012 Kiln C.490 filled with C.182, C.442, C.443, C.444, C.464, C.473, C.474, C.489, C.495, C.498, C.501, C.502, C.518, C.531, C.532, C.535, C.536, C.537, C.538, C.551, C.552 and C.562 The kiln was sub-rectangular in plan. It measured 3.7m in length by 1.8m in width and 0.62m in depth. The kiln was orientated northeast southwest. The break of slope at the top and at the base was sharp. The sides were gentle and irregular at north, steep and smooth at south west, gentle and stepped at east. The base was sub-rectangular in plan and flat in profile. The kiln was truncated by slot trench C.392. The base of kiln was cut by three stakeholes C.566, C.568 and C.570. In fill C.552 was found decorated with paral- lel line copper stick. Con- Dimension/ Depth Fill description Fill interpretation text length x width (m) (m) 182 3.4x1.7 0.35 Mid brown grey compact silty sand with mod- Top fill of kiln erate flecks and small pieces of charcoal and occasional small pieces of burnt bone 442 3.6x1 0.23 Mid yellow brown firm sandy clay Dumped material 443 2.6x1.6 0.07 Light brown yellow compact sandy clay with Redeposit natural occasional pebbles and moderate small and medium pieces of charcoal 444 2x0.8 0.04 Dark black soft sandy clay with frequent flecks, Charcoal layer small and medium pieces of charcoal 464 Patches Mid orange red firm clay Burnt natural 473 1.6x1.6 0.03 Dark black sandy silt with frequent flecks, Charcoal layer small, medium and large pieces of charcoal 474 0.8x0.7 0.05 Light brown yellow firm clay with occasional Layer of charcoal flecks and small pieces of charcoal and burnt and burnt clay clay 489 1.9x0.3 0.1 Mid brown grey soft sandy clay with occasional Waste of timber pebbles, small stones and flecks of charcoal swept out from the burning part of the kiln 495 1.7x0.6 0.1 Light yellow stiff clay with occasional flecks of Collapsed natural charcoal 498 1.2x0.4 0.07 Mid brown grey soft sandy clay with occasional Remains of burning flecks and small pieces of charcoal material94
  • 108. bUShErStown-E3661 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3661-busherstown-co-offaly/Con- Dimension/ Depth Fill description Fill interpretationtext length x width (m) (m)501 1.8x1.5 0.13 Dark brown black very soft sandy clay with Layer of charcoal frequent flecks and small pieces of charcoal and ash and moderate small and medium pieces of burnt clay502 0.9x0.7 0.04 Dark black very soft sandy clay with frequent Charcoal layer flecks, small and medium pieces of charcoal518 1.2x1.1 0.06 Light orange yellow very soft sandy clay with Ash occasional flecks and small pieces of charcoal531 0.9x0.64 0.05 Dark red black very soft clay with frequent Charcoal layer flecks, small, medium and large pieces of char- coal and moderate small and medium pieces of burnt clay532 1.14x1 0.05 Light grey very soft sandy clay with occasional Ash pebbles, flecks of charcoal and small pieces of burnt bone535 1x0.72 0.05 Light red grey loose clayey sand with occa- Ash and sand sional small pieces of charcoal536 1.46x0.8 0.1 Mid grey firm clay with moderate pebbles and Mix of ash and flecks, small and medium pieces of charcoal charcoal537 1.4x0.3 0.09 Dark black very soft sandy clay with frequent Charcoal layer flecks and small pieces of charcoal538 1.4x1.05 0.11 Light grey very soft silt with occasional flecks Ash of charcoal551 1.06x0.62 0.05 Mid yellow very soft silt with moderate small Mix of ash and pieces of charcoal and burnt clay charcoal552 0.68x0.32 0.03 Dark black very soft silt with frequent flecks Charcoal layer and small pieces of charcoal562 0.62x0.3 0.02 Light yellow grey very soft silt with occasional Mix of ash silt and flecks of charcoal ashTable of fills of kiln C�490 In the basal fill C.552 was found piece of copper artefact decorated with parallel lines.The kiln was radiocarbon dated to 657-769AD. Kiln C.97 filled with C.130, C.131, C.132, C.134, C.135, C.136, C.137, C.138, C.139,C.140, C.141, C.171 and C.369 The kiln was oval in plan with rounded corners. It measured 2.5m in length by 1.73min width and 0.62m in depth. The kiln was orientated northeast-southwest. The break ofslope at the top was sharp. The sides were steep and convex. The break of slope at the basewas gradual. The base was square in plan and flat in profile. The stakehole C.159 was cutinto fill C.132. The kiln was truncated by hearth C.90 and furrows C.167 and C.174.Con- Dimension/ Depth Fill description Filltext length x (m) interpretation width (m)130 1.47x1.16 0.16 Mid brown grey firm silty clay with occasional peb- Dumped material bles and moderate flecks of charcoal131 1.35x0.55 0.09 Light brown yellow soft silty clay with occasional Dumped material pebbles and flecks of charcoal134 0.35x0.16 0.03 Mid grey soft silty clay with occasional flecks of Mix material charcoal135 1.47x1.16 0.03 Mid brown grey firm silty clay with occasional peb- Charcoal layer bles and moderate flecks of charcoal 95
  • 109. iSSUE 13: Eachtra JoUrnal - iSSn 2009-2237 archaEological Excavation rEport Con- Dimension/ Depth Fill description Fill text length x (m) interpretation width (m) 136 3.1x1.18 0.15 Mid brown grey soft silty clay with occasional peb- Charcoal and silt bles, moderate flecks and frequent small pieces of charcoal 137 1.58x0.95 0.23 Mid grey firm clay with moderate pebbles and flecks Redeposit natural of charcoal 138 1.33x0.95 0.04 Black soft silty clay with frequent flecks, small, me- Charcoal layer dium and large pieces of charcoal 139 0.65x0.63 0.1 Mid brown yellow soft sandy clay with occasional Mix of ash and flecks of charcoal charcoal 140 0.43xna 0.1 Black soft silty clay with frequent fine, small, me- Charcoal layer dium and large pieces of charcoal 141 0.61x0.37 0.2 Dark brown grey firm silty clay with moderate flecks Mix of clay and of charcoal charcoal 171 0.45x0.20 0.06 Dark grey brown stiff silty clay with frequent flecks Charcoal layer and small pieces of charcoal 369 1.48x0.8 0.02 Red firm clayey silt with frequent flecks and small Burnt natural pieces of charcoal Table of fills of kiln C�97 Kiln C.355 filled with C.335, C.382, C.401, C.402, C.403, C.404, C.405, C.406, C.433, C.434, C.513, C.514, C.539, C.540, C.541, C.542, C.545, C.565, C.579, C.580, C.588, C.589, C.590, C.600, C.601, C.602, C.604, C.648, C.663, C.668, C.670, C.671, C.672 and C.675 The kiln was sub-rectangular in plan with rounded corners. It measured 3.24m in length by 0.9m in width and 1.3m in depth. The kiln was orientated northeast southwest. The break of slope at the top was sharp. The sides were vertical and undercut at northeast northwest, vertical and irregular at southeast, steep and irregular at southwest. The break of slope at the base was sharp. The base was sub-rectangular in plan and concave in profile. The kiln was truncated by slot trench C.662 and connected with pit C.61. Con- Dimension/ Depth Fill description Fill interpretation text length x (m) width (m) 335 2.6x0.55 0.08 Dark brown black friable clayey silt with fre- Mix of silt and quent flecks of charcoal charcoal 382 0.38x0.2 0.1 Mid grey brown friable clayey silt with moder- Top fill of kiln ate flecks of charcoal 401 2.7x0.7 0.85 Mid yellow brown friable clayey silt with oc- Redeposit natural casional pebbles and flecks of charcoal 402 0.6x0.3 0.14 Dark brown soft clayey silt with occasional Silted up material pebbles and flecks of charcoal 403 1.3x0.6 0.37 Dark brown soft clayey silt with occasional Mix of silt and char- pebbles and frequent flecks, occasional small coal with bones and pieces of charcoal slag 404 0.52x0.46 0.04 Mid brown grey firm silty clay with occasional Redeposit natural pebbles 405 0.85x0.3 0.03 Mid grey very soft clayey silt with occasional Silt around metalled pebbles and flecks of charcoal floor 406 1.9x0.6 0.02 A surface of pebbles Metalled floor 433 1.7x0.16 0.1 Dark yellow friable clayey silt with occasional Redeposit natural pebbles96
  • 110. bUShErStown-E3661 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3661-busherstown-co-offaly/Con- Dimension/ Depth Fill description Fill interpretationtext length x (m) width (m)434 1.5x0.16 0.1 Mid brown grey very soft clayey silt with oc- Silted up material casional pebbles513 1.12x0.6 0.05 Dark black charcoal-rich silt with frequent fine, Charcoal layer small, medium and large pieces of charcoal514 2.28x0.58 0.1 Mid grey brown firm silt with occasional peb- Silted up material bles and flecks and small pieces of charcoal539 1.68x0.6 0.23 Mid brown very soft silt with moderate flecks Mix of silt, ash and and occasional small pieces of charcoal charcoal540 0.5x0.28 0.05 Mid grey very soft silty clay with frequent Post-burning charcoal flecks and small and medium pieces of layer charcoal541 0.46x0.4 0.03 Mid orange brown firm clayey silt with occa- Post-production layer? sional flecks and small pieces of charcoal542 0.6x0.46 0.1 Mid yellow grey silt with occasional pebbles Possibly collapsed and moderate flecks and occasional small material pieces of charcoal545 0.38x0.2 0.1 Mid yellow white sand with no inclusions Patches of natural?565 0.36x0.36 0.05 Light grey white very soft clayey silt with oc- Back filled/collapsed casional pebbles and flecks of charcoal material579 0.6x0.46 0.06 Light yellow grey compact clayey sand with Ash layer occasional pebbles580 0.8x0.6 0.04 Mid grey very soft clayey silt with occasional Collapsed/redeposit pebbles and flecks and small pieces of charcoal material588 0.8x0.6 0.04 Mid yellow brown soft sandy silt with occa- Collapsed/redeposit sional pebbles and flecks of charcoal material589 1.6x0.8 0.12 Mid grey soft clayey silt with frequent flecks Post-burning material and moderate small pieces of charcoal590 0.43x0.2 0.18 Light yellow brown compact clayey sand with Layer between burn- occasional pebbles and flecks of charcoal ing activity600 1.6x0.89 0.03 Dark grey brown firm silt clay with frequent Charcoal layer with flecks and small pieces, moderate medium and big timbers large pieces of charcoal601 1.2x0.85 0.12 Mid grey brown soft silt with occasional peb- Layer between burn- bles and moderate flecks and occasional small, ing activity medium and large pieces of charcoal602 0.65x0.5 0.06 Light yellow brown very soft clayey silt with Ash layer occasional pebbles and flecks of charcoal604 0.65x0.5 0.14 Mid yellow brown firm clayey silt with oc- Ash layer with big casional pebbles and flecks and large pieces of timber pieces charcoal648 0.65x0.42 0.05 Mid yellow white firm clayey silt with no Ash layer inclusions663 0.85x0.85 0.03 Mid white burnt lime with occasional flecks of Layer of lime charcoal668 0.82x0.05 0.04 Mid red loose sand with occasional flecks and Burnt sand with small pieces of charcoal pieces of charcoal 670 1x0.85 0.06 Mottled mid grey white and black lime and Lime and charcoal charcoal with frequent flecks and moderate layer small pieces of charcoal 671 0.7x0.17 0.05 Dark brown soft sandy silt with occasional Silt on top of slope pebbles and moderate flecks of charcoal inside kiln 672 0.24x0.12 0.07 Mid grey white compact silty sand with oc- lime and silt layer casional flecks of charcoal 675 1.2x0.85 N/A Mid red compact sand Burnt naturalTable of fills of kiln C�355 97
  • 111. iSSUE 13: Eachtra JoUrnal - iSSn 2009-2237 archaEological Excavation rEport The kiln was surrounded by four pits (C. 644, C.666, C.614 and C.741), posthole C. 627, two stakeholes and possibly short linear feature C.751. The kiln C.355 was radiocarbon dated to 713-888AD. The kiln was partially overlain by some shallow deposits which were overlain by part of metalled stone feature C.61. It had a very narrow opening at the top but widened considerably towards its base. This widening appeared to be caused by collapse of the side walls after successive uses causing undercutting of the sides. The feature contained a total of 33 fills. The firing chamber was located at the northeast end and the sides of this end up to the top were oxidised fire red- dened natural. This kiln, like C.634 was located very close to the inner edge of ditch cut C.44. The northeast and eastern sides of this kiln were surrounded by a group of possibly associated small pits, postholes and stakeholes. C.355 was partly truncated by slot trench C.662. Kiln C. 480 filled with C.481, C.482, C.483, C.484, C.485, C.486, C.487 and C.488 The kiln was oval in plan with rounded corners. It measured 1.9m in length by 0.6m in width and 0.5m in depth. The kiln was orientated northwest southeast. The break of slope at the top and base was gradual. The sides were steep and smooth. The base was oval in plan and flat in profile. The kiln was truncated by ditch C.475. Context Dimension/ Depth Fill description length x (m) width (m) 481 N/Ax0.75 0.25 Mid grey brown stiff silt with occasional pebbles and flecks and small pieces of charcoal 482 N/Ax0.6 0.08 Mid yellow brown stiff silt with occasional pebbles and flecks and small pieces of charcoal 483 N/Ax0.28 0.02 Mid brown orange soft silt with occasional pebbles and flecks of charcoal 484 N/Ax0.65 0.07 Mid yellow stiff silt with occasional pebbles and flecks and small pieces of charcoal 485 N/Ax0.25 0.03 Dark grey black firm silt with frequent flecks and small pieces of charcoal 486 N/Ax0.45 0.03 Mid brown orange stiff silt with occasional pebbles and flecks and small pieces of charcoal 487 N/Ax0.16 0.02 Mid brown orange stiff silt 488 N/Ax0.45 0.05 Mid brown orange firm silt with occasional pebbles and moderate flecks and small pieces of charcoal Table of fills of kiln C�480 Kiln C.491 filled with C. 449, C.450, C.503, C.504, C.505, C.506, C.507, C.508, C.509, C.510 and C.511 The kiln was oval in plan with rounded corners. It measured 2.12m in length by 1.4m in width and 0.75m in depth. The kiln was orientated northwest southeast. The break of slope at the top and base was sharp. The sides were steep and concave. The base was oval in plan and flat in profile. The kiln truncated ditch C.447.98
  • 112. bUShErStown-E3661 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3661-busherstown-co-offaly/Context Dimension/ Depth Fill description length x (m) width (m)449 N/Ax0.94 0.3 Mid brown firm sandy silt with occasional pebbles, small stones and flecks of charcoal450 N/Ax0.8 0.8 Sub-angular and sub-rounded moderate small and medium stones and occasional large stones503 N/Ax0.27 0.17 Mid yellow brown firm sandy silt with moderate pebbles, small stones and large stones504 N/Ax0.42 0.27 Light yellow brown firm sandy silt with occasional pebbles505 N/Ax0.71 0.07 Dark brown grey firm sandy silt with occasional pebbles and mod- erate flecks of charcoal506 N/Ax0.65 0.14 Mid white grey stiff silty sand with moderate pebbles and flecks of charcoal507 N/Ax0.25 0.04 Mid grey red firm clayey silt with occasional pebbles508 N/Ax0.34 0.06 Mid brown grey firm silty clay with occasional pebbles and flecks of charcoal509 N/Ax0.64 0.07 Dark grey black silt with occasional pebbles and frequent flecks and small pieces of charcoal510 N/Ax0.77 0.03 Dark black grey firm silty clay with occasional pebbles511 N/Ax0.72 0.06 Dark grey black firm clay with moderate pebbles and frequent flecks of charcoalTable of fills of kiln C�491 In the fill C.450 was found rotary quern fragment (E3661:450:1) and in the fill C.509were found patinated retouched flint (E3661:509:1) dated to Late Neolithic/Early BronzeAge and worked, polished piece of worked animal bone (E3661:509:2). The lower fillC.510 contained clay pipe stern (!?). Kiln C.634 filled with C.629, C.630, C.631, C.632, C.633, C.649, C.650, C.651,C.735, C.736, C.737, C.738, C.739, C.740, C.762, C.765, C.768 and C.769 The kiln was sub-rectangular in plan with rounded corners. It measured 3.55m inlength by 1.23m in width and 0.98m in depth. The kiln was orientated northeast south-west. The break of slope at the top was sharp. The sides were steep and undercut. Thebreak of slope at the base was sharp at northeast and gradual elsewhere. The base was sub-rectangular in plan and stepped in profile. The kiln was truncated by pit C.875. A bonepin with a perforated head was recovered from fill C.735 of this kiln.Con- Dimension/ Depth Fill descriptiontext length x (m) width (m)629 1.9x1.1 0.28 Mid grey soft silt with moderate pebbles and occasional small stones630 1.7x0.95 0.33 Dark brown grey soft silt with occasional pebbles, small stones and flecks and small pieces of charcoal631 3.1x0.9 0.1 Dark black very soft silt with occasional pebbles632 2.2x0.9 0.17 Mid grey brown soft silt with moderate pebbles and flecks and small pieces of charcoal633 1x0.45 0.15 Mid yellow brown soft clay silt with occasional pebbles649 1x0.85 0.2 Mid grey brown soft clayey silt with moderate pebbles650 1.7x1 0.25 Mid yellow brown soft silt with moderate pebbles 99
  • 113. iSSUE 13: Eachtra JoUrnal - iSSn 2009-2237 archaEological Excavation rEport Con- Dimension/ Depth Fill description text length x (m) width (m) 651 1.5x1.1 0.35 Mid brown grey very soft clayey silt with moderate pebbles and occa- sional flecks and small pieces of charcoal 735 1.3x0.9 0.07 Mottled light brown and mid grey very soft silt with moderate flecks and small pieces of charcoal 736 1.2x0.85 0.05 Dark black very soft silt with occasional pebbles, flecks and small pieces of charcoal 737 0.75x0.57 0.05 Mid red brown soft clayey silt with moderate flecks and occasional small pieces of charcoal 738 1x0.9 0.04 Dark black very soft silt with occasional pebbles 739 0.9x0.5 0.13 Light white very soft silt 740 0.9x0.9 0.03 Dark black very soft silt with occasional pebbles 762 0.85x0.6 0.05 Mid brown very soft silt with occasional pebbles and moderate flecks and small pieces of lime 765 0.85x0.2 0.1 Light brown very soft clayey silt with moderate pebbles, flecks and small pieces of charcoal 768 0.45x0.08 0.1 Mid red brown soft clayey silt 769 0.88x0.3 0.15 Mid brown grey very soft clayey silt with occasional pebbles and moder- ate flecks and small pieces of charcoal Table of fills of kiln C�634 Kiln C.743A filled with C.887, C.888, C.889, C.890, C.891, C.892, C.893, C.894, C.895, C.896, C.920, C.921, C.925 and C.926 The kiln was sub-rectangular in plan with rounded corners. It measured 4.05m in length by 1.9m in width and 0.77m in depth. The kiln was orientated northeast south- west. The break of slope at the base was sharp at southwest. The base was sub-rectangular in plan and flat in profile. The kiln C.734A truncated kiln C.734B. In the fill C.892 was found piece of flint debitage (E3661:892:1). Con- Dimension/ Depth Fill description text length x (m) width (m) 887 3.6x1.85 0.4 Mid grey soft sandy silt with occasional pebbles and moderate flecks and small pieces of charcoal 888 3.24x0.95 0.13 Dark grey black soft silt with occasional pebbles and frequent flecks, small and medium pieces of charcoal 889 3.92x1.5 0.23 Mid grey brown stiff clay with occasional pebbles, moderate small stones and moderate flecks, small and medium pieces of charcoal 890 1.5x1.16 0.14 Mid yellow grey hard silty clay with occasional pebbles, flecks and moderate small pieces of charcoal and occasional small pieces of burnt clay 891 1.26x0.85 0.21 Light yellow hard clay with occasional flecks of charcoal and flecks of burnt clay 892 1.56x1.17 0.13 Mid red grey very soft silty clay with moderate pebbles and frequent flecks, small and medium, large pieces of charcoal and moderate small pieces of burnt clay 893 1.35x1.1 0.06 Mid grey very soft silt with occasional pebbles, moderate flecks and small pieces of charcoal and occasional flecks of burnt clay 894 0.25xna 0.1 Light yellow red hard clay 895 1.04x0.5 0.06 Dark grey black soft silt with occasional pebbles, frequent flecks, small and medium pieces of charcoal100
  • 114. bUShErStown-E3661 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3661-busherstown-co-offaly/Con- Dimension/ Depth Fill descriptiontext length x (m) width (m)896 0.94xna 0.13 Mid brown grey firm silt with occasional pebbles, frequent flecks and small pieces, moderate medium pieces of charcoal920 0.23xna 0.13 Mid grey red hard clay with occasional pebbles, flecks of charcoal and moderate flecks of burnt clay921 0.15xna 0.04 Light red hard clay with occasional flecks of charcoal and moderate flecks of burnt clay925 1.72xna 0.05 Dark grey black silt with frequent flecks, small and medium pieces of charcoal926 2.37xna 0.13 Mid grey yellow firm silty clay with moderate pebbles, flecks, small and medium pieces of charcoalTable of fills of kiln C�743A Kiln C.743B filled with C.155, C.180, C.269, C.794, C.931 and C.941 The kiln was sub-rectangular in plan with rounded corners. It measured 1.84m inlength by 1.5m in width and 0.37m in depth. The kiln was orientated northeast south-west. The break of slope at the base was sharp. The base was sub-rectangular in plan andflat in profile. The kiln C.734B was cut by kiln C.734A.Con- Dimension/ Depth (m) Fill descriptiontext length x width (m)155 1.29xna 0.03 Dark grey black soft clayey silt with occasional pebbles, frequent flecks, small and medium pieces of charcoal and moderate flecks of burnt clay180 1.27xna 0.03 Mid brown grey soft clayey silt with occasional pebbles, small pieces of charcoal and flecks of burnt clay269 1.2xna 0.03 Dark grey black soft clayey silt with occasional pebbles, frequent flecks, small and medium pieces of charcoal and occasional flecks of burnt clay794 1.07xna 0.02 Light grey firm silty sand with frequent pebbles and occasional medium stones931 2.04xna 1.5 Dark grey black soft clayey silt with occasional pebbles, frequent flecks, small, medium and large pieces of charcoal and occasional flecks of burnt clay941 1.27xna 0.11 Light yellow brown soft sandy silt with occasional pebbles, flecks of charcoal and moderate flecks and occasional small pieces of burnt clayTable of fills of kiln C�743B Kiln C.872 filled with C.918, C.919, C.934, C.942, C.943, C.944, C.945, C.946,C.947, C.948, C.949, C.950, C.951, C.952, C.953, C.954, C.955, C.956, C.957, C.958,C.959, C.960 and C.961. The kiln was sub-rectangular in plan. It measured 3.5m in length by 2.6m in widthand 0.96m in depth. The kiln was orientated northwest-southeast. The break of slope atthe top and at the base was sharp. The sides were steep and stepped. The base was sub-rectangular in plan and flat in profile. The pit C.1040 contained waste possibly associatedwith kiln C.872. 101
  • 115. iSSUE 13: Eachtra JoUrnal - iSSn 2009-2237 archaEological Excavation rEport Con- Dimension/ Depth Fill description text length x (m) width (m) 918 3x1.4 0.25 Mid brown weakly cemented clayey sand with moderate pebbles, oc- casional medium stones and moderate small pieces of charcoal 919 3.2x2.1 0.25 Dark grey loose clayey sand with frequent pebbles, moderate small stones and flecks and small pieces of charcoal 934 3.5x2.6 0.23 Light grey brown weakly cemented clayey sand with occasional pebbles and small stones 942 2.5x1 0.21 Light orange yellow firm sandy clay with moderate pebbles, frequent small and medium stones 943 N/Ax0.45 0.02 Mid grey black friable silt with frequent flecks and small pieces of charcoal 944 N/Ax0.37 0.04 Mid grey black friable silt with frequent flecks and small pieces of charcoal 945 N/Ax0.48 0.11 Mid grey brown compact clayey sand with moderate pebbles and small pieces of charcoal 946 N/Ax0.5 0.06 Mid grey white soft silt with frequent small stones 947 N/Ax0.37 0.03 Dark pink red loose pebbly sand with frequent pebbles 948 N/Ax0.35 0.04 Mid brown grey weakly cemented pebbly sand with frequent pebbles 949 N/Ax0.53 0.07 Mid red orange soft silt with occasional pebbles 950 N/Ax0.34 0.04 Dark pink red loose pebbly sand with moderate pebbles 951 2.1x0.6 0.02 Mid grey black soft silt with frequent flecks, small and medium pieces of charcoal 952 2.2x0.5 0.05 Mid red orange soft silt with occasional pebbles 953 2x0.66 0.08 Mid grey black soft silt with frequent flecks, small and medium pieces of charcoal 954 2.5x0.83 0.16 Mid grey brown compact silty sand with moderate pebbles 955 N/Ax0.55 0.06 Mid brown grey weakly cemented pebbly sand with frequent pebbles 956 N/Ax0.4 0.03 Mid red orange soft silt with occasional pebbles 957 2.1x0.6 0.06 Mid grey white soft silt with occasional pebbles 958 2.8x1.15 0.1 Light orange brown compact silty sand with moderate pebbles and oc- casional flecks and small pieces of charcoal 959 2.1x0.68 0.02 Mid grey black soft silt with frequent flecks, small and medium pieces of charcoal 960 N/Ax1.05 0.12 Mid orange red compact clayey sand with occasional flecks and small pieces of charcoal 961 2x0.72 0.07 Dark grey black very soft silt with frequent flecks, small, medium and large pieces of charcoal Table of fills of kiln C�872 The earliest phase of activity on the site was kiln/possible cereal processing activ- ity. A total of fifteen earth cut, unlined possible ‘figure of eight’ or ‘dumbell’ shaped kilns were discovered. All these kilns contain evidence for a deeper firing chamber and a drying chamber. All kilns were between 1.84 and 4.80m in length, 0.90 and 2.60 in width, and 0.37 and 1.30 in depth. Eleven of these (C.1012, C.189, C.990, C.989, C.30, C.74, C.490, C.97, C.743A, C.743B, C.355) were oriented NE-SW. The other three were oriented NW-SE (C.491, C.480, C.634). A small number of the kilns had double firing chambers possibly indicating they were recut or a new firing chamber was dug reusing an older drying chamber (C.743A, C.743B, C.989, and C.990). Some kilns appeared to have been enclosed or partly enclosed by or associated with structural remains.102
  • 116. bUShErStown-E3661 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3661-busherstown-co-offaly/ Two kilns (C.355 and C.634) were located within the interior of the large ditch C.44.The kiln C.355 was oriented northeast southwest and upon discovery had a 0.40m maxwidth opening. The base of the cut was much wider suggesting collapse of kiln walls afterfirings had taken place. The latter kiln had a NW-SE orientation. Both kilns were locatedclose to the inner edge of the ditch C.44 and appeared to be respected by it. Within theditch C.44 a thin layer of charcoal was sealing the lower layers in the western half of thekiln C.634. The ditch C.78 truncated a number of kilns (C.1012, C.189 and C.990). One kiln(C.189) was truncated by both ditch cuts C.78 and C.63. C.78 further truncated thesouthern terminus of ditch C.63. The ditch cut C.54 truncated one kiln (C.989). Onefurther kiln C.480 was truncated by ditch C.475. A number of kilns appeared to be aligned oriented on a southeast northwest axis.These include (C.1012, C.189, C.990, C.989, C.30, C.74, C.490, C.491, C.97, C.743A andC.743B) kilns truncated by ditches and kilns inside and outside the suggested ‘annexe’enclosure. It is clear that the construction of the ditch did not respect the location of anumber of kilns. No kiln was discovered within the central area of the ‘annexe’ enclosure or outsidethe enclosed area; although a small number of those truncated by the enclosing ditcheswere on the external edge of the truncating ditch. In this regard there does appear to besome form of relationship between the enclosing of the area and the locations of the kilns.Subgroup 1b Features associated with kilns Feature C.90/C.98 filled with C.129, 132, 168, 169, 170, 171, 197, 198, 199, 200, 201,219, 228, 229 and 230 Linear C.90 and horseshoe shape cut C.98 appeared to form a single feature whichtruncated the circular slot trench C.392 and the cereal drying kiln C.97. The cut C.98 wassub-rectangular in plan with square corner at east and rounded elsewhere. It measured4.8m in length by 1.2m in width and 0.3m in depth. The feature was orientated north-west-southeast and was lined by stones along its edges.The break of slope at the top wasgradual at northwest and sharp elsewhere. The sides were steep and smooth at northeast,vertical and smooth at southeast and southwest and steep and concave at northwest. Thebreak of slope at the base was gradual at northwest, sharp at southeast; imperceptible atnortheast and southwest. The base was linear in plan and slopes gently from southeast tonorthwest. The feature C.90 truncated kiln C.97. Stakehole C.159 was cut into the upperlayer of pit C.90. In the lining of the feature where the stones were missing stone sockets survived. Thehorseshoe shape cut C.98 was at the southeast end of C.90 and was also lined with stones.A large boulder was located towards the northwest end but it was unclear at the time ofexcavation whether this had an original function within the feature. The entire length ofthe feature was filled with dense charcoal layers and oxised clay below, between and be-hind the stone lining. The northwest end of C.90 was placed within the drying chamberend of cereal processing kiln C.97. In the same place furrow C.174 truncated the feature. 103
  • 117. iSSUE 13: Eachtra JoUrnal - iSSn 2009-2237 archaEological Excavation rEport The fill C.201 situated also on the northwest end of C.90 had height seeds and charcoal content. The northwest part of the cut C.90 was truncated by furrow C.174. It is possible that the feature was a stone lined kiln with a drying chamber on top of the older kiln C.97. The cut C.98 could be used as a flu for the firing chamber. Con- Dimension/ Depth Fill description text length x width (m) (m) 129 3.96x0.85 0.23 Soft clayey silt with moderate pebbles, small stones and flecks of charcoal 132 1.32x0.51 0.14 Mid brown grey firm silt with occasional pebbles, moderate flecks of charcoal and flecks and small pieces of bone 168 1.75x0.58 0.14 Mid brown grey stiff sandy silt with occasional pebbles, small and medium stones and moderate flecks and small pieces of charcoal and burnt bone 169 1.38x0.3 0.25 Mid brown grey stiff sandy silt with occasional pebbles, small and medium stones and moderate flecks and small pieces of charcoal and burnt bone 170 0.55x0.37 0.07 Mid brown yellow firm sandy silt with occasional pebbles and flecks of charcoal 171 0.45x0.20 0.06 Dark grey brown stiff silty clay with frequent flecks and small pieces of charcoal 197 6.9x0.16 0.2 Mid yellow brown firm sandy silt with occasional flecks of charcoal and burnt bone 198 6.9x0.16 0.2 Large angular stones 199 1.93x0.42 0.02 Light yellow white hard silt 200 2.81x0.84 0.06 Mid orange red firm clay with occasional pebbles 201 0.38x0.17 0.04 Brown white compact sand with occasional flecks of charcoal 219 0.59x0.43 0.04 Mid brown very soft sandy silt with occasional flecks of charcoal and small pieces of burnt bones 228 1.8x0.46 0.07 Dark brown black friable sandy silt with occasional pebbles, moderate flecks and small pieces of charcoal and burnt clay 229 0.77x0.11 0.1 Mid brown grey firm sandy silt with occasional pebbles, small stones and flecks of charcoal 230 1.8x0.8 0.08 Mid yellow brown stiff sandy silt with occasional pebbles and flecks of charcoal Table of fill of C�90 Stakehole C.159 filled with C.133 The stakehole was sub-circular shape in plan with rounded corners. The break of slope at the top was sharp at east, gradual at north and west. The sides were steep and irregular. The break of slope at the base was imperceptible at north and gradual at east and west. The base was irregular in plan and flat in profile. The fill was mid brown soft sandy silt with occasional pebbles. The stakehole was cut into Possible fence The features C.285, C.318, C.320, C.341, C.343, C.366, C.368, C.377, C.388, C.523, C.525, C.691, C.693 and C.729 possibly constituted the fence around C.90/98 or C.97. The fence could by connected with slot trench C.392.104
  • 118. bUShErStown-E3661 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3661-busherstown-co-offaly/Con- Fea- Dimension/ Depth Shape Sides Base Filled Fill descriptiontext ture length x (m) in plan with type width (m)366 Pit 0.41x0.31 0.12 Oval Steep Flat 365 Mid grey brown convex at soft sandy silt with SW, vertical moderate pebbles and smooth occasional flecks of elsewhere charcoal285 Post- 0.23x0.23 0.19 Circu- Steep Con- 284 Mid brown grey hole lar smooth cave firm sandy silt with occasional pebbles, moderate flecks and small pieces of charcoal and occasional flecks of burnt clay318 Post- 0.28x0.24 0.21 Sub- Steep Flat 317 Mid brown grey firm hole circular smooth sandy silt with occa- at NW, sional pebbles, moder- vertical ate flecks and small smooth at pieces of charcoal and SE and SW, occasional small pieces steep of burnt clay undercut at NE368 Post- 0.3x0.23 0.08 Sub- Steep Flat 367 Mid grey brown very hole circular concave at soft sandy silt with NE, steep moderate pebbles and stepped occasional flecks of elsewhere charcoal388 Post- 0.31x0.3 0.36 Circu- Steep Flat 395 Dark grey soft sandy silt hole lar smooth with occasional pebbles, moderate flecks and occasional small pieces of charcoal. 396 Mid grey firm clayey silt with occasional pebbles and flecks of charcoal 397 Light yellow grey firm clayey silt with occasional pebbles and flecks of charcoal691 Post- 0.3x0.3 0.09 Circu- Vertical Con- 690 Dark brown grey hole lar smooth at cave soft sandy silt with NE, steep occasional pebbles, concave moderate small and at S, vertical occasional medium concave pieces of charcoal and at W occasional small pieces of burnt clay 105
  • 119. iSSUE 13: Eachtra JoUrnal - iSSn 2009-2237 archaEological Excavation rEport Con- Fea- Dimension/ Depth Shape Sides Base Filled Fill description text ture length x (m) in plan with type width (m) 729 Post- 0.26x0.26 0.28 Circu- Steep Con- 727 Dark brown grey soft hole lar smooth at cave sandy silt with occasional E, vertical pebbles and moderate smooth small pieces of charcoal elsewhere 728 Mid grey brown soft clayey silt with oc- casional pebbles and flecks of charcoal 320 Slot 0.97x0.04 0.03 Linear Moderate V-shape 319 Light grey brown trench concave friable sandy silt with at NE, steep occasional flecks of smooth charcoal at SW, gradual concave at NE and SE 341 Stake- 0.06x0.06 0.11 Circu- Vertical Ta- 340 Light grey brown hole lar smooth pered friable sandy silt with pointed occasional pebbles and flecks of charcoal 343 Stake- 0.04x0.04 0.05 Circu- Steep Ta- 342 Light grey brown hole lar smooth pered friable sandy silt with round- occasional pebbles and ed flecks of charcoal pointed 377 Stake- 0.18x0.16 0.16 Oval Steep Ta- 376 Mid brown grey firm hole convex at pered sandy silt with oc- SE, steep blurt casional pebbles and smooth pointed flecks of charcoal elsewhere 523 Stake- 0.21x0.16 0.12 Sub- Vertical Flat 522 Mid brown grey fri- hole circular smooth at able sandy silt with SE, vertical occasional pebbles and smooth flecks of charcoal elsewhere 525 Stake- 0.2x0.2 0.12 Circu- Vertical Flat 524 Light brown grey hole lar smooth at friable sandy silt with E and W, occasional pebbles, steep flecks and small pieces concave at of charcoal N and S 693 Stake- 0.09x0.09 0.16 Circu- Vertical Ta- 692 Dark brown grey soft hole lar smooth pered sandy silt with occasional blurt flecks of charcoal pointed Table of features associated with kiln C�90 and feature C�97 In the fill of pit C.366 was found flint blade (E3661:365:1) dated to Neolithic period. Possible well C.622 filled with C.623, C.635, C.636, C.637, C.638, C.639, C.640, C.641, C.677 and C.734 The well was oval in plan with rounded corners. It measured 2.7m in length by 2.65m in width and 1.6m in depth. The break of slope at the top and at the base was sharp. The106
  • 120. bUShErStown-E3661 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3661-busherstown-co-offaly/sides were vertical and irregular at west, steep and irregular elsewhere. The base was ovalin plan and concave in profile. The well truncated ditch C.447.Con- Dimension/ Depth Fill descriptiontext length x (m) width (m)623 1.5xna 0.11 Mid grey yellow compact silty sand with occasional pebbles635 1.6xna 0.62 Mid brown grey firm silty sand with occasional pebbles and flecks of charcoal636 1.1xna 0.46 Mid brown grey compact sandy silt with occasional pebbles, flecks and small pieces of charcoal637 0.25xna 0.22 Dark brown grey weakly cemented silty sand with occasional pebbles, flecks and small pieces of charcoal638 0.24xna 0.26 Mid yellow strongly cemented silty sand639 1.15xna 0.47 Mid brown grey stiff sandy silt with occasional pebbles and flecks of charcoal640 0.7xna 0.28 Mid grey yellow compact silty sand with occasional pebbles and flecks of charcoal641 0.55xna 0.09 Mid blue green compact silty sand677 0.68xna 0.12 Mid grey yellow compact silty sand with occasional pebbles and moderate flecks and small pieces of charcoal734 0.65xna 0.37 Mid grey yellow compact silty sand with occasional pebbles and flecks of charcoalTable of fill of possible well C�622 Features associated with kiln C.355 Five pits (C.614, C.627, C.644, C.666 and C.741), two stakeholes (C.612 and C.642),one posthole (C.664) and linear features (C.751) were located close to the kiln C.355 andwere possibly associated with it. The feature C.751 were cut by pit C.741 and pit C.627was truncated by slot trench C.1008. The metalled surfaces C.61 and C.406 were con-nected kiln C.355. It is possible that metalled surfaced C.55 and C.59 located in closeproximity were as well connected with kiln C.355.Con- Fea- Dimensions Shape in Sides Base Filled Fill descriptiontext ture (lxbxd) in plan with type metres612 Stake- 0.08 x 0.07 Circular Vertical Ta- 613 Mid yellow brown firm hole x 0.1 irregular pered sandy clay with no pointed inclusions614 Pit 0.27 x 0.24 x Circular Gentle Con- 615 Mid grey soft sandy silt 0.15 concave cave with moderate pebbles, occasional flecks and small pieces of charcoal627 Pit 0.51 x 0.4 x Sub- Moderate Con- 628 Mid grey brown loose 0.08 circular convex at cave silty sand with moderate N, gentle pebbles, frequent small concave at and medium pieces of S and E, W charcoal truncated 107
  • 121. iSSUE 13: Eachtra JoUrnal - iSSn 2009-2237 archaEological Excavation rEport Con- Fea- Dimensions Shape in Sides Base Filled Fill description text ture (lxbxd) in plan with type metres 642 Stake- 0.07 x 0.07 x Circular Vertical Pointed 643 Mid brown soft clay hole 0.08 smooth with no inclusions 644 Pit 0.57 x 0.25 Oval Vertical Flat 350/645 Mid yellow brown x 0.2 smooth friable sandy silt with occasional pebbles, small stones and frequent flecks and small pieces of charcoal 664 Post- 0.21 x 0.21 Oval Steep Pointed 665 Mid grey soft sandy clay hole x 0.2 concave at with occasional pebbles, N, moderate small stones and flecks smooth at of charcoal S, moderate irregular At E, steep smooth at W 666 Pit 0.62 x 0.38 x Irregular Vertical Flat 667 Mid grey yellow soft 0.22 smooth at sandy clay with moder- N, gentle ate small stones and concave at S, flecks of charcoal moderate irregular at E and W 741 Pit 0.52 x 0.4 x Oval Vertical Flat 726 Mid brown firm clayey 0.37 smooth silt with occasional pebbles, moderate flecks and occasional small pieces of charcoal 751 Linear x 0.34 x 0.2 Linear Moderate Con- 742 Mid brown soft clayey silt feature smooth cave with moderate pebbles Table of features associated with kiln C�355 Features associated with kiln C.490 Three stakeholes (C.566, C.568 and C.570) were cut into the bas of kiln C.490 Con- Feature Dimensions Shape in Sides Base Filled Fill description text type (lxbxd) in plan with metres 566 Stakehole 0.1 x 0.1 x 0.1 Circular Vertical Flat 567 Mid brown grey soft sandy smooth silt with occasional flecks of charcoal 568 Stakehole 0.11 x 0.11 x Circular Vertical Flat 569 Mid brown grey soft sandy 0.22 smooth silt with occasional flecks of charcoal108
  • 122. bUShErStown-E3661 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3661-busherstown-co-offaly/Con- Feature Dimensions Shape in Sides Base Filled Fill descriptiontext type (lxbxd) in plan with metres570 Stakehole 0.12 x 0.1 x 0.2 Circular Vertical Flat 571 Mid grey compact clayey smooth sandTable of stakeholes cut into the base of kiln C�490 Features associated with kiln C.189 Two stakeholes C.249 and C.251 were cut into southeast edge of kiln C.189.Con- Feature Dimensions Shape in Sides Base Filled Fill descriptiontext type (lxbxd) in plan with metres249 Stakehole 0.08 x 0.08 x Circular Vertical Tapered 248 Mid yellow brown 0.17 smooth rounded loose silty sand with pointed occasional flecks of charcoal251 Stakehole 0.07 x 0.07 x Circular Vertical Tapered 250 Light yellow brown 0.09 smooth rounded loose silty sand with pointed occasional flecks of charcoalTable of stakeholes cut into kiln C�189 Pit C.32 filled with C.33, C.92, C.93, C.94, C.95, C.96 and C.114 The pit was sub-rectangular in plan with rounded corners. It measured 1.8m in lengthby 1.56m in width and 0.65m in depth. The break of slope at the top and at the base wassharp. The sides were vertical and smooth. The base was square in plan and flat in profile.The pit was cut into the drying party of kiln C.30.Context Dimensions Fill description (lxbxd) in metres33 1xN/Ax0.26 Light yellow brown soft clayey silt with moderate pebbles and small stones92 1.28x0.38x0.17 Mid grey brown soft sandy clay with moderate pebbles93 1.65x0.55x0.21 Mid brown grey soft clayey sand with moderate pebbles and occasional small stones94 1.53x0.61x0.08 Dark brown firm silt clay with occasional pebbles95 0.45x0.12x0.08 Mid yellow grey soft silty clay with occasional pebbles96 0.42x0.18x0.07 Mid yellow brown soft silty clay with occasional pebbles114 0.6x0.57x0.15 Mid blue grey soft silty clay with occasional pebbles and moderate flecks and oc- casional small pieces of charcoalTable of fills of pit C�32 Pit C.802 filled with C.803 The pit was irregular in plan. It measured 2.83m in length by 1.1m in width and0.38m in depth. The break of slope at the top was sharp at northwest and sharp elsewhere. 109
  • 123. iSSUE 13: Eachtra JoUrnal - iSSn 2009-2237 archaEological Excavation rEport The sides were steep and concave at southwest, steep and irregular elsewhere. The break of slope at the base was gradual. The base was irregular in plan and concave in profile. The pit was filled with mid brown firm silt with occasional pebbles and flecks of charcoal. The pit was truncated by furrow C.699. The medium seeds content of fill indicate the pit could by connected with kiln C.97 or kiln C.743. Pit C.1040 filled with C.1034, C.1035, C.1036, C.1037, C.1038 and C.1039 The pit was oval in plan with rounded corners. It measured 1.5m in length by 1.1m in width and 0.4m in depth. The break of slope at the top was sharp at southwest and gradual at northeast. The sides were steep and smooth at northeast, steep and concave at southwest. The break of slope at the base was gradual. The base was linear in plan and concave in profile. The pit was truncated by ditch C.1026 and was probably connected with the kiln C.872. Context Dimensions Fill description (lxbxd) in metres 1034 1.1x0.16x0.08 Mid brown soft silt with occasional pebbles 1035 1x0.31x0.18 Mid yellow brown soft clayey sand with moderate pebbles and occasional small stones 1036 0.8x0.16x0.06 Dark black very soft silt with occasional pebbles 1037 0.8x0.21x0.09 Mid grey brown very soft sandy silt with moderate pebbles 1038 1x0.4x0.28 Mid red brown soft sandy silt with occasional pebbles, moderate flecks and occasional small pieces of charcoal 1039 1x0.35x0.27 Mid brown red soft sandy silt with moderate pebbles and flecks of charcoal Table of fills of pit C�1040 Pit C.875 filled with C.629 and C.630 The pit was sub-rectangular in plan with rounded corners. It measured 2.3m in length by 1.15m in width and 0.6m in depth. The break of slope at the top was sharp. The sides were steep and undercut at northeast, steep and stepped at southeast, steep and smooth at southwest and moderate and smooth at northwest. The break of slope at the base was gradual at northwest and sharp elsewhere. The base was sub-rectangular in plan and concave in profile. The upper fill C.629 was mid grey soft silt with moderate pebbles and occasional small stones. The lower fill was dark brown grey soft silt with occasional peb- bles, small stones, flecks and small pieces of charcoal. The pit truncated the kiln C.634. Spread C.746 The spread measured 1.45m in length by 0.33m in width and 0.07m in depth. It was mid brown grey firm sandy silt with moderate pebbles and occasional small stones. A spread was truncated by C.383, C.392, C.90/97 and C.761. Group 2 Ditches (not including C.44) Twenty ditches were excavated: C.8/86, C.19/63/68, C.54, C.78/127/143, C.149, C.150, C.775, C.783, C.246/273, C.247/277/1003/1005, C.321, C.337, C.351, C.371, C.383, C.447, C.475, C.714, C.903 and C.1026.110
  • 124. bUShErStown-E3661 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3661-busherstown-co-offaly/ During excavation, some of these ditches were revealed to be the same features, e.g.ditch C.8 is the same ditch as C.86. Ditch C.19 is the same as ditches C.63 and C.68.Ditch C.78 is the same as ditches C.143, and C.127. Ditch C.246 is the same as ditchC.273. Ditch C.247 is the same as ditches C.277, C.1003 C.1005.Subgroup 2a Early ditches Ditch C.447 filled with C. 448, C.591, C.592, C.593, C.594, C.595, C.596, C.597,C.605, C.606, C.607, C.608 and C.661 The ditch was linear in plan. The ditch was orientated north/northwest south/south-east. It measured 28m in length by 2.8m in width and 1.11m in depth. The break of slopeat the top and at the base was gradual. The sides were steep and concave. The base waslinear in plan and concave in profile. The ditch was truncated by the well C.622 and kilnC.491 at the southeast end and by ditch C.277.The ditch C.447 seems to be the oldestfeature on the site.Context Dimension/ Depth Fill description length x width (m) (m)448 N/A x N/A N/A N/A591 N/Ax1.67 0.19 Mid yellow brown firm clayey silt with occasional pebbles and flecks of charcoal592 N/Ax1.14 0.22 Mid grey soft clayey silt with occasional pebbles and small stones and moderate flecks and frequent small pieces of charcoal593 N/Ax0.79 0.13 Mid grey firm silt with occasional pebbles and moderate flecks and small pieces of charcoal594 N/Ax1 0.26 Mid brown grey soft silty clay with occasional pebbles, flecks and small pieces of charcoal595 N/Ax0.14 0.18 Light grey soft silty clay with occasional pebbles and moderate small and medium pieces of charcoal596 N/Ax0.65 0.21 Mid yellow grey hard silt with occasional pebbles and small pieces of charcoal597 N/Ax0.9 0.16 Mid brown grey hard sandy silt with occasional pebbles and flecks of charcoal605 N/Ax1.24 0.29 Mid grey brown firm silty clay with occasional pebbles and flecks of charcoal606 N/Ax0.74 0.21 Dark grey brown firm clayey silt with occasional pebbles607 N/A x N/A N/A N/A608 N/A x N/A N/A N/A661 N/Ax1.55 0.6 Mid yellow brown firm sandy silt with occasional pebbles, small and medium stonesTable of fills of ditch C�447 Ditch C.19/63 filled with C.20, C.21, C.22, C.23, C.252, C.253, C.254, C.256, C.257,C.258, C.278, C.359, C.360, C.361 and C.69, C.70, C.71, C.72, C.73 and C.84 The ditch was linear in plan and orientated northeast southwest. It measured 30m inlength by 1.94 in width and 0.83m in depth. The break of slope at the top was gradual.The sides were moderate and stepped at northwest, steep and smooth at southeast, steepand smooth at east, steep and concave at west. The break of slope at the base was gradualat southeast and sharp at northwest. The base was linear in plan and concave in profile. 111
  • 125. iSSUE 13: Eachtra JoUrnal - iSSn 2009-2237 archaEological Excavation rEport Ditches C.19 and C.63 are the some ditch. The ditch C.19/63 truncated ditch C.68 and was cut by ditch C.54. Con- Dimension/ Depth Fill description text length x width (m) (m) 20 N/Ax2.32 1.05 Mid grey brown soft sandy silt with occasional pebbles and large stones 21 N/Ax0.8 0.88 Mid yellow compact sand 22 N/Ax0.45 0.13 Light grey brown firm silty clay 23 N/Ax0.48 0.45 Dark brown grey loose sand with frequent pebbles 252 N/Ax0.4 0.2 Light brown grey soft sandy clay with occasional pebbles and mod- erate small pieces of charcoal 253 N/A x N/A 0.24 Light grey orange firm sandy clay with occasional pebbles and fre- quent flecks of charcoal 254 N/A x N/A 0.22 Dark brown grey, mottled with orange and grey lenses, firm sandy clay with occasional pebbles and small stones 256 N/A x N/A 0.16 Mid orange grey stiff sandy clay with moderate pebbles 257 N/A x N/A 0.17 Mid brown grey stiff sandy clay with moderate pebbles and occa- sional flecks of charcoal 258 N/A x N/A 0.18 Light orange grey stiff sandy clay with occasional pebbles and flecks of charcoal 278 N/A x N/A 0.16 Mid brown grey compact sand with occasional pebbles and flecks of charcoal 359 N/A x N/A 0.04 Mid brown grey soft sandy clay with occasional pebbles and flecks of charcoal 360 N/A x N/A 0.08 Light grey brown clayey sand with occasional pebbles and flecks of charcoal 361 N/A x N/A 0.14 Dark grey compact silty sand with occasional small pieces of charcoal Table of fill of ditch C�19 Context Dimension/ Depth Fill description length x (m) width (m) 64 N/Ax1.78 0.6 Mid brown hard clayey silt with occasional pebbles and flecks of charcoal 65 N/Ax1.05 0.17 Dark grey brown soft to stiff clayey silt with occasional peb- bles and moderate flecks of charcoal 66 N/Ax0.45 0.06 Light grey brown soft sandy silt with occasional pebbles 67 N/Ax0.49 0.11 Mid orange brown hard sandy silt with occasional pebbles 216 Skeleton Supine infant skeleton, skull, right arm and hand extended by side, left arm bent towards head, ribs and pelvis, right and left legs bent with knees towards SW. Feet and hands are degenerated. 526 N/A x N/A 0.35 Mid grey brown very soft clayey silt with occasional pebbles and small pieces of charcoal 527 N/Ax0.45 0.28 Mid brown soft sandy silt 528 N/Ax0.29 0.19 Light yellow grey soft silty sand with occasional pebbles 529 N/Ax0.32 0.03 Mid brown soft clayey sand 530 N/Ax0.5 0.05 Light brown grey soft silty sand with occasional pebbles Table of fill of ditch C�63 The skeleton of neonatal was found within the fill of the southern end of ditch C.63. Ditch C.68 filled with C.69, C.70, C.71, C.72, C.73 and C.84112
  • 126. bUShErStown-E3661 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3661-busherstown-co-offaly/ The ditch was linear in plan, parallel to the ditch C.19/68. It measured 28m in lengthby 1.94m in width and 0.83m in depth. The ditch was orientated northeast southwest.The break of slope at the top was gradual. The sides were moderate and stepped at north-west, steep and smooth at southeast, steep and smooth at east, steep and concave at west.The break of slope at the base was gradual at southeast and sharp at northwest. The basewas linear in plan and concave in profile. The ditch was cut by ditch C.19/63.Context Dimension/ Depth Fill description length x (m) width (m)69 N/Ax1.3 0.23 Dark grey brown stiff sandy silt with occasional pebbles and moderate flecks of charcoal70 N/Ax1.2 0.56 Mid grey brown firm sandy silt with occasional flecks of charcoal71 N/Ax0.67 0.15 Mid grey brown firm clayey sand with moderate pebbles72 N/Ax1.03 0.2 Mid orange brown hard sandy silt with occasional pebbles73 N/Ax0.16 0.22 Mid white grey clayey silt with occasional small stones and flecks of charcoal84 N/Ax0.8 0.15 Mid brown firm clayey sand with occasional pebbles, flecks and small pieces of charcoalTable of fill of ditch C�68 Two pieces of copper brooch was found within fill C.69. In the lower fill C.71 wasfound rotary mill/whet stone, flattened and smoothened on circumference/outer edgewith two flat sides and central perforation (E3661:71:1) dated to Medieval period. Ditch C.54 filled with C.48, C.49, C.161, C.162, C.175, C.183, C.184, C.231, C.492,C.493, C.494 and C.970 The ditch was linear in plan and orientated northwest-southeast. It measured 48m inlength by 2m in width and 0.84m in depth. The break of slope at the top was sharp. Thesides were moderate to steep and smooth to irregular. The break of slope at the base wasgradual to sharp. The base was linear in plan and concave in profile.Context Dimension/ Depth Fill description length x width (m) (m)48 N/Ax1.27 0.3 Mid yellow grey brown firm sandy silt/ clayey silt with occasional pebbles49 N/Ax0.45 0.16 Mid brown grey/mottled grey orange brown soft silty clay/firm clayey silt with occasional pebbles161 N/Ax0.19 0.63 Mid yellow brown soft sandy silt with occasional pebbles162 N/Ax0.55 0.27 Light brown soft silty sand175 N/Ax1.25 0.58 Mid brown firm clayey silt with occasional pebbles183 N/Ax0.16 0.14 Mid brown grey compact clayey sand184 N/Ax0.83 0.23 Mid brown grey firm clayey silt with occasional pebbles231 N/Ax0.17 0.85 Dark brown grey soft clayey silt with moderate pebbles and oc- casional flecks of charcoal492 N/Ax0.56 0.34 Mid brown grey firm sandy silt with occasional pebbles and moderate flecks and occasional small pieces of charcoal493 N/Ax1.45 0.3 Mid grey brown firm silt with moderate pebbles and occasional flecks of charcoal 113
  • 127. iSSUE 13: Eachtra JoUrnal - iSSn 2009-2237 archaEological Excavation rEport 494 N/Ax1.17 0.27 Mid brown grey stiff sandy silt with moderate pebbles and oc- casional flecks of charcoal 970 N/Ax1.9 0.14 Mid grey brown very soft clayey silt with occasional pebbles Table of fills of ditch C�54 The ditch C.54 was parallel with ditch C.78. It was truncated by linear C.149 and C.783 and ditches C.247/277/1003 and C.78/127/143. The ditch C.54 truncates ditch C.19/63. In the fill C.49 was found rotary quern fragment (E3661:49:1) and in the fill C.175 was found flint flack (E3661:175:1) dated to Neolithic period. Subgroup 2b Medieval ditches Ditch C.8 and C.86 Ditch C.8 filled with C.3, C.9, C.10, C.11, C.12, C.13, C.14, C.15, C.16, C.192, C.193, C.194, C.195 and C.196 The ditch was linear in plan. It measured 22.2m in length by 2.2m in width and 0.8m in depth. The break of slope at the top and at the base was gradual. The ditch was orien- tated north east. The sides were gentle to steep and concave at east and west. The base was linear in plan and concave to flat in profile. The ditch was truncated by ditch C.78 and was possibly in some stage contemporary with ditch C.44. Context Dimension/ Depth Fill description length x (m) width (m) 3 N/Ax0.97 0.23 Mid grey brown loose clayey sand with occasional pebbles and small stones 9 N/Ax0.9 0.04 Mid grey black soft silt with moderate flecks of charcoal 10 N/Ax1.2 0.16 Dark grey soft sandy clay with moderate pebbles, flecks and occasional small pieces of charcoal and occasional small and moderate pieces of burnt clay 11 N/Ax0.75 0.04 Dark grey black soft peaty silt with moderate medium pieces of charcoal 12 N/Ax0.8 0.07 Dark grey soft ash clay with moderate pebbles 13 N/Ax1.45 0.39 Mid brown grey loose clayey sand with moderate pebbles, oc- casional small stones, occasional small pieces of charcoal and moderate large pieces of bone 14 N/Ax0.72 0.08 Mid yellow brown soft sandy clay with moderate flecks and oc- casional small pieces of charcoal 15 N/Ax1.19 0.32 Mid grey soft sandy clay with occasional pebbles and frequent flecks of charcoal 16 N/Ax0.95 0.45 Mid yellow grey compact clayey sand with occasional medium stones and moderate flecks of charcoal 192 N/Ax1.42 0.3 Light orange brown soft sandy silt with occasional pebbles and flecks of charcoal 193 N/Ax1.55 0.4 Mid orange brown soft sandy silt with occasional pebbles and flecks of charcoal 194 N/Ax0.35 0.12 Light yellow brown soft sandy silt with occasional pebbles and flecks of charcoal 195 N/Ax0.35 0.12 Mid yellow brown soft sandy silt with occasional pebbles 196 N/Ax0.8 0.1 Mid yellow brown soft sandy silt with occasional pebbles Table of fills of ditch C�8114
  • 128. bUShErStown-E3661 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3661-busherstown-co-offaly/ The ditch C.8 runs from under the southern limit of excavation in the southeast quad-rant of the site directly north for 22.2m to the northwest end of ditch C.78. This ditch hada U-shape profile being, 1.3m wide, 0.69m deep and with fourteen fills along its length. Asilver coin, possibly an Edward 1st Long penny was recovered from the upper fill (C.3) justnorth of the point of truncation between C.78 and C.8. From the same fill came fragmentof cooper artefact. The ditch C.8 is possibly the same as ditch cut C.86 but as there wasconsiderable difference in composition they were recorded separately. Ditch C.86 filled with C.87, C.88, C.757, C.758 and C.1007 The ditch was linear in plan. It measured 23.3m in length by 1.45m in width and0.45m in depth in the limit of excavation. The ditch was orientated north east. The breakof slope at the top and at the base was gradual to sharp. The sides were steep and concaveat east and west. The base was linear in plan and v-shaped in profile. The ditch was cut byditch C.78 and was probably in some stage forming one ditch with C.8. In the upper fillof the ditch was found infant skeleton (C.1007). In the fill C.87 was found piece of glazedand decorated on the handle Limerick-type medieval pottery. Context Dimension/ Depth Fill description length x (m) width (m) 1007 skeleton Skeleton found within ditch C.8/86. There was no grave cut and the skeleton was probably rolled into the ditch as it was being backfilled. 87 N/Ax1.45 0.39 Light brown loose clayey sand with moderate pebbles, occasional flecks and small pieces of charcoal and animal bone 88 N/Ax0.9 0.35 Mid brown grey clayey sand with occasional pebbles 757 N/Ax0.94 0.36 Mid brown very soft silty clay with frequent pebbles and occasional small stones 758 N/Ax0.71 0.12 Light grey very soft clayey silt with moderate pebbles and occasional medium stonesTable of fills of ditch C�86 Ditch cut C.86 runs for 27.10m from north end of cut C.8 where it meets C.78 in anortherly direction until it meets large ditch cut C.44. It is V-shape in profile and 0.89mwide and 0.65 to 0.35m deep. It becomes very narrow and shallow just before it entersC.44. In the fill C.87 sherd of Medieval Limerick type pottery was recovered close tohuman skeleton remains. These remains appeared to be a juvenile or young adult andwere not placed within a grave cut but appeared to be part of the upper fill of this ditch.This ditch is possibly a continuation of the cut C.8 but was recorded separately as it dif-fered in profile and composition. It appeared that C.8/C.86 truncated ditch cut C.78 atits eastern terminus. Ditch cut C.44 and C.86 had a common fill which may mean theywere contemporary.Subgroup 2c Annexe ditches Two ditches form the Annexe, C.78/127/143 and C.247/277/1003/1005. 115
  • 129. iSSUE 13: Eachtra JoUrnal - iSSn 2009-2237 archaEological Excavation rEport Ditch C.78/127/143 filled with C.50, C.51, C.52, C.53, C.79, C.80, C.81, C.82, C.83, C.125, C.126, C.142, C.146, C.154, C.156, C.157, C.163, C.164, C.165, C.172, C.176, C.177, C.178, C.179, C.255, C.360, C.361 and C.572 The ditch starts on the west side of the junction of C.63 and C.78, where it has a rounded terminus. From here the ditch runs SE before turning sharply towards the ENE and continues until it meets ditch cuts C.8 and C.86. It does not continue on past this junction. C.78 is 20.5m on its NE-SW orientation and 16.8m in its SE-NW axis, it is 2.7m wide and 0.75m deep and contains 27 fills along its length. C.78 truncates gully C.149, kilns C.189 and C.1012 and ditch cut C.63 and is truncated by gully C.676. This ditch was originally thought to be part of C.78 but there is a possible entrance gap between the ends of the two ditches and may be a contemporary enclosing element. The ditch C.78 truncated ditch C.63 and ditch C.8/86. Context Fill description 50 Mid grey brown soft clayey silt with occasional pebbles, small stones, flecks and small pieces of charcoal 51 Light brown grey soft clayey silt with occasional pebbles 52 Mid grey brown firm clayey silt with moderate pebbles 53 Mid brown orange hard silty clay with occasional pebbles 79 Dark yellow brown soft silty clay with occasional pebbles and small stones 80 Light grey brown soft silty clay with occasional pebbles, flecks and small pieces of charcoal 81 Mid brown grey very soft clayey sand with occasional pebbles, flecks and small pieces of charcoal 82 Mid brown grey/yellow firm sandy silt with moderate pebbles 83 Dark yellow brown soft sandy silt with occasional pebbles and small stones 125 Mid orange brown soft sandy silt with moderate pebbles 126 Mid brown grey firm sandy silt with occasional pebbles and small pieces of charcoal 142 Mid orange brown firm clayey silt with moderate pebbles 146 Dark brown grey firm silty clay with occasional pebbles 154 Mid brown grey compact silty sand with moderate pebbles 155 Dark grey black soft clayey silt with occasional pebbles, frequent flecks, small and medium pieces of charcoal and moderate flecks of burnt clay 156 Light yellow hard clay with occasional pebbles 157 Mid brown loose silty sand with occasional pebbles and flecks of charcoal 163 Mid grey brown soft sandy clay with occasional pebbles 164 Light yellow brown very soft silty sand with occasional pebbles 165 Light brown soft silty sand with occasional pebbles 172 Light orange brown soft clayey silt with occasional pebbles 176 Mid grey brown soft sandy silt with occasional pebbles 177 Dark grey brown soft sandy silt with occasional pebbles and flecks of charcoal 178 Light yellow brown soft sandy silt 179 Mid brown soft sandy silt with occasional pebbles 255 Mid brown grey firm sandy clay with occasional pebbles and flecks of charcoal 360 Light grey brown clayey sand with occasional pebbles and flecks of charcoal 361 Dark grey compact silty sand with occasional small pieces of charcoal 572 Mid brown loose silty sand with occasional pebbles and moderate flecks of charcoal Table of fills of ditch C�78/127/143116
  • 130. bUShErStown-E3661 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3661-busherstown-co-offaly/ In the fill C.81 were found iron nail. Ditch C.247/277/1003/1005 filled with C.50, C.165, C.213, C.242, C.243, C.244,C.245, C.282, C.425, C.603, C.1025, C.1002, C.1004 and C.1006 The ditch has its eastern terminus to the west of the terminus of ditch cut C.78. Fromhere it continues in a westward direction for approximately 32.60m after which it turnssharply to north and continues for a further 22.10m before it disappears under the north-ern limit of excavation. This ditch has a maximum width of 2.4m and a depth of 0.80m.C.277 contained 12 fills. C.277 heavily truncated the west end of ditch cut C.54 and alsotruncated the eastern terminus of ditch C.475 and the southeast and west ends of ditchcut C.447. This ditch was originally thought to be part of C.78 but there is a possibleentrance gap between the ends of the two ditches and may be a contemporary enclosingelement. C.78 and C.277 were thought to be an ‘annexe’ enclosure on the southern sideof the large ditch c44. No physical relationship between C.277 and C.44 was establishedbut it was clear from the orientation of both ditches that they would have met outside tothe NW of the area of excavation. This ditch was parallel to south end of ditch cut C.246forming a double ditch enclosing element.Context Fill description50 Mid grey brown soft clayey silt with occasional pebbles, small stones, flecks and small pieces of charcoal 165 Light brown soft silty sand with occasional pebbles 213 no context sheet 242 Light yellow brown firm silt with occasional pebbles and flecks of charcoal 243 Mid brown firm silt with occasional pebbles, small and medium stones 244 Mid grey brown firm silt with occasional small and medium stones and flecks and small pieces of charcoal 245 Mid yellow brown stiff silt with occasional pebbles , small stones and flecks of charcoal 282 Mid brown stiff silt with occasional pebbles and decayed stone 425 Light yellow brown firm silt with occasional pebbles and flecks of charcoal 603 Mid grey brown soft clayey silt with occasional pebbles, small stones, flecks and small pieces of charcoal 1002 Dark grey brown soft clayey silt with moderate pebbles, occasional small and medium stones and flecks and small pieces of charcoal 1004 Mid grey brown very soft clayey silt with occasional pebbles and small stones 1006 Light brown soft clayey silt with occasional pebbles 1025 no context sheetTable of fills of ditch C�247/277/1003/1005 The ditchC.247/277/1003/1005 truncates gully C.676.Linear feature C.1005 was a re-cut of linear C.1003 which truncates ditch C.277 at its eastern terminus. Possibly bothfeatures (C.1003 and C.1005) were re-cuts of ditch C.277.Subgroup 2d Post-medieval ditches Nine post-medieval ditches were excavated, C.150, C.351, C.246/273, C.321, C.371,C.475, C.714, C.903 and C.1026. Ditch C.150 filled with C.151, C.152, C.153 and C.158 117
  • 131. iSSUE 13: Eachtra JoUrnal - iSSn 2009-2237 archaEological Excavation rEport The ditch was linear in plan. It measured 36m in length by 1.45m in width and 0.57m in depth. The ditch was orientated northeast-southwest. The break of slope at the top was sharp. The sides were moderate and irregular at northwest and southeast. The break of slope at the base was imperceptible to gradual. The base was linear in plan and concave in profile. The ditch truncated ditch C.54 and C.78. It had terminus within ditch C.78. This terminus is located just before the start of ditch C.351. Context Fill description 151 Mid brown grey stiff sandy clay with moderate pebbles and occasional small stones 152 Mid brown firm sandy silt with moderate small stones, occasional pebbles and flecks and small pieces of charcoal 153 Mid yellow brown soft sandy clay with moderate pebbles 158 Light yellow brown firm sandy clay with moderate pebbles Table of fills of ditch C�150 Ditch C.351 filled with C.352, C.353 and C.364 The ditch was linear in plan. It measured 26m in length by 0.55m in width and 0.31m in depth. The ditch was orientated northeast southwest. The break of slope at the top and at the base was gradual. The sides were moderate and smooth at northwest and south- east. The base was linear in plan and concave in profile. The ditch starts just beyond the terminus of ditch C.150 within ditch C.78. It is truncated by ditch C.321 just before its northwest terminus and was truncated by furrows. Context Fill description 352 Mid brown firm sandy silt with occasional pebbles 353 Light brown soft sandy silt 364 Dark brown soft silt with occasional pebbles, small stones and flecks of charcoal Table of fill of ditch C�351 Ditch C.246/273 filled with C.234, C.235, C.236, C.237, C.238, C.239, C.240, C.241, C.624, C.625, C.626, C.652 and C.274, C.275 and C.276 The ditch was linear in plan. It measured 21m in length by 1.85m in width and 0.97m in depth. The ditch was orientated northeast southwest. The break of slope at the top and at the base was gradual to sharp. The sides were steep to moderate and convex to irregular at southeast, steep to moderate and irregular to smooth at northwest. The base was lin- ear in plan and concave in profile. Ditches C.246 and C.273 are the same ditch and are located in the northwest quadrant of the site, parallel to ditch C.277. Ditch C.246/273 truncates ditch C.714. Context Fill description 234 Mid brown firm silty clay with occasional pebbles, flecks and medium pieces of charcoal 235 Light brown firm silty clay with occasional pebbles, stones and flecks of charcoal 236 Dark brown sandy clay with occasional medium stones and flecks of charcoal 237 Mid brown firm clayey silt with occasional flecks of charcoal 238 Mid brown firm silty clay with occasional pebbles and flecks of charcoal 239 Mid brown firm sandy silt with occasional pebbles, large stones and flecks of charcoal118
  • 132. bUShErStown-E3661 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3661-busherstown-co-offaly/ Context Fill description 240 Mid brown firm clayey silt with occasional flecks of charcoal 241 Light brown firm sandy clay with occasional flecks of charcoal 624 Dark brown firm silt with occasional pebbles, small stones and flecks of charcoal 625 Mid yellow black firm silt with occasional pebbles 626 Mid red brown pebbly silt with occasional pebbles and flecks of charcoal 652 Mid yellow brown firm clayey silt with occasional pebbles, small and medium stones 274 Mid orange brown firm clayey silt with occasional pebbles, flecks and small pieces of charcoal 275 Mid brown stiff silt with moderate pebbles and occasional small stones 276 Mid brown firm sandy silt with occasional pebblesTable of fills of ditch C�246/273 Ditch C.321 filled with C.324, C.325, C.326, C.327, C.328, C.329, C.330, C.331,C.332, C.515, C.516 and C.517 The ditch was linear in plan. It measured 36m in length by 1.36m in width and 0.86min depth. The ditch was orientated northwest southeast. The break of slope at the topand at the base was varied from imperceptible to sharp. The sides were gentle to steepand concave at northeast, steep to vertical and concave to undercut at southwest, steepand concave at southeast and gentle to moderate and concave at northwest. The base waslinear in plan and flat to concave in profile. It truncated ditch C.351 and furrows andcontained two large pieces of slag and an animal tooth. The ditch C.321 was truncatedby linear C.371.Context Fill description324 Mid brown firm silty sand with occasional pebbles325 Mid brown yellow firm silty sand with occasional pebbles326 Light grey brown soft silty sand327 Mid grey brown soft silty sand with occasional flecks of charcoal328 Mid yellow brown soft silty sand with occasional flecks of charcoal329 Mid brown grey silty sand330 Light yellow brown firm sandy clay331 Light brown firm silty sand332 Dark brown grey silty sand515 Mid grey brown firm clayey sand with occasional pebbles and flecks of charcoal516 Dark yellow brown firm silty clay with occasional pebbles, moderate small stones and flecks of charcoal 517 Mid green brown very soft sandy silt with moderate pebblesTable of fills of ditch C�321 Linear C.371 filled with C.370, C.439 and C.440 The small ditch was linear in plan. It measured 14.4m in length by 0.78m in widthand 0.46m in depth. It was orientated northwest southeast. The break of slope at the topand at the base was gradual. The sides were moderate and convex at northeast and south-west. The base was linear in plan and concave in profile. Linear C.371 truncated ditchC.351 and C.321. 119
  • 133. iSSUE 13: Eachtra JoUrnal - iSSn 2009-2237 archaEological Excavation rEport Context Fill description 370 Mid brown firm clayey silt with occasional flecks of charcoal 439 Mid brown firm clayey silt with occasional pebbles 440 Mid brown soft silty clay with moderate pebbles and occasional flecks of charcoal Table of fills of linear C�371 Ditch C.475 filled with C.476, C.477 and C.478/479 The ditch was linear in plan. It measured 10.5m in length by 1.45m in width and 0.65m in depth and was orientated northwest southeast. The break of slope at the top and at the base was gradual. The sides were steep and stepped at northeast, moderate and irregular at southwest. The base was linear in plan and concave in profile. The ditch was located in the northwest quadrant of the site. This ditch was truncated at its eastern end by ditch C.277.The ditch cut kiln C.480. Context Fill description 476 Mid grey brown firm silt with moderate pebbles, small stones and occasional flecks and small pieces of charcoal 477 Mid grey brown firm silt with moderate pebbles and occasional flecks and small pieces of charcoal 478/479 Mid grey brown firm silt with moderate pebbles and moderate flecks and small pieces of charcoal Table of fills of ditch C�475 Ditch C.714 filled with C.712, C.713 and C.733 The ditch was linear in plan. It measured c. 10m in length by 1.41m in width and 0.6m in depth within limit of excavation. The ditch was orientated northwest southeast. The break of slope at the top and at the base was gradual. The sides were moderate and irregular at north and south. The base was rectangular in plan and concave in profile. This ditch runs from under the western limit of excavation eastwards and its eastern terminus was truncated by the ditch C.246. Context Fill description 712 Mid grey brown compact clayey sand with moderate pebbles 713 Mid grey compact silty sand with pebbles 733 Mid grey firm sandy silt with moderate pebbles Table of fills of ditch C�714 Ditch C.903 filled with C.901, C.902, C.962, C.963, C.964 and C.965 The ditch was linear in plan. It measured 5.25m in length by 1.75m in width and 0.62m in depth and was orientated northwest southeast. The break of slope at the top was sharp. The sides were steep and smooth at northeast and southwest. The break of slope at the base was gradual. The base was linear in plan and flat in profile. The ditch was located within the area enclosed by ditch cut C.44. Its eastern terminus was located adjacent to the inner edge of ditch C.44 and on the north side of kiln C.634.120
  • 134. bUShErStown-E3661 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3661-busherstown-co-offaly/ Context Fill description 901 Light brown soft silt 902 Mid grey soft silt with occasional pebbles and small stones 962 Mid yellow brown soft clayey silt with occasional pebbles and small stones 963 Dark grey brown soft silt with occasional pebbles 964 Light grey soft silty sand 965 Dark brown soft silt with occasional pebbles and flecks of charcoalTable of fills of ditch C�903 Ditch C.1026 filled with C.1027, C.1029, C.1030, C.1031, C.1032 and C.1033 The ditch was linear in plan. It measured 12m in length by 0.84m in width and 0.67min depth and was orientated northwest southeast. The break of slope at the top was sharpat northeast and gradual at southwest. The sides were moderate and concave to smoothat northeast, moderate and irregular to smooth at southwest, moderate and smooth atsoutheast terminus. The break of slope at the base was gradual. The base was linear inplan and concave in profile. The ditch was located at the north end of the site. It had arounded terminus adjacent to the NW terminus of similar ditch cut C.321. The ditchC.1026 truncated a small, oval pit C.1040. Context Fill description 1027 Mid orange brown firm silty clay with occasional pebbles and medium stones 1029 Mid brown firm silty clay with occasional pebbles 1030 Light grey brown soft silty clay 1031 Light orange brown firm silty clay with moderate pebbles 1032 Mid orange brown firm silty clay with occasional pebbles 1033 Dark orange brown firm silty clay with occasional pebbles and moderate flecks and small pieces of charcoalTable of fills of ditch C�1026Subgroup 2e Small ditches and gullies Six small ditches/gullies were excavated. These were C.149, C.337, C.783, C.676,C.383 and C.775. Gully C.149 filled with C.144 and C.145 The gully was linear in plan. It measured 4m in length by 0.73m in width and 0.56min depth and was orientated southeast northwest. The break of slope at the top was imper-ceptible at northeast and sharp at southwest. The sides were steep and irregular at north-east and southwest. The break of slope at the base was gradual. The base was linear in planand flat in profile. The gully was possible continuation of linear C.676 which is located tonorthwest of it. The gully was truncated by ditch C.78/127/143 and cut ditch C.54. Context Fill description 144 Mid grey brown soft clayey silt with occasional pebbles and small stones 145 Light grey brown firm clayey silt with occasional pebblesTable of fill of gully C�149 121
  • 135. iSSUE 13: Eachtra JoUrnal - iSSn 2009-2237 archaEological Excavation rEport Gully C.337 filled with C.296 The gully was linear in plan with rounded corners. It measured 12.5m in length by 0.8m in width and 0.35m in depth. It was orientated northwest southeast. The break of slope at the top was gradual at northeast and northwest and sharp at southwest and south- east. The sides were gentle and smooth at northeast and northwest, steep and smooth at southwest and southeast. The break of slope at the base was gradual. The base was linear in plan and flat in profile. The fill C.296 was mid brown firm silt with moderate pebbles. The gully was located on a possible ledge running along the inner edge of the south side of ditch C.44. On section 95, it looks like C.337, 338 44 were all backfilled at the same time. The C.296 filled all three. Gully C.338 filled with C.296 The gully was linear in plan with rounded corners. It measured 2.8m in length by 0.4m in width and 0.15m in depth and was orientated northwest southeast. The break of slope at the top was gradual. The sides were gentle and smooth at southwest and moder- ate and smooth at northeast. The break of slope at the base was gradual at northeast and sharp at southwest. The base was linear in plan and slightly concave in profile. The gully was parallel to gully C.337 and was filled with the same fill. The gullies C.337 and C.338 appeared to be a shallow gullies/re-cuts into an upper fill of ditch cut C.44. Gully C.783 filled with C.782 The gully was linear in plan. It measured 4.4m in length by 0.44m in width and 0.31m in depth and was orientated northwest southeast. The break of slope at the top was sharp. The sides were steep and irregular at northeast, steep and smooth at southwest, steep and concave at southeast and moderate and smooth at northwest. The break of slope at the base was gradual. The base was linear in plan and concave in profile. The gully was filled with one fill which was mid brown firm silt with occasional pebbles and small pieces of charcoal. The gully was adjacent to the inner side of ditch C.54 and parallel to similar cut C.676. It ran between the terminus of ditch cut C.78/143 and C.277 and slightly truncated the north edge of ditch C.54. Gully C.676 filled with C.271, C.314, C.999, C.1000 and C.1001 The gully was linear in plan. It measured 7.9m in length by 0.98m in width and 0.54m and was orientated northwest southeast. The break of slope at the top and at the base was sharp. The sides were steep and smooth at northeast and steep and irregular at southwest. The base was linear in plan and flat in profile. The gully was parallel to the north side of gully C.783. The cut truncated the terminus of ditch C.277, ditch C.78 and kiln C.990. It is a possible continuation of gully C.149 which is located to the southeast. Context Fill description 271 Dark brown black firm silt with occasional pebbles and moderate small pieces of charcoal 314 Mid grey brown firm clayey silt with occasional pebbles and moderate small pieces of charcoal 1000 Mid brown soft clayey silt with moderate pebbles 1001 Mid brown very soft silt with moderate pebbles Table of fills of gully C�676122
  • 136. bUShErStown-E3661 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3661-busherstown-co-offaly/ Gully C.383 filled with C.384, C.385, C.386 and C.387 The gully was linear in plan. It measured 23.8m in length by 0.45m in width and0.39m in depth and was orientated north/northeast south/southwest. The break of slopeat the top was sharp. The sides were gentle and concave at south/southwest, vertical andsmooth at south/southeast and north/northwest. The break of slope at the base was grad-ual. The base was sub-rectangular in plan and concave in profile. Its terminus was locatedjust southwest of where it truncates circular slot trench C.392 and to the northeast it wastruncated by ditch C.321. This ditch run adjacent to the east end of the possible hearthC.90 and east of the cereal processing kiln C.97 and may be related to either of thesefeatures or to the possible well C.622.Context Fill description384 Mid grey brown firm sandy silt with moderate pebbles and occasional small pieces of charcoal385 Mid yellow brown firm sandy silt with occasional pebbles and flecks of charcoal386 Mid brown grey firm clayey silt with occasional pebbles387 Mid grey firm clayey silt with occasional pebblesTable of fills of gully C�383 Small ditch C.775 filled with C.774 The ditch was linear in plan with rounded corners. It measured 1.2m in length by0.97m in width and 0.28m in depth and was orientated northeast southwest. The break ofslope at the top and at the base was gradual at north and south and imperceptible at west.The sides were gentle and smooth at south, north and west. The base was oval in plan andconcave in profile. The ditch/gully was only visible at the junction of ditches C.277/247and C.447. Either truncated or was truncated by ditch C.247/277.Group 3 Structures At least five structures were excavated. One rectangular structure was situated withinthe moat C.44 and one circular structure was located next to the ditch C.54. Three clus-ters of features might be a part of some hard to define structures. They were situated tothe north of ditch C.68, to the north of ditch C.143 and to the east of ditch C.8. Two slottrenches (C.392 and C.1010 with burnt subsoil) could be a part of some kind of structures.Subgroup 3a Structure within the moat C.44 The structure within moat C.44 was composed of seven stakeholes (C.786, C.817,C.819, C.834, C.863, C.873 and 884), three pits (C.807, C.811 and C.882), two postholes(C.809 and C.880) and a slot trench C.815. It is possible part of rectangular structurewhich was heavily truncated by agricultural activity. 123
  • 137. iSSUE 13: Eachtra JoUrnal - iSSn 2009-2237 archaEological Excavation rEport Con- Feature Dimen- Shape Sides Base Filled Fill Comments text type sions in plan with description (lxbxd) in metres 786 Stake-hole 0.17 x 0.12 Circu- Verti- Tapered 787 Mid brown x 0.14 lar cal rounded soft silty sand smooth pointed with moderate small stones 807 Pit 0.88 x Circu- Gentle Concave 808 Mid brown Truncates or 0.88 x lar smooth compact is part of pit 0.22 clayey sand C.811 with moderate pebbles and frequent large stones 809 Post-hole 0.4 x 0.28 Sub- Steep Concave 810 Mid grey x 0.29 circular smooth brown weakly cemented clayey sand with occa- sional pebbles 811 Pit 2.1 x 0.78 Oval Gentle Flat 812 Mid yellow Truncated by x 0.17 irregular brown soft C.807, C.815, sandy clay C.873 and with occa- 884. SW end sional pebbles is surrounded by C.817, C.863, C.834 with C.819 at the NW end 815 Slot 4 x 0.3 x L-shape Steep Concave 816 Mid grey L-shaped in trench 0.18 smooth brown com- plan with pact silty sand posthole with moderate C.809 at the pebbles and corner small stones 817 Stake-hole 0.07 x 0.06 Circu- Verti- Pointed 818 Mid brown At SW end x 0.08 lar cal soft clayey of pit C.811 smooth sand 819 Stake-hole 0.1 x 0.09 Circu- Verti- Pointed 820 Mid grey At NW end x 0.12 lar cal brown soft of pit C.811 smooth sandy clay with occa- sional pebbles 834 Stake-hole 0.09 x 0.08 Circu- Verti- Pointed 835 Mid brown At SW end x 0.15 lar cal sandy clay of pit C.811 smooth 863 Stake-hole 0.06 x Circu- Verti- Pointed 864 Mid brown At SW end 0.06 x 0.16 lar cal soft clayey of pit C.811 smooth sand 873 Stake-hole 0.07 x 0.06 Circu- Verti- Pointed 874 Mid brown Cut into the x 0.13 lar cal sandy clay base of pit smooth C.811 880 Post-hole 0.2 x 0.18 Circu- Verti- Tapered 881 Mid grey x 0.17 lar cal rounded brown loose smooth pointed clayey sand with frequent pebbles124
  • 138. bUShErStown-E3661 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3661-busherstown-co-offaly/Con- Feature Dimen- Shape Sides Base Filled Fill Commentstext type sions in plan with description (lxbxd) in metres882 Pit 0.4 x 0.24 Sub- Mode- Flat 883 Mid grey x 0.13 rectan- rate brown com- gular smooth pact clayey at SE, sand with steep occasional smooth small stones else-where and flecks of charcoal884 Stake-hole 0.2 x 0.2 x Circu- Verti- Pointed 885 Light brown Cut into the 0.12 lar cal loose clayey base of pit smooth sand with C.811 occasional pebblesTable of features formed structure within moat C�44Subgroup 3b Round structure next of ditch C.54A circular structure composed of postholes with a central hearth was uncovered next tothe ditch C.54. It is possible that the very northern edge of this group of features has beentruncated by this ditch. The round structure comprised central hearth C.427, five stake-holes (C.563, C.454, C.463, C.430 and C.543) associated with the hearth and seven struc-tural postholes (C.214, C.378, C.389, C.398, C.411, C.419 and C.1020). The structuremeasured 4.4m in diameter. The average distances between the posts measured 1.86m.The central hearth was cut by three stakeholes (C.430, C.454 and C.463). Two stakeholes(C.543 and C.563) were placed on the opposite sides of hearth. They were probably usedas some kind of cooking grill. 125
  • 139. iSSUE 13: Eachtra JoUrnal - iSSn 2009-2237 archaEological Excavation rEport Con- Fea- Dimensions Shape in Sides Base Filled Fill description Comments text ture (lxbxd) in plan with type metres 427 Central 0.99 x 0.93 Sub-rec- Moder- Con- 428 Mid brown red hearth x 0.15 tangular ate cave compact silty irregular sand with occa- sional pebbles. 432 Mid grey brown compact silty sand with moderate pebbles and fre- quent flecks and occasional small pieces of charcoal 430 Stake- 0.11 x 0.1 x Circular Steep Con- 429 Mid grey brown hole 0.19 smooth cave compact clayey C.430, sand with fre- C.454 and quent pebbles C.463 and moder- run on a ate pieces of NE-SW charcoal line across 454 Stake- 0.13 x 0.12 Circular Verti- Con- 455 Mid brown grey the base hole x 0.25 cal cave loose clayey sand of C.427 smooth with moderate pebbles and fre- quent flecks and moderate small pieces of charcoal 463 Stake- 0.1 x 0.08 x Circular Verti- Con- 453 Mid brown grey hole 0.16 cal cave loose clayey sand smooth with frequent pebbles and oc- casional flecks and small pieces of charcoal 543 Stake- 0.16 x 0.1 x Circular Verti- Con- 544 Mid grey brown On the hole 0.23 cal cave compact silty SW edge smooth sand with oc- of the casional pebbles hearth and flecks and C.427 small pieces of charcoal 563 Stake- 0.1 x 0.08 x Circular Verti- Con- 564 Mid grey brown On the hole 0.14 cal cave compact silty NE side of smooth sand with the hearth occasional peb- C.427 bles, flecks and small pieces of charcoal 214 Post- 0.19 x 0.19 Circular Verti- Flat 181 Mid brown loose Heavily hole x 0.26 cal silty sand with truncated smooth occasional peb- during bles and flecks the topsoil of charcoal stripping126
  • 140. bUShErStown-E3661 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3661-busherstown-co-offaly/Con- Fea- Dimensions Shape in Sides Base Filled Fill description Commentstext ture (lxbxd) in plan with type metres378 Post- 0.25 x 0.23 Circular Verti- Con- 379 Mid grey brown hole x 0.35 cal cave firm silty sand smooth with occasional pebbles, small stones, moder- ate flecks and small pieces of charcoal and moderate me- dium pieces of charcoal389 Post- 0.26 x 0.24 Circular Verti- Con- 390 Mid grey brown hole x 0.31 cal cave compact silty smooth sand with frequent pebbles and occasional small pieces of charcoal398 Post- 0.22 x 0.21 Circular Verti- Con- 399 Mid grey brown hole x 0.34 cal cave compact silty smooth sand with oc- casional pebbles and frequent flecks and small pieces of charcoal411 Post- 0.27 x 0.25 Circular Verti- Con- 412 Mid grey brown hole x 0.3 cal cave firm silty sand smooth with occasional pebbles and frequent flecks and small pieces of charcoal419 Post- 0.26 x 0.25 Circular Verti- Con- 420 Mid grey brown hole x 0.4 cal cave compact silty smooth sand with oc- casional pebbles and frequent flecks and small pieces of charcoal1020 Post- 0.23 x 0.21 Sub- Steep Con- 1019 Dark grey Truncated hole x 0.04 circular smooth at cave brown soft silt by ditch cut S, gentle with occasional C.54 at E w pebblesTable of features composed round structure Subgroup 3c Cluster of features to the north of ditch C.68A cluster of features to the north of ditch C.68 included one possible hearth (C.847), sixpits (C.438, C.470, C.472, C.813, C.841, C.876) thirteen postholes (C.836, C.446, C.796,C.798, C.800, C.826, C.832, C.846, C.858, C.859, C.862, C.1021, C.1022) and twelvestakeholes (C.452, C.804, C.829, C.898, C.900, C.904, C.905, C.906, C.907, C.908,C.909 and C.910). The features were close to each other and possibly formed some kindof structure. 127
  • 141. iSSUE 13: Eachtra JoUrnal - iSSn 2009-2237 archaEological Excavation rEport Con- Feature Dimen- Shape in Sides Base Filled Fill description text type sions plan with (lxbxd) in metres 436 Post-hole 0.3 x 0.3 x Circular Steep Tapered 435 Mid grey black soft silty 0.24 smooth rounded clay with occasional pointed pebbles and stones and frequent small pieces of charcoal 438 Pit 1.27 x 1.07 Oval Steep Concave 437 Dark brown black loose x 0.2 smooth at silty sand with occasion- N, gentle al pebbles and flecks of smooth charcoal and moderate at S and E, small stones moderate steeped at W 446 Post-hole 0.37 x 0.36 Circular Steep Tapered 445 Dark black firm silty x 0.24 smooth rounded clay with occasional pointed pebbles and moderate small, medium and large stones 452 Stakehole 0.54 x 0.33 Oval Vertical Concave 451, Dark yellow brown loose x 0.24 smooth 456 silty sand with occa- sional pebbles and flecks of charcoal. Mid yellow brown loose silty sand with occasional pebbles and flecks of charcoal 470 Pit 0.78 x 0.36 Oval Steep Flat 469 Dark brown loose silty x 0.27 concave at sand with occasional N, steep pebbles, small stones smooth at and flecks of charcoal S, moderate smooth at E and W 472 Pit 1.26 x 0.45 Oval Steep Concave 471 Dark brown loose silty x 0.4 concave at sand with occasional N, steep pebbles, small stones smooth at and flecks of charcoal S, moderate irregu- lar at E, moderate smooth at W 796 Post-hole 0.31 x 0.28 Circular Steep Flat 797 Dark brown very soft x 0.23 smooth silty clay with occasional pebbles and small stones 798 Post-hole 0.21 x 0.18 Sub- Steep Concave 799 Mid brown very soft x 0.23 circular smooth at silty clay with occasional W, vertical pebbles smooth elsewhere 800 Post-hole 0.19 x 0.15 Oval Vertical Flat 801 Mid brown very soft x 0.14 smooth silty clay with occasional pebbles and flecks of charcoal 804 Stake-hole 0.09 x 0.08 Sub- Vertical Tapered 823 Mid brown grey soft x 0.18 circular smooth rounded sandy clay with occa- pointed sional pebbles and flecks of charcoal128
  • 142. bUShErStown-E3661 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3661-busherstown-co-offaly/Con- Feature Dimen- Shape in Sides Base Filled Fill descriptiontext type sions plan with (lxbxd) in metres813 Pit 0.63 x 0.61 Sub- Steep Flat 814 Light brown grey firm x 0.12 circular smooth clayey silt with occasion- al small stones and small pieces of charcoal826 Post-hole 0.27 x 0.25 Oval Steep Concave 827, Dark grey black soft x 0.23 smooth at 828, sandy silt with oc- S, vertical 833 casional pebbles and smooth frequent flecks, small elsewhere and medium pieces of charcoal. Mid brown soft sandy silt with oc- casional pebbles. Mid grey firm sandy silt with occasional pebbles, flecks and small pieces of charcoal829 Stake-hole 0.13 x 0.1 Sub- Vertical Round- 830 Dark grey black soft x 0.29 circular smooth ed sandy silt with occa- pointed sional pebbles and flecks of charcoal832 Post-hole 0.32 x 0.23 Sub-rec- Steep Concave 831 Mid grey brown soft x 0.38 tangular smooth at sandy silt with occa- N, vertical sional pebbles and flecks smooth of charcoal at S and W, vertical concave at E841 Pit 0.79 x 0.48 Irregular Vertical Flat 842 Light grey firm clayey x 0.25 smooth at silt with occasional N and E, pebbles and flecks of steep charcoal irregular at S, steep convex at W846 Post-hole 0.3 x 0.25 Sub- Vertical Flat 843 Dark grey brown very x 0.21 circular undercut soft silt with occasional at N, steep flecks and small pieces of smooth charcoal elsewhere 844 Mid grey soft clay silt 845 Packing stones847 Burnt 1.18 x Burnt 847 Mid grey red firm silty natural 0.56 x natural clay with moderate flecks and small pieces of charcoal858 Post-hole 0.26 x Sub- Steep Concave 857 Light brown soft silty 0.26 x 0.16 circular concave clay with moderate at S, steep pebbles, flecks and small smooth pieces of charcoal elsewhere859 Post-hole 0.26 x 0.23 Circular Steep Tapered 860 Mid grey brown firm silt x 0.18 smooth pointed with occasional pebbles, small stones and moder- ate flecks of charcoal. 129
  • 143. iSSUE 13: Eachtra JoUrnal - iSSn 2009-2237 archaEological Excavation rEport Con- Feature Dimen- Shape in Sides Base Filled Fill description text type sions plan with (lxbxd) in metres 862 Post-hole 0.3 x 0.3 x Circular Vertical Concave 861 Mid grey brown soft 0.3 smooth at clayey silt with moderate N and W, small stones, flecks and steep small pieces of charcoal smooth S and E 876 Pit 0.71 x 0.62 Sub- Steep Concave 877 Dark brown very soft silty x 0.25 circular smooth clay with occasional peb- bles and small stones 878 Dark brown very soft silty clay with moderate pebbles. 879 Mid orange brown soft clayey silt with frequent pebbles 898 Stake-hole 0.13 x 0.12 Circular Vertical Tapered 897 Mid grey brown firm x 0.23 smooth rounded clayey silt with occa- at S, steep pointed sional pebbles and flecks smooth of charcoal elsewhere 900 Stake-hole 0.1 x 0.08 Oval Steep Tapered 899 Mid grey brown soft x 0.09 smooth blunt sandy silt with moderate pointed flecks of charcoal 904 Stake-hole 0.06 x 0.05 Sub- Vertical Concave 904 Mid grey firm silt x 0.09 circular smooth 905 Stake-hole 0.09 x 0.07 Sub- Vertical Concave 905 Mid grey firm silt x 0.16 circular smooth 906 Stake-hole 0.07 x 0.05 Sub- Vertical Concave 906 Mid grey firm silt x 0.08 circular smooth 907 Stake-hole 0.06 x 0.05 Sub- Vertical Concave 907 Mid grey firm silt x 0.09 circular smooth, E side truncated 908 Stake-hole 0.06 x 0.05 Sub- Vertical Concave 908 Mid grey firm silt x 0.11 circular smooth 909 Stake-hole 0.06 x 0.04 Sub- Vertical Concave 909 Mid grey firm silt x 0.08 circular smooth 910 Stake-hole 0.07 x 0.05 Sub- Vertical Concave 910 Mid grey firm silt x 0.06 circular smooth 1021 Post-hole 0.28 x 0.25 Oval Vertical Flat 1023 Mid grey brown firm x 0.23 steeped silty clay with occasional at NW, pebbles and flecks of vertical charcoal smooth elsewhere 1022 Post-hole 0.34 x 0.22 Oval Vertical Flat 1024 Mid grey brown firm silt x 0.35 smooth with occasional pebbles, small stones and flecks of charcoal Table of features within cluster to the north of ditch C�68 In the posthole C.796 was found burnt rubbing stone (E3661:797:1) dated to Late Neolithic/Early Bronze Age.130
  • 144. bUShErStown-E3661 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3661-busherstown-co-offaly/Subgroup 3d Cluster of features to the north of ditch C.143The cluster was located to the north of ditch C.143 and included 33 features. The groupcomprised one slot trench (C.210), four pits (C.992, C.993, C.996 and C.998) thirteenpostholes (C.113, C.123, C.148, C.186, C.206, C.208, C.259, C.309, C.334, C.346, C.793,C.837 and C.871), one pit/posthole (C.922) and fourteen stakeholes (C.218, C.866, C.868,C.870, C.911, C.912, C.913, C.915, C.917, C.935, C.937, C.939, C.966 and C.968). Thisgroup of features was divided by the ditch C.63 which truncated the posthole C.259 andmay form several structures, partially enclosing kilns C.74, C.30 and C.189. The kilnC.1012 was located just to the southeast of this group of features.Con- Feature Dimen- Shape in Sides Base Filled Fill descriptiontext type sions plan with (lxbxd) in metres113 Post-hole 0.35 x 0.33 Oval Vertical Concave 112 Dark brown grey compact x 0.26 smooth sandy silt with occasional pebbles 122 Mid yellow grey firm clayey sand with occa- sional pebbles and flecks of charcoal123 Post-hole 0.42 x 0.26 Oval Steep Concave 124 Mid grey strongly x 0.9 smooth cemented silty sand with occasional pebbles and flecks of charcoal148 Post-hole 0.68 x 0.5 Oval Vertical Concave 147 Mid grey strongly x 0.19 smooth cemented silty sand with occasional pebbles, flecks and small pieces of charcoal186 Post-hole 2.2 x 1.6 x Oval Vertical Tapered 187 Mid brown weakly 0.63 smooth at pointed cemented sandy silt N, steep with occasional pebbles smooth at and moderate flecks of S, moderate charcoal steeped elsewhere204 Cut 0.87 x 0.35 Oval Moderate Concave 205 Mid brown yellow firm silty x 0.22 smooth sand with occasional pebbles at S, vertical and flecks of charcoal at E and W, 221 Mid grey soft sandy silt with truncated occasional pebbles and mod- at N erate flecks of charcoal 222 Mid brown yellow compact silty sand with occa- sional pebbles and flecks of charcoal 223 Mid brown yellow compact silty sand with occasional pebbles and small pieces of charcoal 224 Mid brown grey soft sandy silt with occasional pebbles, flecks and small pieces of charcoal 131
  • 145. iSSUE 13: Eachtra JoUrnal - iSSn 2009-2237 archaEological Excavation rEport Con- Feature Dimen- Shape in Sides Base Filled Fill description text type sions plan with (lxbxd) in metres 206 Post-hole 0.45 x 0.38 Circular Vertical Concave 207 Mid grey compact silty x 0.12 concave at sand with occasional E, vertical pebbles, flecks and small smooth pieces of charcoal elsewhere 208 Post-hole 0.37 x 0.3 Oval Steep Concave 209 Mid grey compact silty sand x 0.15 smooth at with occasional pebbles and W, vertical frequent flecks and small irregular pieces of charcoal elsewhere 220 Mid grey stiff sandy clay with occasional pebbles and flecks of charcoal 210 Slot 3 x 0.3 x Linear Vertical Flat 211 Mid brown grey sandy trench 0.11 steeped at silt with moderate pebbles NE, steep and flecks of charcoal smooth at SE, vertical irregular at SW 218 Stake-hole 0.08 x 0.08 Circular Steep Tapered 215 Mid grey soft silt with x 0.13 smooth pointed occasional pebbles and small stones 259 Post-hole 0.36 x ? x Circular Vertical Flat 260 Mid grey brown compact 0.35 irregular at sand with occasional pebbles N and W, and flecks of charcoal moderate 279 Mid brown yellow compact stepped at S clayey sand with moder- and E ate pebbles and occasional flecks of charcoal 280 Mid grey brown compact clayey sand with moder- ate pebbles and occasional flecks of charcoal 281 Mid brown grey firm sandy silt with occasional pebbles, small stones and flecks of charcoal 283 Mid brown yellow compact clayey sand with moderate pebbles and oc- casional flecks of charcoal 309 Post-hole 0.64 x 0.6 Circular Steep Tapered 308 Mid brown compact x 0.44 smooth pointed sandy clay occasional pebbles and medium and small stones and moderate flecks of charcoal 334 Post-hole 0.73 x 0.55 Oval Steep Concave 333 Mid grey compact sandy x 0.25 smooth clay with occasional peb- bles, small and medium stones 346 Post-hole 0.6 x 0.54 Oval Vertical Flat 347 Mid grey brown compact x 0.25 smooth silty sand with moderate pebbles, flecks and small pieces of charcoal132
  • 146. bUShErStown-E3661 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3661-busherstown-co-offaly/Con- Feature Dimen- Shape in Sides Base Filled Fill descriptiontext type sions plan with (lxbxd) in metres793 Post-hole 0.38 x 0.36 Sub-rec- Steep Concave 792 Mid grey soft silty clay x 0.18 tangular smooth with occasional pebbles, flecks and small pieces of charcoal837 Post-hole 0.28 x 0.26 Oval Vertical Concave 840 Light grey soft silty clay with x 0.2 smooth at occasional pebbles, small w, steep stones and flecks of charcoal smooth elsewhere 836 Dark grey soft silty clay with occasional pebbles, small stones, flecks and small pieces of charcoal866 Stake-hole 0.11 x 0.1 Circular Steep Concave 865 Mid brown soft silt x 0.2 smooth with occasional pebbles, flecks and small pieces of charcoal868 Stake-hole 0.07 x 0.06 Circular Steep Pointed 867 Light brown soft silt with x 0.09 smooth occasional flecks and small pieces of charcoal870 Stake-hole 0.14 x 0.13 Circular Steep Concave 869 Mid grey brown firm x 0.22 smooth clayey silt with occasional pebbles and flecks of charcoal871 Post-hole 0.24 x 0.23 Circular Steep Concave 795 Mid brown firm clayey x 0.29 concave at silt with occasional peb- N, undercut bles, small stones and at S, vertical flecks of charcoal stepped at E and W911 Stake-hole 0.07 x 0.06 Sub- Vertical Concave 911 Mid grey firm silt with x 0.08 circular smooth occasional flecks of charcoal912 Stake-hole 0.06 x 0.06 Circular Vertical Concave 912 Mid grey firm silt with x 0.06 smooth occasional flecks of charcoal913 Stake-hole 0.07 x 0.06 Circular Vertical Concave 913 Mid grey firm silt with x 0.08 smooth occasional flecks of charcoal915 Stake-hole 0.12 x 0.1 Circular Vertical Concave 914 Mid grey firm silt with x 0.15 smooth occasional flecks of charcoal917 Stake-hole 0.08 x 0.07 Sub- Vertical Concave 916 Mid grey firm silt with x 0.1 circular smooth occasional flecks of charcoal922 Pit/ 0.22 x 0.18 Sub- Steep Tapered 923 Mid grey brown firm clayey posthole x 0.2 circular smooth blunt silt with occasional flecks of pointed charcoal 924 Light grey firm silt935 Stake-hole 0.1 x .0.1 x Circular Vertical Flat 936 Mid grey brown firm silt 0.15 smooth with occasional flecks of charcoal937 Stake-hole 0.19 x 0.13 Sub- Steep Concave 938 Mid grey brown firm silt x 0.11 circular smooth939 Stake-hole 0.1 x 0.09 Circular Vertical Flat 940 Mid grey brown firm silt x 0.09 smooth 133
  • 147. iSSUE 13: Eachtra JoUrnal - iSSn 2009-2237 archaEological Excavation rEport Con- Feature Dimen- Shape in Sides Base Filled Fill description text type sions plan with (lxbxd) in metres 966 Stake-hole 0.1 x 0.1 x Circular Vertical Tapered 967 Mid grey brown soft 0.12 smooth rounded sandy silt with moderate pointed flecks of charcoal 968 Stake-hole 0.11 x 0.09 Sub- Vertical Concave 969 Mid grey brown soft sand x 0.06 circular smooth silt 992 Pit 0.38 x 0.35 Sub- Steep Concave 991 Mid brown very soft x 0.23 circular smooth at clayey silt with occasional N, steep pebbles irregular at S and E, steep steeped at W 993 Pit 0.74 x 0.68 Circular Gentle Concave 994 Mid brown grey soft silty x 0.19 concave sand with occasional pebbles, small stones and flecks of charcoal 996 Pit 0.74 x 0.68 Circular Vertical Tapered 995 Light brown grey x 0.43 smooth blunt compact pebbly sand pointed with occasional pebbles, small stones and flecks of charcoal 998 Pit 0.68 x 0.63 Oval Steep Concave 997 Mid grey brown soft clay silt x 0.23 smooth at S, vertical smooth at E, steep con- cave at W, moderate stepped at N Table of features to the north of ditch C.143 Subgroup 3e Curvilinear foundation trench C.392 with associated features Curvilinear foundation trench C.392 was surrounded by six postholes (C.499, C.581, C.548, C.550, C.576 and C.578) and two stakeholes (C.534 and C.561). It is possible that postholes C.285, C.318, C.368, C.388, C.691, C729, stakeholes C.341, C.343, C.377, C.523, C.525, C.693, possible slot trench C.320 and pit C.366 which form a linear fence to the north of kiln C.97 and feature C.90/98 may also be associated with slot trench C.392, nonetheless they are described in subgroup 1b.134
  • 148. bUShErStown-E3661 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3661-busherstown-co-offaly/Con- Feature Dimen- Shape Sides Base Filled Fill description Commentstext type sions in plan with (lxbxd) in metres392 Slot 16 x 0.6 x Curvi- Steep Concave 391 Mid grey yellow Trun- trench 0.5 linear smooth stiff sandy clay cates kiln with moderate C.490 pebbles, small and cut by stones and flacks C.98 of charcoal499 Post-hole 0.41 x 0.41 Circu- Steep Concave 500 Mid yellow grey At the x 0.44 lar smooth at soft sandy silt western E, vertical with occasional terminus smooth pebbles, frequent elsewhere flecks, moder- ate small and medium pieces of charcoal and occasional small pieces of burnt clay 512 Mid grey yellow firm silty clay with occasional small stones and small pieces of charcoal 135
  • 149. iSSUE 13: Eachtra JoUrnal - iSSn 2009-2237 archaEological Excavation rEport 581 Post-hole 0.64 x 0.39 Sub- Vertical Flat 582 Mid yellow grey On the x 0.24 rectan- concave firm sandy silt east side gular with occasional of the pebbles and terminus small stones and of C.392 moderate flecks and small pieces of charcoal 548 Post-hole 0.23 x 0.17 Oval Steep Irregular 547 Mid yellow grey x 0.15 smooth at compact silty sand S, vertical with moderate smooth small and medium elsewhere pieces of charcoal 550 Post-hole 0.24 x 0.22 Circu- Moderate Flat 549 Dark brown grey x 0.14 lar smooth compact silty sand at SSE, with frequent peb- vertical bles, occasional smooth small stones and elsewhere flecks of charcoal 576 Post-hole 0.2 x 0.08 Irregu- Vertical Concave 575 Mid grey brown x 0.07 lar smooth at soft sandy silt SE, steep with occasional smooth at pebbles, flecks NW, steep and small pieces of convex at charcoal NE, vertical stepped at SW 578 Post-hole 0.2 x 0.08 Irregu- Gentle Concave 577 Mid yellow brown x 0.09 lar smooth at soft sandy silt with W, steep occasional pebbles stepped at and moderate S, mod- flecks of charcoal erate concave at E, vertical smooth at N 534 Stake-hole 0.05 x 0.05 Circu- Vertical Tapered 533 Dark brown black x 0.09 lar smooth blunt soft sandy silt with pointed frequent flecks and small pieces of charcoal 561 Stake-hole 0.22 x 0.14 Oval Vertical Flat 560 Dark grey black Around the x 0.14 smooth at soft clayey silt outer edge E and W, with frequent of C.392 truncated flecks, small elsewhere pieces, and medium pieces of charcoal 599 Mid yellow brown soft sandy silt Features associated with slot trench C�392 In the fill of slot trench C.392 was found burnt flint debitage (E3661:391:1).136
  • 150. bUShErStown-E3661 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3661-busherstown-co-offaly/Subgroup 3f Possible slot trench C.1010 burnt subsoil to the east of C.44To the east and southeast of possible slot trench C.1010 there are a number of areas ofburnt subsoil, which, together with slot trench C.1010, may be the remains of a burntstructure. These areas of burnt subsoil are C.747, C.748, C.749, C.753 and C.754.Con- Feature type Dimensions Filled Fill descriptiontext (lxbxd) in metres with1010 Possible slot trench 5.4 x 0.95 x 0.33 1011 Light grey brown weakly cemented clayey sand with occasional pebbles747 Burnt subsoil 0.64 x 0.28 x N/A N/A748 Burnt subsoil 0.54 x 0.4 x N/A N/A749 Burnt subsoil 2 x 0.66 x N/A N/A753 Burnt subsoil 0.64 x 0.42 x N/A N/A754 Burnt subsoil 1.12 x 0.4 x N/A N/ATable of features next to the slot trench C�1010 The slot trench C.1010 filled with C.1011 The slot trench was linear in plan with rounded corners. The break of slope at the topwas sharp. The sides were moderate and concave at east and west. The break of slope atthe base was gradual. The base was sub-rectangular in plan and concave in profile. Theslot trench was filled with light grey brown weakly cemented clayey sand with occasionalpebbles. The feature was cut into upper fill of ditch C.44.Subgroup 3g Cluster of features east of ditch C.8The cluster of one pit (C.62), four postholes (C.26, C.28, C.46 and C.89), one stakehole(C.27) and spread C.24 was located to the east of ditch C.8. They do not form a discern-ible structure but are likely to be associated.Con- Feature Dimensions Shape in Sides Base Filled Fill descriptiontext type (lxbxd) in plan with metres62 Pit 0.85 x 0.75 x Circular Moderate Con- 4 Mid red brown soft 0.16 smooth cave silty clay with moder- ate pebbles, occasional small stones and small and medium pieces of charcoal26 Posthole 0.43 x 0.38 x Sub- Moderate Con- 5 Mid grey brown firm 0.11 circular irregular cave silty clay with occa- sional pebbles28 Posthole 0.5 x 0.43 x Oval Vertical Flat 7 Mid brown firm silty 0.22 smooth clay with moderate pebbles and occasional flecks of charcoal 137
  • 151. iSSUE 13: Eachtra JoUrnal - iSSn 2009-2237 archaEological Excavation rEport Con- Feature Dimensions Shape in Sides Base Filled Fill description text type (lxbxd) in plan with metres 46 Posthole 0.25 x 0.18 x Sub- Moderate Con- 29 Dark brown black friable 0.13 circular irregular at cave silty clay with occasional S, vertical pebbles with frequent smooth flecks and small pieces elsewhere of charcoal 47 Light yellow grey compact sand 89 Posthole 0.24 x 0.21 x Oval Vertical Con- 34 Grey brown firm silty 0.21 smooth cave clay with occasional pebbles 27 Stake- 0.3 x 0.2 x 0.1 Sub- Moderate Ta- 6 Mid grey brown firm hole circular smooth pered silty clay with oc- pointed casional pebbles and flecks of charcoal 24 Spread 0.55 x 0.55 Sub- N/A N/A N/A Mid grey brown firm x 0.1 circular silty clay with occasional pebbles, flecks of char- coal and small lumps of ash Tables of features east of ditch C�8138
  • 152. bUShErStown-E3661 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3661-busherstown-co-offaly/Group 4 Isolated features within the AnnexeThese consist of three pits (C.745, C.788 and C.824), two postholes (C.233 and 791) andfive stakeholes (C.311, C.313, C.315, C.752 and C.767).Con- Fea- Dimensions Shape Sides Base Filled Fill description Com-text ture (lxbxd) in in plan with ments type metres745 Pit 0.68 x 0.55 x Oval Vertical Concave 744 Dark grey North 0.33 smooth brown loose silty of kiln sand with oc- C.743 casional pebbles and flecks of charcoal 755 Dark grey black loose silty sand with occasional pebbles, small stones and moderate flecks of charcoal 756 Dark grey firm clayey silt with oc- casional pebbles752 Stake- 0.08 x 0.08 x Circu- Vertical Tapered 212 Mid grey loose hole 0.14 lar smooth pointed silty sand with occasional flecks of charcoal767 Stake- 0.07 x 0.07 x Oval Vertical Tapered 766 Mid yellow grey hole 0.14 smooth pointed compact silty sand with occasional flecks of charcoal788 Pit 1.1 x 1 x 0.27 Oval Vertical Concave 789 Mid grey brown NE of smooth firm silt with kiln moderate occasional peb- C.743 concave bles, flecks and at N, gentle small pieces of smooth charcoal elsewhere824 Pit 0.63 x 0.6 x Oval Vertical Concave 825 Mid brown grey 0.34 irregular compact silty sand with occasional pebbles, small stones and flecks of charcoal 848 Light brown grey loose silty sand with occasional pebbles and small stones 139
  • 153. iSSUE 13: Eachtra JoUrnal - iSSn 2009-2237 archaEological Excavation rEport Con- Fea- Dimensions Shape Sides Base Filled Fill description Com- text ture (lxbxd) in in plan with ments type metres 233 Post- 0.35 x 0.32 x Sub- Steep Flat 232 Mid brown firm Between hole 0.18 circular irregular silt with oc- ditches at S, steep casional pebbles C.321 smooth and moder- C.371 elsewhere ate flecks of charcoal 791 Post- 0.32 x 0.25 x Sub- Gentle Stepped 790 Light grey brown hole 0.18 circular smooth at soft sandy silt with NE, steep occasional pebbles smooth and small pieces of at SE, charcoal vertical smooth at SW and NW 311 Stake- 0.16 x 0.16 x Circu- Steep Tapered 312 N/A hole lar smooth pointed 313 Stake- 0.16 x 0.16 x Circu- Moderate Tapered 312 N/A hole lar smooth pointed 315 Stake- 0.15 x 0.15 x Circu- Moderate Concave 316 N/A hole lar smooth Table of isolated features within the Annex Group 5 Isolated features outside the Annexe and Moat Two postholes (C.358 and C.375), three deposits (C.304, C.421 and C.424) and one pit (C.696) were located in the southeast part of the side. The features do not form visible pattern. The pit C.191 was situated to the southeast of round structure next to the ditch C.54 and to the south of junction between ditches C.19 and C.143. Con- Feature Dimensions Shape in Sides Base Filled Fill description text type (lxbxd) in plan with metres 358 Posthole 0.64 x 0.56 x Oval Vertical Irregular 185 Dark grey compact silty 0.38 smooth at N, sand with occasional steep irreg- pebbles ular at S, steep smooth at E, steep un- 357 Mid yellow brown dercut at W soft silty clay with frequent pebbles and occasional small stones and flecks of charcoal140
  • 154. bUShErStown-E3661 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3661-busherstown-co-offaly/ Con- Feature Dimensions Shape in Sides Base Filled Fill description text type (lxbxd) in plan with metres 375 Posthole 0.53 x 0.5 x Circular Steep Tapered 372 Dark brown soft silty 0.2 smooth pointed sand with occasional pebbles and flecks of charcoal 373 Dark grey black silty sand with occasional pebbles, medium stones and moderate flecks of charcoal 374 Mid grey soft sandy clay with occasional flecks of charcoal 304 Deposit 0.65 x 0.47 x N/A N/A N/A N/A Mid pink red friable 0.06 clayey silt with oc- casional pebbles 421 Deposit 0.5 x 0.4 x N/A N/A N/A N/A Dark grey black soft 0.12 silty sand with occa- sional pebbles, small, medium and large stones and frequent flecks of charcoal 424 Deposit 0.9 x 0.84 x N/A N/A N/A N/A Mid orange red stiff 0.06 silty clay with oc- casional pebbles, small and medium stones and frequent flecks of charcoal 696 Pit 1.75 x 1.4 x Oval Gentle Flat 697 Mid brown grey firm 0.2 smooth sandy silt with occasion- al pebbles, flecks and small pieces of charcoalTable of features outside Annex and Moat Pit C.191 filled with C.190, C.203, C.225, C.226 and C.227 The pit was oval in plan with rounded corners. It measured 2.53m in length by 1.75min width and 0.36m in depth. The break of slope at the top was sharp at southeast andgradual elsewhere. The sides were moderate and smooth at northeast, moderate and ir-regular at southeast, steep and smooth at southwest and gentle and smooth at northwest.The break of slope at the base was gradual. The base was oval in plan and flat in profile. Con- Dimension/ Depth Fill description text length x width (m) (m) 190 2.53x1.2 0.16 Mid grey brown very soft clayey silt with occasional pebbles, small stones, flecks and small pieces of charcoal 203 0.65x0.57 0.06 Mid brown yellow friable clayey silt with occasional pebbles 225 0.7x0.55 0.05 Dark brown black soft clayey silt with occasional pebbles, flecks and small pieces of charcoal 226 0.86x2.55 0.15 Mid grey brown very soft clayey silt with occasional pebbles, me- dium stones, moderate flecks and small pieces of charcoal 227 2.27x2.43 0.18 Mid yellow brown weakly cemented clayey sand with occasional pebbles, small stones and flecks of charcoalTable of fills of pit c�191 141
  • 155. iSSUE 13: Eachtra JoUrnal - iSSn 2009-2237 archaEological Excavation rEport The height content of seeds in fill C.226 indicate that pit C.191 should be associated with one of the nearby kilns C.189, C.989 or C.990. Group 6 Moat C.44 Ditch C.44 was filled with 54 fills: C.37, C.38, C.39, C.40, C.41, C.42, C.43, C.45, C.91, C.292, C.293, C.294, C.295, C.296, C.297, C.298, C.299, C.300, C.301, C.302, C.303, C.322, C.336, C.362, C.363, C.413, C.414, C.415, C.416, C.417, C.418, C.553, C.556, C.559, C.583, C.584, C.585, C.586, C.587, C.694, C.695, C.700, C.701, C.702, C.703, C.704, C.705, C.706, C.707, C.708, C.709, C.710, C.763 and C.764. The ditch C.44 was the largest ditch on site and had been interpreted as possibly being part of a moated site. This ditch runs southwest from under the northern limit of excava- tion in the northeast quadrant of the site for approximately 19 m. It then turns sharply to- wards the northwest for 12.5 m at the end of which it again runs under the northern limit of excavation. C.44 had a maximum width of 5.56 m and a minimum of 4.80 m and had steeply sloped sides and a wide flat base. It was 1.50 m to 1.70 m in depth and contained a total of 54 fills along its visible length. This ditch enclosed a large number of archaeologi- cal features and a number of stratagraphic layers. This ditch truncated the northeast end of ditch cut C.68 and appeared to be contemporary with C.86 (they had a common fill). Context Fill description Comments 37 Mid brown firm silt with occasional small stones Modern backfill 38 Mid brown stony silt with moderate small, frequent medium and large Modern stones backfill 39 Mid grey brown firm silt with moderate pebbles, small and medium stones Modern backfill 40 Dark brown black firm silt with occasional small stones, frequent flecks and moderate small pieces of charcoal 41 Dark black firm silt with frequent flecks, small and medium pieces of charcoal 42 Mid brown grey firm silt with moderate pebbles, occasional small and medium stones and flecks of charcoal 43 Mid grey brown firm sandy silt with occasional pebbles, small stones and flecks of charcoal 45 Mid brown firm sandy silt with occasional pebbles, small and medium Primary fill of stones and frequent large stones ditch 91 Light yellow grey soft sandy silt Primary fill of ditch 292 Light brown stiff clayey silt with occasional pebbles and small stones Modern backfill 293 Mid brown grey stiff silt with occasional pebbles and small stones Modern backfill 294 Light brown yellow stiff clayey silt with occasional pebbles and small Modern stones backfill 295 Mid brown stiff silt with occasional pebbles and small stones 296 Mid brown firm silt with moderate pebbles 297 Mid grey brown stiff silt with occasional pebbles 298 Mid brown firm silt with occasional pebbles 299 Mid brown yellow firm clayey silt with occasional pebbles142
  • 156. bUShErStown-E3661 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3661-busherstown-co-offaly/Context Fill description Comments300 Mid grey firm clayey silt with frequent pebbles, moderate small and oc- casional medium stones301 Mid brown soft silt with occasional pebbles and small stones302 Mid brown soft pebbly silt with moderate pebbles303 Light brown yellow soft sandy silt with occasional pebbles322 Mid grey soft stony silt with occasional pebbles and small stones Modern backfill336 Dark black soft silt with frequent flecks and small pieces of charcoal362 Mid brown firm sandy silt with occasional pebbles363 Light yellow brown firm sandy silt with occasional pebbles Primary fill of ditch413 Mid yellow brown soft sandy silt with occasional pebbles414 Mid brown soft sandy silt with moderate pebbles415 Mid grey brown soft sandy silt with occasional pebbles and moderate small stones416 Light yellow grey soft sandy silt with occasional pebbles417 Light yellow grey very soft silty sand with occasional pebbles418 Light yellow grey very soft sand with moderate pebbles. Primary fill of ditch553 Mid grey very soft silty clay with moderate pebbles and occasional large Modern stones backfill556 Dark brown very soft sandy silt with moderate pebbles and occasional Modern medium stones backfill559 Dark brown very soft sandy silt with moderate pebbles and occasional medium stones and flecks of charcoal583 Light brown grey compact sand Modern backfill584 Dark brown soft silty clay with moderate pebbles and occasional small stones585 Dark brown soft silty clay with moderate pebbles, occasional small stones, flecks of charcoal and flecks of snail shells586 Mid brown weakly cemented silty sand with occasional pebbles and me- dium stones587 Light green brown sand with occasional pebbles and small stones Primary fill of ditch694 Dark brown soft sandy silt with occasional pebbles Modern backfill695 Mid brown soft sandy silt with moderate pebbles and medium stones Modern backfill700 Mid brown soft sandy silt with moderate pebbles, medium and large stones701 Light grey brown soft sandy silt with moderate pebbles702 Mid yellow grey soft sandy silt with occasional flecks of charcoal703 Light brown soft sandy silt Primary fill of ditch704 Yellow brown loose sand with moderate pebbles and occasional small stones705 Mid brown firm clay with moderate small and medium stones and oc- casional flecks of charcoal706 Light grey brown stiff clay Primary fill of ditch707 Mid yellow brown soft sandy silt with moderate pebbles708 Light yellow brown soft sandy silt with frequent pebbles709 Mid brown soft sandy silt with occasional pebbles, moderate medium and large stones and occasional flecks of charcoal 143
  • 157. iSSUE 13: Eachtra JoUrnal - iSSn 2009-2237 archaEological Excavation rEport Context Fill description Comments 710 Mid grey brown soft sandy silt with moderate medium and large stones and occasional flecks of charcoal 763 Mid brown soft sandy silt with occasional pebbles 764 Light brown yellow firm silty clay Modern backfill Tables of fills of ditch C�44 Few fill within ditch should be considered as similar/contemporary. They are fills: C.42 and C.586; fills C.41, C.338, C.301 and C.585; fills C.38, C.556, C.700 and C.709. In the upper backfill C.37 were found iron rivet and clay pipe stem and in the back- fill C.39 were found bottom and neck of blue glass bottle. The lower fill C.40 contained iron chain fragment, two iron nails and four iron rivets. In the fill C.41 were found iron brooch and iron arrowhead. The fill C.42 contained rotary quern fragment (E3661:42:1). In the fill C.300 was found utilised quartzite stone (E3661:300:1) dated to Late Neolithic/ Early Bronze Age. The fill C.301 contained glazed red piece of pottery. In the fill C.553 was found blade of iron knife. Gully cut C.337 was located on a possible ledge running along inner edge of south side of C.44. It was visible as a shallow cut with eastern terminus just before C.44 turned to north. As C.337 ran northeast it petered out completely and didn’t appear to have a north- east terminus as such. It contained one of the same fill (C.296) as C.44. It was 12.50m in visible length, 0.80m wide and 0.35m deep. Two gullies were recorded in the upper fills of the ditch C.44. Gully cut C.338, filled with C.296, ran for 2.80m, and was 0.40m wide and 0.15m deep. This appeared to be a shallow gully/recut into an upper fill of ditch cut C.44. Gully cut C.339, filled with C.293 294, ran for 1.50m, and was 1.10m wide and 0.25m deep. This also appeared to be a gully/recut into the upper fill of ditch cut C.44.144
  • 158. bUShErStown-E3661 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3661-busherstown-co-offaly/Group 7 Features within the moat (not including kilns) Kilns C.634 and C.355 are described above. The structure comprising slot trench C.815, posthole C.809, small pit C.882, postholeC.880 and stakehole C.786 are described above.Subgroup 7a Pit C.646 and associated features The pit C.646 was surrounded by one pit (C.610) and four stakeholes (C.617, C.618,C.620 and C.731). Pit C.646 filled with C.647, C.653, C.654, C.655, C.656, C.657, C.658, C.659 andC.660 The pit was circular in plan with rounded corners. It measured 1.75m in length by1.55m in width and 0.75m in depth. The break of slope at the top and at the base wassharp. The sides were steep and smooth. The base was sub-circular in plan and flat inprofile. Next to the pit C.646 was located smaller pit C.610.Context Description647 Light yellow orange stiff sandy clay with occasional pebbles and small stones653 Mid grey brown loose clayey sand654 Light orange firm sandy clay with occasional pebbles and frequent small pieces of charcoal655 Light yellow grey firm sandy clay with occasional pebbles656 Light orange stiff sandy clay with occasional pebbles and flecks of charcoal657 Light orange grey stiff sandy clay with moderate pebbles, occasional small stones, moder- ate flecks and small pieces of shell and occasional flecks of charcoal 658 Mid brown grey compact clayey sand with occasional pebbles, small stones, flecks of char- coal and moderate flecks and small pieces of shell 659 Mid orange yellow compact clayey sand with occasional pebbles, small stones and flecks of charcoal 660 Mid grey brown loose clayey sand with occasional pebbles and moderate flecks of charcoalTable of fills of pit C�646Con- Feature Dimensions Shape in Sides Base Filled Fill descriptiontext type (lxbxd) in plan with metres610 Pit 0.41 x 0.23 Oval Gentle Concave 611 Mid brown grey x 0.1 smooth soft sandy silt with moderate small stones and oc- casional flecks of charcoal617 Stake-hole 0.22 x 0.17 Sub- Vertical Tapered 616 Light brown grey x 0.25 circular smooth at SW blunt soft sandy clay with and SE, steep pointed frequent flecks, smooth at small and medium NW and NE pieces of charcoal618 Stake-hole 0.19 x 0.16 Sub- Vertical Concave 619 Light brown grey x 0.14 circular smooth at N soft sandy clay with and S, steep occasional flecks convex at and small pieces of A, steep charcoal smooth at W 145
  • 159. iSSUE 13: Eachtra JoUrnal - iSSn 2009-2237 archaEological Excavation rEport Con- Feature Dimensions Shape in Sides Base Filled Fill description text type (lxbxd) in plan with metres 620 Stake-hole 0.18 x 0.15 Oval Moderate Flat 621 Light brown grey x 0.11 stepped loose sandy silt with at SW steep occasional flecks smooth and small pieces of elsewhere charcoal 731 Stake-hole 0.14 x 0.13 Sub- Moderate Pointed 732 Mid grey brown loose x 0.09 circular smooth clayey sand Table of features possibly associated with pit C�646 Subgroup 7b Pit C.441 and associated features The pit C.441 was surrounded by seven stakeholes C.458, C.460, C.462, C.465, C.467, C.468 and C.497. The pit C.441 filled with C.344, C.400, C.426 and C.431 The pit was sub-rectangular in plan with rounded corners. It measured 2.05m in length by 1.36m in width and 0.8m in depth. The break of slope at the top was sharp. The sides were steep and undercut at northeast and southwest, steep and smooth at southeast, steep and stepped at northwest. The break of slope at the base was sharp at southeast and northwest and gradual at northeast and southwest. The base was oval in plan and flat in profile. The pit was re-cut by pit C.272 and was truncated by furrow C.287. Context Dimension/ Depth Fill description length x (m) width (m) 344 1.96x1.35 0.55 Light grey soft silty sand with occasional pebbles and small stones 400 0.8x0.6 0.1 Light yellow grey firm sandy clay with occasional pebbles and small stones 426 1.5x1 0.5 Mid grey brown soft clayey silt with moderate pebbles and small stones 431 0.65x0.32 0.03 Light blue grey compact sand with moderate pebbles Table of fills of pit C�441 Con- Feature Dimensions Shape in Sides Base Filled Fill description text type (lxbxd) in plan with metres 458 Stake-hole 0.05 x 0.05 Circular Steep Concave 457 Dark grey black x 0.04 concave, trun- very soft silt cated at N with occasional pebbles 460 Stake-hole 0.11 x 0.08 Sub-rec- Vertical Pointed 459 Dark grey black x 0.11 tangular smooth at very soft silt with NE, steep occasional peb- and smooth bles, flecks and elsewhere small pieces of charcoal146
  • 160. bUShErStown-E3661 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3661-busherstown-co-offaly/Con- Feature Dimensions Shape in Sides Base Filled Fill descriptiontext type (lxbxd) in plan with metres462 Stake-hole 0.07 x 0.07 Circular Steep Pointed 461 Dark grey black x 0.13 smooth at very soft silt with W, vertical occasional peb- smooth bles, flecks and elsewhere small pieces of charcoal465 Stake-hole 0.04 x 0.04 Circular Vertical Concave 457 Dark grey black x 0.04 smooth at very soft silt N, steep with occ