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

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The excavated remains at Drumroe comprised a Bronze Age house, a group of pits and a number of field boundaries. The area of excavation measured 35 m north-south by 110 m east-west. The Bronze Age ...

The excavated remains at Drumroe comprised a Bronze Age house, a group of pits and a number of field boundaries. The area of excavation measured 35 m north-south by 110 m east-west. The Bronze Age house was located at the eastern end of the site. The house measured 7 m in diameter. It was defined by two incomplete rings of post-holes and slot trenches, the inner ring was concentric with the outer. No trace of the rear of the structure survived. The porch measured c. 1 m in width by 1.7 m in length and faced directly east. A widely dispersed group of sixteen pits and field boundaries were recorded in the western portion of the site. The boundaries were of relict field systems. At least three phases of ditches were recorded and a broad typology of ditches can be associated with the three phases.

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Archaeological Report - Drumroe, Co. Offaly (Ireland) Archaeological Report - Drumroe, Co. Offaly (Ireland) Document Transcript

  • Eachtra JournalIssue 11 [ISSN 2009-2237] Archaeological Excavation Report E3773 - Drumroe, Co. OffalyLate Bronze Age structure, Iron Age pits and late medieval field boundaries
  • EACHTRAArchaeological Projects Archaeological Excavation Report Drumroe Co Offaly Late Bronze Age structure, Iron Age pits and late medieval field boundaries Date: July 2011 Client: Laois County Council and National Roads Authority Project: N7 Castletown to Nenagh (Contract 1) E No: E3773Excavation Director: John Tierney Written by: Enda OMahony and John Tierney
  • Archaeological Excavation Report Drumroe Co Offaly Excavation Director John Tierney Written By Enda OMahony and John Tierney 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
  • © Eachtra Archaeological Projects 2011 The Forge, Innishannon, Co Cork Set in 12pt Garamond Printed in Ireland
  • Table of Contents Summary���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������iii Acknowledgements�������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� iv1 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)����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 6 Earlymedievalperiod(c�AD400to1100)����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 6 Highandlatermedievalperiods(c�AD1100to1650)���������������������������������������������������������������� 7 Post-medievalperiod(c�1650tothepresent)�������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 7 �5 Site location and Topography ��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 76 Excavation methodology ���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 107 Excavation results ������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������ 118 Discussion �������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 269 References �������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 31Appendix 1 Stratigraphic Index �������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 33Appendix 2 Site Matrix �������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������34Appendix 3 Groups and subgroups ������������������������������������������������������������������������������������ 37 �Appendix 4 Lithics report �������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 43Appendix 5 Animal bone report ������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 45Appendix 6 Plant remains report������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������46Appendix 7 Geophysics report ����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������50 i
  • List of Figures Figure 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� ����������������������������������������������������� 5 Figure 3: Portion of the Ist edition Ordnance Survey Map OF47 showing the location of Drumroe� ������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������ 8 Figure 4: Location and extent of Drumroe E3773 on the N7 Castletown to Nenagh� ������������������������� 9 Figure 5: Post excavation plan of Drumroe� ���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 12 � Figure 6: Post-excavation plan of Structure A at Drumroe� ������������������������������������������������������������������������ 13 � Figure 7: Section and profile plans of hearth and post-hole C�46 and C�66 and post-holes C�150 and C�171 associated with Structure A� �������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 16 Figure 8: Section and profile plans of pits C�17, C�21 and C�134 at Drumroe� ���������������������������������������� 18 Figure 9: Section and profile plans of ditches C�4 and C�41, ditch C�53 and ditches C�144 and C�50 at Drumroe� ��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������20 Figure 10: Map of the geophysical data south of the site at Drumroe� �����������������������������������������������������25 Figure 11: Post-excavation plans of eight of the Bronze Age houses on the N7 Castletown to Nenagh� �������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������27 List of Plates Plate 1: Aerial view of Drumroe from east� ����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 11 Plate 2: Post excavation of Structure A at Drumroe looking west� �������������������������������������������������������� 14 Plate 3: Post excavation of Structure looking east, hearth C�46 in foreground at Drumroe� ������� 17 Plate 4: Post-excavation of pit C�21 in Drumroe ������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 17 Plate 5: Post-excavation of pit C�134 in Drumroe� ���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 19 Plate 6: Section of ditches C�4 and C�41 from south at Drumroe� ����������������������������������������������������������21 Plate 7: Section of the ditch C�53 looking east� ��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������21 Plate 8: Section of the ditch C�5 looking west� ���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������22 � Plate 9: Convex End Scraper (E3773:1:2) ����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������23 List of Tables Table 1: Dimensions of features associated with Structure A ������������������������������������������������������������������ 14 Table 2 Dimensions of the ditches within the area of excavation ���������������������������������������������������������22 Table 3: Radiocarbon dates from Drumroe ����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������24 Table 4: Radiocarbon dates for Bronze Age structures on the route of the N7� ���������������������������������28ii
  • Drumroe-e3773 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3773-drumroe-co-offaly/SummaryThe excavated remains at Drumroe comprised a Bronze Age house, a group of pits anda number of field boundaries. The area of excavation measured 35 m north-south by 110m east-west. The Bronze Age house was located at the eastern end of the site. The housemeasured 7 m in diameter. It was defined by two incomplete rings of post-holes and slottrenches, the inner ring was concentric with the outer. No trace of the rear of the struc-ture survived. The porch measured c. 1 m in width by 1.7 m in length and faced directlyeast. A widely dispersed group of sixteen pits and field boundaries were recorded in thewestern portion of the site. The boundaries were of relict field systems. At least threephases of ditches were recorded and a broad typology of ditches can be associated withthe three phases.Road project name N7 Castletown to NenaghSite name DrumroeE no. E3773Site director John TierneyTownland DrumroeParish CastletownelyCounty OffalyBarony ClonliskOS Map Sheet No. OF47National Grid Reference 205195 / 181703Elevation 155m O.D. iii
  • iSSue 11: eachtra Journal - iSSn 2009-2237 archaeological excavation report 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 James Bonsall (Earthsound Archaeological Geophysics), Mary Dillon, Penny Johnston, Margaret McCarthy, Farina Sternke and the 14 Chrono Centre at Queen’s University Belfast.iv
  • Drumroe-e3773 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3773-drumroe-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 Heri-tage and Local Government (DoEHLG) in consultation with the National Museum ofIreland. The principal aim of this phase of the project was to test for any previously un-known 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
  • 182550 198900 2152502 193300 193300 ! ( Nenagh iSSue 11: 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
  • Drumroe-e3773 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3773-drumroe-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
  • iSSue 11: 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
  • 190400 196200 202000 207800 Drumroe-e3773 186400 186400 Drumroe 1 Castleroan 1 E 3909 Busherstown 1 E 3661 Loughan 1 Greenhills 3 E 4000 E 3658 Moneygall 2 Culleenwaine 1 E 3635 E 3741 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� http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3773-drumroe-co-offaly/5
  • iSSue 11: eachtra Journal - iSSn 2009-2237 archaeological excavation report Two new fulachta fiadh or burnt mounds were recorded at Clashnevin 1 E3586, Cull- enwaine E3741 and six at three separate locations in Greenhills, E3638, E3637 and E3658. Evidence of nine roundhouses or partial round structures were recorded; two at Cas- tleroan 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, believed to have marked tribal boundaries, and hillforts are two of the most visible monuments of the period. Ten percent of sites excavated on NRA road schemes in recent years have produced Iron Age dates. The dates have led to the identification of 30 new Iron Age sites in Munster from road schemes in counties Cork, Limerick and Tipperary (McLaughlin 2008, 51). These include a ditched enclosure in Ballywilliam and a wooden trackway in Annaholty 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 Drumroe E3773 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. The characteristic monument type of the period is the ringfort. Ringforts are the most nu- merous archaeological monument found in Ireland, with estimates of between 30,000 and 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 has a narrow date range during the early medieval period between the 7th and 9th centuries AD. Although there are some very elaborate examples of ringforts, they often take the form 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 religious centres are at the core of some of the towns and villages. Roscrea, for example, was chosen by St Cronan as a location for his monastery in the seventh century as it was located at the crossroads on the Slighe Dála, an important roadway in early medieval times (NIAH 2006, 4-8). Early medieval activity was recorded at five sites on the route of the N7 Castletown to Nenagh (Contract 1). A series of corn-drying kilns were recorded at Busherstown E3661. A denuded ringfort (OF046-013) was excavated at Clynoe 2 E3774. An area of iron- working and associated pits was recorded at Drumbaun E3912. Iron working activity, corn-drying kilns and settlement activity was recorded at Park 1 E3659. A group of pits and associated ditch were recorded at Drumroe E3773.6
  • Drumroe-e3773 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3773-drumroe-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. Anewly recorded moated site was excavated at Busherstown E3661. A series of ditches andsettlement 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 at Drumroe 1 was located in the northern portion of the townland (Figure 4).Drumroe townland ranges in height from 136m O.D. to 200m O.D., slopes to the north-east and contains 296 acres of land. The townland name most likely refers to the “RedHill” derived from Drum meaning “hill/ridge” and Roe meaning “Red”. The townland isenclosed by a local tertiary road to the north which facilities a journey between Money-gall and Moatquater. The townland boundary to the east comprised a small stream. Thesouthern and western townland boundaries are field boundaries. The southern, western,and eastern boundaries are also the county boundary between Offaly and TipperaryNorth Riding. In the north eastern corner of the townland there are the remains of aChurch and a Graveyard (OF047-009 and OF047-009001). The townland and the sur-rounding landscape is undulating with both tillage and pastoral agricultural being thepredominant land use. The field boundaries show no significant alterations since the mid-19th century. There is a very gentle gradient in the area of the excavation which slopedfrom south to north. The moated site at Busherstown E3661 was located c. 400m to thewest and downslope of Drumroe. 7
  • 204713 2057138 Castleroan LOUGHAN ea m Loughan S tr 182716 182716 e lo g K ee CASTLEROAN iSSue 11: 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 Drumroe� archaeological excavation report
  • 204840 205210 205580 Drumroe-e3773 K ee 181932 181932 loge St BUSHERSTOWN 14 60 ream 0 14 50 0 144 135 00 00 136 00 137 0 0 143 00 181702 181702 138 0 0 142 00 139 00 140 00 141 00 DRUMROE 181472 181472 Drumroe 1 (E3773) 0 100 200 Metres ± 204840 205210 205580 Figure 4: Location and extent of Drumroe E3773 on the N7 Castletown to Nenagh� http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3773-drumroe-co-offaly/9
  • iSSue 11: eachtra Journal - iSSn 2009-2237 archaeological excavation report 6 Excavation methodology The site was mechanically stripped of topsoil under strict archaeological supervision. Stripping was done with a tracked machine with a flat toothless bucket. Topsoil stripping commenced in the areas of identified archaeology and continued radially outward until the limit of the road take was reached or until the limit of the archaeological remains was fully defined. Two areas were stripped systemically. The area stripped measured ap- proximately 3850sq metres. A grid was set up in the excavation areas and all archaeological features were sufficiently cleaned, recorded and excavated so as to enable an accurate and meaningful record of the site to be preserved. The excavation, environmental sampling, site photographs, site drawings, find care and retrieval, on-site recording and site archive was as per the Procedures for Archaeological works as attached to the licence method statements for excavation licences. The site was excavated from the 17th November 2007 to the 8th December 2007. The crew comprised one director, two supervisors and 8 site assistants. Only areas within the LMA (lands made available) were resolved. The full record of excavated contexts is recorded in the context register and the strati- graphic matrix (Appendix 1). Detailed stratigraphic descriptions are found in the groups and sub-groups text (Appendix 2). The context register maybe viewed in the EAPOD (Eachtra Archaeological Projects office database) in the accompanying CD.10
  • Drumroe-e3773 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3773-drumroe-co-offaly/Plate 1: Aerial view of Drumroe from east�7 Excavation resultsA Bronze Age structure, a cluster of pits and medieval ditches were excavated at Drumroe1 (Figure 5 and Plate 1).Habitation AreaThe remnants of a house, Structure A, were identified in the eastern portion of the site.The structure was defined by an arc of posts, a porch and two slot trenches. Only the east-ern portion or front of the structure survived. The reason for this is unclear. The groundsurface was level, the topsoil was a similar depth across the site and the subsoil showedno signs of significant alterations from activities such as deep ploughing, furrows or landreclamation. The rear of the structure may not have survived if the foundations had notpierced the subsoil, the basic elements of the structure may have been only been driveninto the topsoil.Structure AStructure A was located on the eastern edge of the site (Figure 6 and Plate 2). It was de-fined by two incomplete rings of post-holes and slot trenches, the inner ring was concen-tric with the outer. No trace of the rear (western and northern sections) of the structure 11
  • 205200 20524012 ± 140 181700 181700 82 134 81 105 133 iSSue 11: eachtra Journal - iSSn 2009-2237 5 50 4 153 41 149 O ) 17 19 159 m O.D. 21 18 53 73 27 52 75 112 63 97 Structure 28 32 3 99 49 181675 181675 113 144 0 25 m 205200 205240 Figure 5: Post excavation plan of Drumroe� archaeological excavation report
  • Drumroe-e3773 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3773-drumroe-co-offaly/ ± 112 180 96 123 185 66 200 187 46 198 142 104 48 Structure 128 173 116 161 195 162 172 150 165 193 171 164 204 209 206 208 191 3 188 124 2010 2.5 mFigure 6: Post-excavation plan of Structure A at Drumroe�survived. The estimated internal diameter of the structure measured 7 m and had an in-ternal floor space of c. 38sq m (Area = π x R2). The inner ring comprised six postholes (C.112, C.188, C.171, C.173, C.198, C.123 andC.112). Three of the posts (C.198, C.123 and C.112) were located on the northern circuitof the inner ring and three (C.173, C.171 and C.188) on the southern. The interval be-tween the posts was reasonably regular with the exception of one posthole (C.112) whichwas located on the northern circuit 4.8 m northwest of post C.123. Stake-hole C.200 waslocated adjacent to post C.198 and stake-holes C.172 and C.206 adjacent to post C.171. The outer ring comprised two slot trenches (C.180 and C.201) which measured morethan 2.5 m in length. One post-hole C.209 was located in the slot trench C.180 and twopost-holes (C.185 and C.187) in the slot trench C.201. Each of the slot trenches termi-nated in a post-hole (C.104 and C.116 respectively) which formed the western end of theentrance porch. Post-holes (C.128 and C.150) which were located 1.7 m to the east formed 13
  • iSSue 11: eachtra Journal - iSSn 2009-2237 archaeological excavation report Plate 2: Post excavation of Structure A at Drumroe looking west� the eastern end of the entrance porch. The porch measured c. 1 m in width by 1.7 m in length and faced directly east. Three other features, a post-hole (C.142) located on the northern side of the porch and two stake-holes (C.193 and C.195) located on the southern side, were associated with the porch. Structure A Context Dimensions (mm) C.188 0.26 X 0.2 X 0.2 C.171 0.3 X 0.26 X 0.3 C.173 0.21 X 0.19 X 0.15 C.198 0.26 X 0.23 X 0.23 C.123 0.17 X 0.15 X 0.30 C.112 0.32 X 0.24 X 0.27 C.185 (in slot trench C.180) 0.08 X 0.06 X 0.12 C.187 (in slot trench C.180) 0.25 X 0.2 X 0.21 C.209 (in slot trench C.201) 0.2 X 0.18 X 0.17 C.104 (Porch) 0.26 X 0.25 X 0.31 C.116 (Porch) 0.29 X 0.2 X 0.4 C.128(Porch) 0.33 X 0.28 X 0.3 C.150(Porch) 0.26 X 0.26 X 0.36 C.180 (slot trench) 2.8 X 0.15 X 0.12 C.201 (slot trench) 2.7 X 0.18 X 0.12 Table 1: Dimensions of features associated with Structure A14
  • Drumroe-e3773 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3773-drumroe-co-offaly/ A post-hole C.124 and a stake-hole C.191 were located on the exterior of the slottrench C.201 2 m south of the porch. A radiocarbon date from the external slot trench (C.201) returned a Late Bronze Agedate of cal BC 899-815 (UB-15085) from alder charcoal.Internal FeaturesTwo post holes (C.48 and C.66) and a pit (C.46) were located in the centre of the struc-ture (Plate 3). One of the postholes C.66 was located on the western edge of the pit andthe other was located 0.5 m to the south. The pit measured 1 m in width by 0.33 m indepth and may have functioned as a hearth. The post-holes may have served a structuralpurpose associated with the roof or they may have been related to domestic activates(Figure 7). A group of six stake-holes (C.161, C.162, C.164, C.165, C.204 and C.206) were lo-cated to the south of the hearth and may have formed, albeit a slightly irregular, internalscreen or division. A small slot trench C.208 was located to the west of the screen. The pit C.46 was sampled and returned an early medieval date of cal AD 681-778(UB–15087).Pits and stakeholesA widely dispersed group of sixteen pits (C.17, C.19, C.21, C.32, C.49, C.52, C.63, C.75,C.81, C.99, C.113, C.133, C.134, C.140, C.149 and C.153) and two stake-holes (C.82 andC.97) were recorded in the western portion of the site (see Figure 5). Small quantities ofcharred plant remains were recovered from six of the pits (C.17, C.21, C.52, C.75, C.81and C.140). A relatively large portion of charred hazelnut shell fragments were retrievedfrom pits C.75 and C.81. Small amounts of cereal grains, oat and barley were also recov-ered. Three animal bones from a large mammal were recovered from pit C.21. Three of the pits (C.49, C.63 and C.75) were located 24 m to the west of the structure.Pit C.75 was the largest of the three pits and the deepest of the pits recorded in the west-ern section of the site. A single stake-hole was located on the south-eastern edge of the pit. Five of the pits (C.19, C.21, C.52, C.149 and C.153) were located in a north-southorientated line, spanning a distance of 12 m. Two of them C.21 and C.52 were located oneither side of the ditch C.18, 4 m to the east of the eastern ditch terminal (Plate 4). A large shallow pit C.134 was located 9 m to the north of the line of five pits on thenorthern edge of the area of excavation (Plate 5). Three other pits (C.32, C.99 and C.113) were located on the southern side of ditchC.18. Two of them were small in size and could have been the base of post-holes. Theywere located within 1.5 m of one another and 7.5 m west of the third pit C.113. Four pits were located at the eastern end of the site. Three (C.81, C.133 and C.140)were located on the western side of the ditch C.5 and one, C.17, on the eastern side. PitC.17 was the largest of the pits recorded in this area (Figure 8). An Iron Age date of cal BC 386–204 was returned from pit C.81 (UB–15044). 15
  • 16 N7CN Drumroe 1 South facing section of Posthole C.150 N7CN Drumroe 1 Profile of Pit C.44 and C.66 C.148 # C.66 C.46 # iSSue 11: eachtra Journal - iSSn 2009-2237 # # C.150 N7CN Drumroe 1 East facing section of Pit C.46 Drumroe 1 N7CN SW facing section of posthole C.171 # # # # C.47 # # # C.59 # # # # C.62 # # C.61 # C.182 # # C.46 # # # # # 0 1000 mm C.171 0 500 mm Figure 7: Section and profile plans of hearth and post-hole C�46 and C�66 and post-holes C�150 and C�171 associated with Structure A� archaeological excavation report
  • Drumroe-e3773 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3773-drumroe-co-offaly/Plate 3: Post excavation of Structure looking east, hearth C�46 in foreground at Drumroe�Plate 4: Post-excavation of pit C�21 in Drumroe 17
  • 18 N7CN N7CN Drumroe 1 Drumroe 1 West facing section of Pit C.134 North facing section of C.21 C.3 6 C.38 C.143 # # # # C.37 C.35 C.134 C.21 iSSue 11: eachtra Journal - iSSn 2009-2237 N7CN Drumroe 1 NW facing section of Pit C.17 C.22 C.23 C.17 0 1000 mm Figure 8: Section and profile plans of pits C�17, C�21 and C�134 at Drumroe� archaeological excavation report
  • Drumroe-e3773 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3773-drumroe-co-offaly/Plate 5: Post-excavation of pit C�134 in Drumroe�Field BoundariesThere were no extant field boundaries recorded within the area of excavation but a seriesof back filled field boundaries (C.3, C.4, C.5, C.18/C.53, C.41, C.50, C.105 and C.144)were recorded at Drumroe. The ditches were all broad U-shaped in plan. Four of theditches (C.4, C.41, C.50 and C.144) were orientated north-south. They extended beyondthe area of excavation to the south and north and were recorded in the field to the southby the geophysical survey (see figure 10). Ditch C.144 and C.41 formed two segments ofone ditch, C.41 was the northern section and C.144 the southern section (Plate 6). Therewas a gap of 1 m between the terminals of the two segments of the ditch. The ditch C.144 and C.41 were recut by ditches C.50 and C.4 respectively (Figure9). The two latter ditches were orientated north-south and were located parallel to oneanother. There was a distance of c. 2m between them. A field bank was probably locatedin this intervening space but no trace of the bank was recorded. Ditch C.18 and C.53 were orientated east-west and formed two segments of one ditch(Plate 7). They curved across the site and were not cut in the same straight manner as themodern ditches (C.3 and C.5) on site. They were probably associated with ditches C.41and C.144 as the eastern terminal of ditch C.18 was located between the gap in ditchC.41 and C.144. The western terminal of the ditch C.18 was located 0.7 m from the ter-minal of ditch C.53. This gap was slightly staggered, that is to say that the terminals ofthe two segments extended beyond one another. 19
  • 20 N7CN N7CN Drumroe 1 Drumroe 1 North facing section of Ditch C.4 and C.41 NE facing section of Ditch C.53 C.15 C.70 # C.42 C.72 # C.16 C.71 C.43 C.4 C.41 C.53 iSSue 11: eachtra Journal - iSSn 2009-2237 N7CN Drumroe 1 North facing section of Ditch C.144 and C.50 C.146 C.145 C.76 C.64 C.147 C.77 C.50 C.144 0 1000 mm Figure 9: Section and profile plans of ditches C�4 and C�41, ditch C�53 and ditches C�144 and C�50 at Drumroe� archaeological excavation report
  • Drumroe-e3773 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3773-drumroe-co-offaly/Plate 6: Section of ditches C�4 and C�41 from south at Drumroe�Plate 7: Section of the ditch C�53 looking east� 21
  • iSSue 11: eachtra Journal - iSSn 2009-2237 archaeological excavation report Plate 8: Section of the ditch C�5 looking west� An early medieval date of cal AD 897–1017 (UB–15086) was returned from charcoal from a fill of ditch C.18. Two of the ditches (C.3 and C.5) were orientated NE–SW (Plate 8). Ditch C.3 was located at the eastern end of the site and ditch C.5 at the western end, c. 50 m apart. Frag- ments of clay pipe stems were recorded in the ditch fills. Ditch C.5 was marked on the first edition of the Ordnance Survey map OF 47. Context Dimensions (m) (l x w x d) Orientation Associated with Period C.3 23 x 2.4 x 0.6 NE-SW C.5 Modern C.4 29.7 x 1.7 x 0.54 N-S C.41, C.50 and Late C.144 medieval? C.5 43.5 x 1.7 x 0.65 NE-SW C.3 and C.105 Modern C.18 30 x 0.89 x 0.32 E-W C.53 Early medieval? C.41 20 x 0.75 x 0.3 N-S C.4, C.50 and Late C.144 medieval? C.50 32 x 0.97 x 0.34 N-S C.4, C.41 and Late C.144 medieval? C.53 35 x 1.3 x 0.5 E-W C.18 Early medieval? C.105 18 x 0.85 x 0.45 N-S C.5 Modern C.144 6 x 1.01 x 0.47 N-S C.4, C.41 and Late medieval? C.50 Table 2 Dimensions of the ditches within the area of excavation22
  • Drumroe-e3773 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3773-drumroe-co-offaly/Plate 9: Convex End Scraper (E3773:1:2) The earlier ditches were slightly curved in form in comparison to the straighter mod-ern ditches, some of which were parallel to one another with space between for an inter-vening bank.Lithic artefactsThe lithic artefacts were examined by Farina Sternke (Appendix 4). A flint convex endscraper (E3773:1:2) (Plate 9) were recovered from the topsoil. The assemblage dates to theLate Neolithic or Early Bronze Age period.Bone remainsThe bone samples were examined by Margaret McCarty (Appendix 5). Three bone frag-ments were recovered from one of the pits C.21. The bones belonged to a large-sizedanimal such as cattle or horse.Plant remains The plant remains were examined by Penny Johnston (Appendix 6). The cereals fromthis site were identified as barley (3 grains were recovered) and a single grain each ofemmer wheat and oat. Most of the cereals were not identifiable to type because of thepoor state of preservation of the assemblage. Hazelnut shell fragments were found in themajority of the samples, nine samples in total. Tiny amounts of plant remains, mostlyhazelnut shell fragments, and indeterminate cereal grains and one grain of emmer wheat 23
  • iSSue 11: eachtra Journal - iSSn 2009-2237 archaeological excavation report were recovered from five contexts (C.46, C.104, C.112, C.180 and C.198) associated with the house. This suggests that only small-scale domestic debris was charred at the house. 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. Lab no. Context Material Un-calibrated δ 13 C Calibrated BC 2– Period date sigma dates UB– C.85 Hazel charcoal 2230 +/- 27 -28.1 cal BC 386-343 Late Bronze Age/ 15044 from pit C.81 325-204 Iron age UB– C.202 Alder charcoal 2708 +/ - 18 -25.2 cal BC 899-815 Late Bronze Age 15085 from slot trench C.201 Structure A UB– C.33 Charcoal (Hazel) 1074 +/ - 21 -27.3 cal AD 897-922 Early medieval 15086 from ditch C.18 942-1017 period UB– C.61 Charcoal (Prunus) 1259 +/- 17 -29.3 cal AD 681-778 Early medieval 15087 from pit C.46 period Table 3: Radiocarbon dates from Drumroe Geophysical Testing Some geophysical testing, a magnetic gradiometer survey and a magnetic susceptibil- ity survey, was undertaken by Earthsound Archaeological Geophysics (Appendix 7) at Drumroe. The work was undertaken in the field to the south which bordered the Lands Made Available (Figure 10). A number of ditches were detected across the survey area. Some of the ditches represent a continuation of modern north-south field boundaries. The edge of the probable zone of archaeological activity was also established with the detection of an arcing enclosure ditch, which was broadly aligned east-west. A number of single and interconnecting ditches were also detected which may be archaeological or agricultural in origin.24
  • 205171 205242 ± Drumroe-e3773 Medieval boundary Post medieval boundary 181680 181680 Structure 181640 181640 Gradiometer interpretation Ditch Plough furrows 0 50 m 205171 205242 Figure 10: Map of the geophysical data south of the site at Drumroe� http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3773-drumroe-co-offaly/25
  • iSSue 11: eachtra Journal - iSSn 2009-2237 archaeological excavation report 8 Discussion Excavations at Drumroe revealed an area of settlement that comprised one structure that was dated to the Later Bronze Age. In addition to the structure, a group of pits and a series of field boundaries were recorded in the area of the excavation. Bronze Age Settlement site The partial remnants of a Late Bronze Age structure were located in the southeastern corner of the site. The structure was defined by two incomplete rings, which constituted about two thirds of the structure, the rear or western section of the structure had not survived. The inner ring comprised six post-holes. The outer ring comprised two slot trenches. A porch formed by four post-holes, two of which were located in the terminals of the slot trenches, faced east and extended beyond the outer ring of the structure. A pit, which was interpreted as a hearth and two associated postholes were located in the interior of the structure. Charcoal from the base of the hearth was dated to the early medieval period. Two scenarios are possible either the hearth was not associated with the structure, despite the apparent central location in the interior of Structure A or there was a problem with the charcoal. There are two main hypotheses relating to the construction of the houses. Firstly, that an internal ring of posts supported the roof and immediately outside this a clay wall was built. No evidence for the clay wall, except for the empty space, survived. Directly outside the clay wall further roof support was offered by external support posts and associated slot trenches. The relationship between the external and internal posts may indicate the location of the wall top cross beams. The second hypothesis is that a clay wall was built outside and against the inner ring of posts which formed part of a wattle screen and that this wall ran along the line of the outer ring of posts and pits. A recent survey of Bronze Age houses in southern Ireland lists a total of 41 Bronze Age sites where 81 individual structures have been recorded (Doody 2007, 86–7). How- ever, surveys are quickly out of date at the moment, since development-led archaeology has resulted in an explosion of Bronze Age archaeology (Bruck 2009a, xvi). The excava- tion of ten Bronze Age houses on the route of the N7 Castletown to Nenagh will further increase this number (Figure 11). Radiocarbon dates have been obtained for eight of the ten structures on the N7 from the townlands of Clash, Castleroan, Derrybane, Drum- baun, Drumroe and Moatquarter. There is a diversity in house size, internal pattern and construction materials. In Brit- ain there appears to be a number of regionally distinct house styles (Doody 2007, 97) but there is no established evidence for regional variation amongst Irish examples as yet. However, the discovery of axial symmetry in several houses excavated in Tipperary and North Cork has been noted (Tierney and Johnston 2009, 105). A similar phenomenon has also been identified in Britain (Guilbert 1982, 68– 9; Brück 1999). Three of the round post-built structures, Structure 1 in Derrybane and two in Drumbaun, excavated on the N7 were constructed along the principle of axial symmetry. This means that house26
  • Drumroe-e3773 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3773-drumroe-co-offaly/ Drumbaun ± Structure A Derrybane 2 Structure 1 Drumbaun Structure B Derrybane 2 Structure 2 Castleroan Structure A Castleroan Structure B Moatquarter Drumroe Hearth0 10 mFigure 11: Post-excavation plans of eight of the Bronze Age houses on the N7 Castletown to Nenagh� 27
  • iSSue 11: eachtra Journal - iSSn 2009-2237 archaeological excavation report 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 ibid). Three other incomplete structures may have originally been constructed along the same principles. Site Name E No. Structure Calibrated BC 2-sigma dates No of dates Period Clash E3660 Structure 1 1111-920 and 895-800 2 MBA- LBA Castleroan E3909 Structure A 1249-1016 1 MBA Castleroan E3909 Structure B 1011-914 1 LBA Derrybane E3591 Structure 1 741-406 and 833-797 2 LBA Derrybane E3591 Structure 2 794-550 1 LBA Derrybane E3591 Structure 3 1929-1773 1 EBA Drumbaun E3912 Structure A 1436-1316 1 MBA Drumbaun E3912 Structure B 1520-1442 1 MBA Drumroe E3773 Structure 1 895-815 1 LBA Moatquarter E3910 Structure 1 1495-1321, 1432-1316 and 1429-1315 3 MBA Table 4: Radiocarbon dates for Bronze Age structures on the route of the N7� Three of the round post-built structures, the two in Drumbaun, and one in Derry- bane excavated on the N7 were constructed along the principle of axial symmetry. This means that house 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 corre- sponding 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 ibid). Three other incomplete structures, may have originally been constructed along the same principles. Internal hearths were recorded in four of the structures illustrated in Figure 11, in Structure A Castleroan, Structure B Drumbaun, Structure 1 Derrybane 2 and Moat- quarter and a possible hearth in Structure B Castleroan. Hearth-side furniture including stakes which formed tripods, were associated with the internal hearths in Derrybane 2 and Moatquarter. The front section of the house at Clash, Drumroe and Structure B Castleroan was recorded but the no trace of the rear had survived. No evidence of definite central roof support posts were recorded in any of the structures. Internal divisions were recorded in both structures in Drumbaun, in one of the structures in Castleroan and evidence of multi screens or phases of screens were recorded at Moatquarter. External slot trenches, which followed the curve of the inner ring of posts, were re- corded at both Structures 1 and 2 in Drumbaun and at Drumroe. These extended from one or both sides of the entrance posts for lengths of upto 6 m, and have been termed ‘eye-brows’. They may have functioned as drip gullies for water from the roof or they may have been part of a revetment for the outer face of a clay wall which would have been po- sitioned between the inner ring of posts and the slot trench itself. In the majority of cases the slot trench tails off and was not recorded at the rear of the house. An exception was recorded at Moatquarter where the slot trench encircled the rear rather than the entrance28
  • Drumroe-e3773 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3773-drumroe-co-offaly/to the house. No direct evidence for clay walls were recorded at any of the Bronze Age set-tlement sites on the N7 but clay walls do not generally leave any trace in the archaeologi-cal record. The average space between the inner and outer ring at Structure A Castleroanwas 1.4 m. The average space between the inner ring of posts and the slot trenches atDrumbaun was between 0.9-1.4 m. The distance was narrower, 0.5 m at Drumroe. The limited recovery of charred plant remains from Bronze Age house sites was quitecommon, along the route of the N7 Castletown to Nenagh road scheme. Small assem-blages were recovered from Bronze Age settlement sites at Castleroan, Moatquarter andDrumroe. The small quantities of plant remains from these sites probably represent piece-meal and small-scale charring during cooking and domestic activity.Iron Age activityA widely dispersed group of 16 pits were located at the western end of the site. The pitswere small and shallow in depth. Small amounts of plant remains including charred ha-zelnut shell fragments were recovered from six of the pits. The majority of the hazelnutshell fragments came from pits C.75 and C.81, pits located on the eastern and westernperiphery of the group respectively. Three animal bones, the only bones recovered fromthe entire area of excavation, were also recovered from one of the pits. One Iron Age datewas returned from a pit C.81. It is likely on the basis of the similarity of the type of pitsand the fills, which included small amounts of charred plant remains, that all of the pitsat the eastern end of the site are contemporary with the Iron Age phase of activity. Evidence of Iron Age activity was also recorded at Castleroan E3909 a site located c. 1km to the north, two pits at the site were dated to the Iron Age. No other evidence of theIron Age was recorded on any of the sites on the route of the N7 Castletown to Nenagh(Contract 1).Medieval activityTwo early medieval radiocarbon dates were returned from features at Drumroe. Char-coal from the basal fill of a pit or hearth, which was located within a Late Bronze Agestructure, was dated to the 7th/8th centuries AD. The date from the pit is problematic asthe pit (hearth) did appear to be associated with the Late Bronze Age structure. No otherfeatures were dated to this period. A later medieval date, from the 9th/10th century AD, was returned from a fill of one ofthe ditches C.18. The ditch was one of a series of field boundaries excavated at Drumroe.They formed the boundaries of relict field systems. At least three phases of ditches wererecorded and a broad typology of ditches can be associated with the three phases. The twoearliest ditches (C.18/C.53 and C.41/C.144) were broad U-shaped and shallow in planand formed the southern and eastern side of an enclosure or field. Gaps, were recordedbetween the segments of both ditches, they were less that 1 m in width. The small gapsbetween the segments of ditches may be interpreted as an entryway into a field. The ma-jority of them were less than 1 m in width and this may indicate that they were for humanentry not for livestock. No post-holes or other structural evidence was recorded next to 29
  • iSSue 11: eachtra Journal - iSSn 2009-2237 archaeological excavation report any of the gaps but some form of a gate could have existed. Where the gap between the segments of a ditch was staggered the associated bank could have alternated from one side of the ditch to the other at this point. The eastern circuit of the ditch was recut. The recut ditches (C.4 and C.50) were also broad U-shaped in plan but were straighter. They were parallel to one another and a bank must have existed in the intervening space. Two modern field boundaries encompassed the earlier field system. The western ditch was marked on the first edition Ordnance Survey map (Sheet OF 47). The ditches were deeper and steeper than the earlier ones. It would be incorrect to state with certainty, on the basis of a single radiocarbon date, that the primary phase of the ditches at Drumroe were medieval in date. But a number of other similar relict field boundaries were recorded at a few sites on the route of the N7 Castletown to Nenagh (Contract 1) and were dated or dated by association to the late medieval period. A late medieval enclosure and associated field systems 13th/14th were recorded at Killeisk E3587. A small number of field boundaries were recorded at Busher- stown E3661, they post-dated the annex associated with the 13th/14th century moated site and had gone out of use by the middle of the 19th century as they were not marked on the first edition Ordnance Survey map (Sheet TN 22). A series of field boundaries were also recorded at Drumbaun E3912. It is possible that these curving ditches enclosed an area of medieval iron-working although no radiocarbon date was obtained from any of the ditch fills.30
  • Drumroe-e3773 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3773-drumroe-co-offaly/9 ReferencesBruck, J. (2009a) Overview of findings, pp. xvi – xviii in McQuade, M., Molloy, B. and Moriarty, C. In the Shadow of the Galtees. Archaeological excavations along the route of the N8 Cashel to Mitchelstown Road Scheme. Dublin, National Roads Authority.Doody, M. (2007) Excavations at Curraghatoor, Co. Tipperary, University College Cork.Farrelly, J., and O’Brien, C. (2002) Archaeological Inventory of County Tipperary Vol. 1 - North Tipperary, The Stationery Office Dublin.Gardiner, M.J. and Radford,T. (1980) Soil Assocaitions of Ireland and Their Land Use Potential. Dublin, An Foras Talúntais.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.Lynch, L. (2010 forthcoming) Burial at Derrybane in the Bronze Age in Seanda, Issue 5, Dublin.McLaughlin, M. and Conran, S. (2008) ‘The emerging Iron Age of South Munster’ in Seanda, Issue 3, 51-53. 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, 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.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. 31
  • iSSue 11: eachtra Journal - iSSn 2009-2237 archaeological excavation report 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, J. and Johnston, P. (2009) No Corners, Prehistoric roundhouses on the N8 and N7 in counties Cork, Tipperary and Offaly in Dining and Dwelling Archaeology and the National Roads Authority Monograph Series No. 6. 99-108 National Roads Authority, Dublin. 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.32
  • Drumroe-e3773 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3773-drumroe-co-offaly/Appendix 1 Stratigraphic IndexPlease see attached CD. 33
  • iSSue 11: eachtra Journal - iSSn 2009-2237 archaeological excavation reportAppendix 2 Site Matrix 34
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  • iSSue 11: eachtra Journal - iSSn 2009-2237 archaeological excavation report36
  • Drumroe-e3773 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3773-drumroe-co-offaly/Appendix 3 Groups and subgroupsGroup Description Subgroup No. Description Context No.No.1 Natural Topsoil C.1 Deposits Subsoil C.22 Bronze Age Subgroup 2a Porch C.104, C.116, C.128 and C.150 House Subgroups 2b Arc of postholes C.123, C.198, C.173, C.171, C.188, C.185, C.187, C.209, C.112 Subgroup 2c Drip gullies C.180 and C.201 Subgroup 2d Internal and as- sociated features C.66, C.46, C.96, C.200, C.142, C.173, C.172, C.171, C.206, C.165, C.164, C.188, C.162, C.161, C.204, C.2083 Pits and C.17, C.19, C.21, C.32, C.49, C.52, stakeholes C.75, C.81, C.99, C.113, C.133, C.134, C.140, C.149, C.153, C.97 and C.82.4 Ditches Subgroup 2a Medieval field C.4, C.18, C.41, C.50, C.53, C.105 and boundaries C.144 Subgroups 2b Modern C.3, C.55 Non-Archae- C.90, C.91, C.92, C.93, C.100, C.102, ological C.103, C.117, C.120, C.122, C.125, C.126, C.130, C.131, C.132, C.154, C.155, C.156, C.157, C.158, C.166, C.167, C.168, C.169, C.170, C.174, C.175, C.160 and C.163.Group 1 Natural DepositsThis group describes the natural geological deposits identified across the area of excavation. Topsoil C.1 The topsoil was covering the archaeological features on the site. The topsoil was darkblack brown sand silt. Subsoil C.2 The subsoil was mid red yellow firm sand clay. This is the natural subsoil which occursunder the features and was found across the site.Group 2 Bronze Age HouseThe Bronze Age Structure measured 7m in diameter and comprised an arc of internalpostholes, an external drip gully, a porch facing east and associated internal features.A date from the drip gully produced an uncalibrated BP date of 2708 +/ - 18. Only theeastern portion of the structure survived. The northern, southern and western structuralelements of the building were not present. 37
  • iSSue 11: eachtra Journal - iSSn 2009-2237 archaeological excavation report Subgroup 2a Porch The porch consisted of four postholes C.104, C.116, C.128 and C.150. The porch meas- ured 1.8m long (east west) and 1m wide (north south) and was orientated east west. Context Dimen- Depth Shape in Orienta- Sides Base Filled with sions (m) (m) plan tion within area of excavation C.104 0.26m X 0.31m Circular N-S Gentle and Circular and C.101 0.25m smooth concave C.116 0.29m X 0.2m 0.4m Circular N-S Vertical and Circular and C.114 irregular concave C.128 0.33m X 0.3m Circular E-W Vertical and Sub-circular C.127 0.28m convex and flat C.150 0.26m X 0.36m Circular N-S Vertical and Sub-circular C.148 0.26m concave and flat Subgroups 2b Arc of postholes The inner ring of the house comprised six postholes C.188, C.171, C.173, C.198, C.123 and C.112. Five of these postholes (C.188, C.171, C.173, C.198 and C.123) were located directly behind the drip gullies and form the eastern structural elements of the house. At the base of the drip gullies three postholes were excavated (C.185, C.187 and C.209). These postholes may have formed an element of an external wall. The posthole is C.112 is located 4 metres from the eastern wall and is an isolated posthole, however it may have formed part of the northern wall. Context Dimen- Depth Shape in Orienta- Sides Base Filled sions (m) (m) plan tion with within area of excavation C.188 0.26m X 0.2m 0.2m Sub- NE-SW Vertical and Sub-circular C.189 circular smooth and tapered C.171 0.3m X 0.26m 0.3m Circular E-W Steep and Circular and C.182 smooth concave C.173 0.21m X 0.15m Circular N-S Vertical and Sub-oval and C.176 0.19m smooth flat C.198 0.26m X 0.23m Oval Vertical and Oval and C.197 0.23m smooth concave C.123 0.17m X 0.30m Circular Vertical and Circular and C.119 0.15m dry concave C.112 0.32m X 0.27m Circular N-S Vertical and Sub-rectangular C.109 0.24m concave and flat C.185 0.08m X 0.06 0.12m Oval Vertical and Oval and C.184 smooth rounded point C.187 0.25m X 0.2m 0.21m Oval N-S Vertical and Oval and flat C.186 smooth C.209 0.2m X 0.18m 0.17m Circular E-W Gentle and Circular and C.210 smooth concave38
  • Drumroe-e3773 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3773-drumroe-co-offaly/Subgroup 2c Drip gulliesTwo drip gullies (C.180 and C.201) were located perpendicular to the porch. These “eye-brows” may have formed an external wall. At the base of the drip gullies three postholeswere excavated (C.185, C.187 and C.209).Context Dimen- Depth Shape in Orienta- Sides Base Filled with sions (m) (m) plan tion within area of excavationC.180 2.7m X 0.15m 0.12m Curvi- N-S Vertical and Curvi-linear C.151/179 linear smooth and concaveC.201 2.68m X 0.12m Linear NE-SW Vertical and Linear and C.202 0.18m smooth flatSubgroup 2d Internal featuresA total of thirteen features were excavated within the confines of the structure (C.208,C.204, C.161, C.162, C.164, C.165, C.206, C.172, C.48, C.66, C.46, C.96 and C.200).Three external features (C.142, C.195 and C.193) are also included with this subgroup asthey were located adjacent to the porch.Con- Context Dimensions Depth Shape in Orien- Sides Base Filledtext type (m) within (m) plan tation with area of excavationC.208 Linear 1m X 0.26m 0.1m Linear NE- Vertical Linear and C.207 SW and smooth flatC.204 Stakehole 0.07m X 0.14m Circular Vertical Circular and C.203 0.06m and smooth pointedC.161 Stakehole 0.09m X 0.08 0.12m Circular Steep and Circular and C.177 smooth taperedC.162 Stakehole 0.1m X 0.1m 0.13m Circular N-S Steep and Tapered C.181 smoothC.164 Stakehole 01m X 0.09m 0.18m Circular Steep and Circular and C.177 smooth taperedC.165 Stakehole 0.12m X 0.07 0.1m Circular N-S Steep and Circular and C.183 smooth pointedC.206 Stakehole 0.05m X 0.05 0.1m Circular N-S Vertical Circular and C.205 and smooth taperedC.172 Stakehole 0.07m X 0.15m Circular Vertical Circular and C.190 0.06m and smooth pointedC.48 Posthole 0.22m X 0.2m Oval E-W Steep and Circular and C.51 0.16m smooth taperedC.66 Posthole 0.23m X 0.27m Sub- E-W Vertical Sub-circular C.67 and 0.2m circular and smooth and flat C.68C.46 Pit cut 1m X 0.8m 0.33m Oval N-S Moderate Oval and C47, C. and smooth concave 69, C.60 and C.61C.96 Posthole 0.29m X 0.24m Circular E-W Verti- Circular and C.94 0.22m cal and flat concaveC.200 Stakehole 0.06m X 0.12m Oval N-S Vertical Oval and C.199 0.06m and smooth pointed 39
  • iSSue 11: eachtra Journal - iSSn 2009-2237 archaeological excavation report C.142 Posthole 0.32m X 0.2m Oval E-W Gentle and Oval and C.139 0.17m irregular concave C.195 Stakehole 0.07m X 0.06 0.11m Circular Vertical Circular and C.196 and smooth pointed C.193 Stakehole 0.09m X 0.07m Circular Vertical Circular and C.194 0.05m and smooth pointed Group 3 Pits Fifteen postholes and two stakeholes were identified across the area of excavation. These were C.17, C.19, C.21, C.32, C.49, C.52, C.63, C.75, C.81, C.99, C.113, C.133, C.134, C.140, C.149, C.153, stakehole C.97 and stakehole C.82. A radiocarbon date was re- trieved from the pit C.81 which gave an uncalibrated date BP of 2230 +/- 27. No correla- tion or affinity was assumed or noted between these features. Con- Dimen- Depth Shape in Orienta- Sides Base Filled with text sions (m) (m) plan tion within area of excavation C.17 1.64m X 0.23m Sub-rectan- NE-SW Moderate Sub-circular C.22, C.23 and 1.36m gular and smooth and flat C.24 C.19 1.2m X 0.94m 0.11m Oval E-W Moderate Irregular and C.26 and irregular concave C.21 0.84m X 0.17m Oval E-W Steep and Oval and C.35, C.36, 0.67m irregular flat C.37 and C. 38 C.32 0.5m X 0.46m 0.08m Sub-circular E-W Steep and C.62 smooth C.49 0.5m X 0.48m 0.19m Oval N-S Steep and Oval and C.55, C.56 and concave concave C.57 C.52 0.7m X 0.6m 0.28m Sub-circular E-W Vertical and Irregular and C.58 smooth concave C.63 0.4m X 0.38 0.12m Sub-circular NW-SE Gradual to Sub-rectan- C.74 sharp gular and concave C.75 1.43m X 0.38m Pear-shaped NE-SW Moderate Pear shaped C.79, C. 80 and 1.03m and smooth and concave C.87 C.81 0.76m X 0.25m Oval NW-SE Steep and Oval and C.84 and C.85 0.58m concave concave C.99 0.36m X 0.14m Oval E-W Gentle and Circular and C.20 0.34m concave undulating C.113 0.84m X 0.14m Oval N-S Gentle and Oval and C.115 0.61m concave concave C.134 1.4m X 1.27m 0.14m Sub-circular N-S Moderate Sub circular C.143 and smooth and concave C.140 0.7m X 0.62m 0.14m Sub-circular E-W Moderate Oval and C.138 and and concave concave C.141 C.149 0.62m X 0.24 Circular E-W Gentle and Oval and C.152 0.53m irregular concave C.153 1.18m X 0.9m 0.27m Irregular N-S Moderate Irregular and C.159 and irregular flat C.97 0.1m X 0.1m 0.17m Circular N-S Vertical and Circular and C.98 smooth concave C.82 0.10m X 0.17m Circular NW-SE Vertical and Circular and C.83 0.08m smooth tapered40
  • Drumroe-e3773 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3773-drumroe-co-offaly/Group 4 DitchesSubgroup 4a medieval ditchesSeven ditches (C.4, C.18, C.41, C.50, C.53, C.105 and C.144) were recorded within areaof excavation. A cluster of four ditches (C.4, C.41, C.50 and C.144) were located in thecentre of the site and were parallel to each other and were orientated north south. Theboundaries (C.18/C.53) were a possible medieval field boundary which measured between0.89 – 1.3 m in width and between 0.32– 0.5 m in depth. It was c. 50 m long, extendingbeyond the area of the excavation to the west, and it was aligned east-west. An entrancewas located roughly at the centre of the excavated portion of the ditch. This was approxi-mately 1 m wide, located between two ditch terminals. The entrance between the twoterminals did not follow a straight line but was staggered and the pathway between theditch terminals zig-zagged slightly. This may have ensured that animals stayed inside thefield or enclosure that was surrounded by this boundary.Subgroup 4b Modern ditchTwo possible modern ditches (C.5 and C.105) were located to the western extents of thesite. The ditch C.5 was orientated northeast southwest, was recorded on the first editionmaps and was truncated by the ditch C.105 which ran perpendicular to C.5. A fieldboundary (C.3) was located east of the Structure and is orientated northeast southwest.Con- Dimen- Depth Shape Ori- Sides Base Filled withtext sions (m) (m) in plan enta- within area of tion excavationC.3 23m X 2.4m 0.6m Linear NE- Steep and Linear and flat C.10, C.11, C.12, SW smooth C.13, C.69 and C.137C.4 29.7m X 1.7m 0.54m Linear N-S Moderate Linear and flat C.14, C.15 and C.16 steppedC.5 43.5m X 1.7m 0.65m Linear NE- Steep and Linear and C.6, C.7, C. 8, C. SW concave concave 9,C. 29 and C.30C.18 30m X 0.89m 0.32m Linear E-W Moderate Sub-rectangular C.33 and C. 34 and convex and convexC.41 20m X 0.75m 0.3m Linear N-S Moderate Sub-rectangular C.42, C.43, C, 44, and convex and flat C. 45, C.54, C.110 and C.111.C.50 32m X 0.97m 0.34m Linear N-S Steep and Sub-rectangular C.64, C.65, C.76, smooth and concave C.77 and C. 78C.53 35m X 1.3m 0.5m Linear E-W Moder- Linear and C.70, C.71 and C.72 ate and irregular concaveC.105 18m X 0.85m 0.45m Linear N-S Steep and Linear and C.106, C.107 and concave concave C.108C.144 6m X 1.01m 0.47 Linear N-S Moderate Linear and C.145, C.146 and and smooth concave C.147 41
  • iSSue 11: eachtra Journal - iSSn 2009-2237 archaeological excavation report Group 5 Non-Archaeological features In total 29 features were recorded as being archaeological however they were later deemed to be non archaeological. A context number was assigned to each feature and due to a va- riety of reasons 29 features were deemed non archaeological. These were C.90, C.91, C.92, C.93, C.100, C.102, C.103, C.117, C.120, C.122, C.125, C.126, C.130, C.131, C.132, C.154, C.155, C.156, C.157, C.158, C.166, C.167, C.168, C.169, C.170, C.174, C.175, C.160 and C.163.42
  • Drumroe-e3773 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3773-drumroe-co-offaly/Appendix 4 Lithics reportby Farina SternkeIntroductionOne lithic find from the archaeological excavation of a prehistoric site at Drumroe 1,Co. Offaly was presented for analysis (Table 1). The find is associated with a Bronze Agehouse, a group of pits and a number of medieval field boundaries. Thickn. (mm)Find Number Length (mm) Width (mm) Condition Complete Material Retouch Context Cortex Type E3773:1:2 1 FlintRe- No Patinated 32 20 9 Yes left edge and distal di- touched rect abrupt, right edge Artefact direct semiabruptTable 1 Composition of the Lithic Assemblage from Drumroe 1 (E3773) MethodologyAll lithic artefacts are examined visually and catalogued using Microsoft Excel. The fol-lowing details are recorded for each artefact which measures at least 2 cm in length orwidth: context information, raw material type, artefact type, the presence of cortex, arte-fact condition, length, with and thickness measurements, fragmentation and the type ofretouch (where applicable). The technological criteria recorded are based on the terminol-ogy and technology presented in Inizan et al. 1999. The general typological and morpho-logical classifications are based on Woodman et al. 2006. Struck lithics smaller than 2 cmare classed as debitage and not analysed further, unless they represent pieces of techno-logical or typological significance, e.g. cores etc. The same is done with natural chunks.QuantificationThe lithic (E3773:1:2) is a worked piece of flint.ProvenanceThe artefact was recovered from the topsoil.Condition:The lithic survives in patinated, complete condition. 43
  • iSSue 11: eachtra Journal - iSSn 2009-2237 archaeological excavation report Technology/Morphology: The artefact is a convex end scraper which measures 32 mm long, 20 mm wide and 9 mm thick. Dating: The artefact dates to the Late Neolithic/Early Bronze Age period. Conservation Lithics do not require specific conservation, but should be stored in a dry, stable environ- ment. Preferably, each lithic should be bagged separately and contact with other lithics should be avoided, so as to prevent damage and breakage, in particular edge damage which could later be misinterpreted as retouch. Larger and heavier items are best kept in individual boxes to avoid crushing of smaller assemblage pieces. Summary The lithic find from the archaeological excavation at Drumroe 1, Co. Offaly is a flint convex end scraper which dates to the Late Neolithic/Early Bronze Age period. This site makes a minor contribution to the evidence for prehistoric settlement and land use in Co. Offaly. Bibliography Inizan, M.-L., M. Reduron-Ballinger, H. Roche and J. Tixier 1999. Technology and Terminology of Knapped Stone 5. CREP, Nanterre. Woodman, P. C., Finlay, N. and E. Anderson, 2006. The Archaeology of a Collection: The Keiller-Knowles Collection of the National Museum of Ireland. National Museum of Ireland Monograph Series 2. Wordwell, Bray.44
  • Drumroe-e3773 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3773-drumroe-co-offaly/Appendix 5 Animal bone reportThe excavations at Drumroe 1 revealed a group of pits that were found close to a medi-eval field boundary. One of these was dated to the Iron Age, the remainder including thebone-producing pit (C21) could be Iron Age or early medieval in date. Just three boneswere found in the fill (C38) of the pit and none of these are diagnostic to species. Theyare sufficiently large and thick-walled to indicate that they belong to a large-sized animalsuch as cattle or horse. 45
  • iSSue 11: eachtra Journal - iSSn 2009-2237 archaeological excavation report Appendix 6 Plant remains report By Penny Johnston Introduction This report details the results of plant remains analysis from Drumroe, Co. Tipperary (E3773). The site comprised a Bronze Age house, a group of pits, a number of medieval field boundaries and modern field boundaries. Methodology The samples were collected on site as bulk soil and were processed using machine-as- sisted floatation (following guidelines in Pearsall 2000). The floating material (or ‘flot’) from each sample was collected in a stack of geological sieves (the smallest mesh size was 250mm). When all the carbonised material was collected the flot was then air-dried in paper-lined drying trays prior to storage in airtight plastic bags. The samples were scanned under low-powered magnification (x 10 to x 40) using a binocular microscope. Nomen- clature and taxonomic order follows Stace (1997). Results The results of preliminary scanning are presented in Table 1 at the end of this report. A total of 33 samples were scanned and plant remains were present in 14 of the samples. The identifications are presented in Table 2. Hazelnut shell fragments were found in the majority of the samples, nine samples in total. A total of 92 fragments were counted. These plant remains are frequent finds in Irish archaeological sites. Their frequency is due partly to the fact that they were collected, eaten and used frequently in the past and also to the taphonomic factors that govern the preservation of hazelnut shells (see discussion in Monk 2000, 74 – 75). The cereals from this site were identified as barley (3 grains were recovered) and a single grain each of emmer wheat and oat. Most of the cereals from this assemblage were not identifiable to type (labelled as ‘ceralia’). A total of eight grains were categorised in this manner. It was not possible to identify these grains to type because of the poor state of preservation of the assemblage from Drumroe. It is impossible, within the context of this small assemblage, to judge the relative importance of each cereal type found. A group of samples with seeds were taken from the round house that was excavated at Drumroe. These were taken from the post-holes C.104 (C.101, S.63), C.112 (C.109, S.71) and C.198 (C.197, S.94), from the ditch C.46 (C.60, S.38) and the slot trench C.180 (C.179, S.90). This was a tiny assemblage of plant remains, including 5 fragments of hazelnut shell fragments, a single grain of emmer wheat and two unidentifiable cereal grains. This suggests that only small-scale domestic debris was charred at the house. The results from the round house excavated at Moatquarter, also found along the route of the N7 Castletown to Nenagh, were similarly sparse (Johnston 2010).46
  • Drumroe-e3773 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3773-drumroe-co-offaly/ The recovery of emmer wheat is interesting since barley is often the major cereal typerecovered from Bronze Age sites, for example, only small quantities of emmer wheatwere recovered from Bronze Age sites excavated along the route of the new N8 Cashel toMitchelstown road (Halwas 2009, 263–266). In a study of material from the gas pipelineto the west emmer wheat was found particularly in the earlier part of the Bronze Age,with barley becoming particularly more common as the Bronze Age progressed (Johnston2007, 73). The absence of barley from the Drumroe round house is not the usual patterndiscovered from Irish Bronze Age site, however, the assemblage from this part of thesite is so small it is not possible to say whether this is truly representative of the agrarianeconomy as practised at this site or not. Another group of samples were taken from pits in the central and western area of theexcavation at Drumroe: C.140 (C.141, S.11), C.21 (C.36, S.23), C.52 (C.58, S.35), C.75(C.80, S.53), C.81 (C.85, S.56) and C.17 (C.114, S.70). These pits associated with habita-tion of the site but their original function is unknown. The plant remains from these pitsincluded a relatively large portion of charred hazelnut shell fragments (82 fragments intotal, most retrieved from pit C.81). There were also a small cereal grains, where identifi-able these were oat and barley. A single weed seed was recovered from the fills of thesepits, identified as a seed from the knotgrass/dock family, a common weed of arable fieldsand waste ground. Plant remains were also recovered in small quantities from the fills of ditches alsoexcavated at Drumroe. These ditches were significantly different from the later, post-medieval ditches that truncated activity at the site. It is possible that they date to themedieval period. The plant remains material from these features was very limited, onlyhazelnut shell fragments and an indeterminate cereal grain were found.ReferencesHalwas, S. (2009) ‘Macro-plant remains’, pp. 262–275 in McQuade, M., Molloy, B. and Moriarty, C. In the Shadow of the Galtees. Archaeological excavations along the N8 Cashel to Mitchelstown Road Scheme. Dublin, National Roads Authority.Johnston, P. (2010) Analysis of the plant remaisn from Moatquarter, Co. Tipperary (E3910). Unpublished technical report for Eachtra Archaeological Projects.Johnston, P. (2007) ‘Analysis of carabonised plant remains’, pp. 70 – 79 in Grogan, E., O’Donnell, L. and Johnston, P. The Bronze Age Landscapes of the Gas Pipeline to the West. Bray, Wordwell.Monk, M. (2000) ‘Seeds and soils of discontent,’ pp. 67-87 in A. Desmond, G. Johnson, M. McCarthy, J. Sheehan and E. Shee Twohig (eds.) New Agendas in Irish prehistory. Bray, Wordwell. 47
  • iSSue 11: eachtra Journal - iSSn 2009-2237 archaeological excavation report Pearsall, D. (2000) Paleoethnobotany: a Handbook of Procedures. New York, Academic Press. Stace, C. A. (1997) New Flora of the British Isles. (2nd edition) Cambridge, Cambridge University Press. Sample Context Charcoal Charred seeds % scanned 10 15 L A 100 11 16 L A 100 11 141 M L 100 13 23 L A 100 20 33 L L 100 21 34 L A 100 23 36 L L 100 30 51 L A 100 35 58 L L 100 38 60 L L 100 39 61 L A 100 43 67 L A 100 46 71 L A 100 47 72 L L 100 51 78 L A 100 53 80 M-H M 100 56 85 M-H M 100 63 101 H L 100 66 107 L A 100 67 108 L A 100 70 114 H L 100 71 109 L L 100 75 121 L A 100 76 127 L A 100 83 148 M A 100 85 146 L L 100 86 147 L A 100 89 159 L A 100 90 179 M L 100 91 176 L A 100 92 182 L A 100 94 197 L L 100 95 202 M-H A 100 A = Absent, L = Low, M = Medium and H = High Table 1: Scanned samples from Drumroe, Co� Tipperary (E3773)48
  • Cut no. 140 18 21 52 46 53 75 81 104 17 112 144 180 198 Context 141 33 36 58 60 72 80 85 101 114 109 146 179 197 Drumroe-e3773 Sample 11 20 23 35 38 47 53 56 63 70 71 85 90 94 Hazelnut shell fragments (Corylus avellana L.) 4 2 1 1 31 49 2 1 1 Indeterminate seeds from the Knotgrass family 1 (Polygonaceae) Oat grains (Avena L. species) 1 Barley grains (Hordeum vulgare L.) 1 2 Emmer wheat (Triticum dicoccum L.) two seeded grain 1 Indeterminate cereal grains (Ceralia) 2 1 1 2 1 1 Indeterminate grass seeds (Poaceae) 1 Table 2: Identified seeds from Drumroe, Co� Tipperary (E3773) http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3773-drumroe-co-offaly/49
  • iSSue 11: eachtra Journal - iSSn 2009-2237 archaeological excavation report Appendix 7 Geophysics report By Earthsound Archaeological Geophysics Introduction to the Sites Earthsound Archaeological Geophysics were commissioned by Eachtra Archaeological Projects to execute a series of geophysical surveys over pre-selected sites located outside the C.P.O. boundary of the new N7 Road Scheme. The survey areas were located adjacent to sites containing archaeological remains that were excavated within the C.P.O. boundary and extend beyond it. The new N7 road development extends from the eastern edge of the present N7 Nenagh Bypass and ties into the M7 / M8 Portlaoise-Castletown Scheme. The new de- velopment terminates south of Borris-in-Ossory. The scheme in total covers a length of 35 km and the work undertaken for this report comprised of land adjacent to Contract 1 (Clashnevin to Castleroan), a 17.1 km section of the road located on the western half of the overall development. The bedrock geology along the scheme consists of a mixture of greywacke, siltstone, sandstone and mudstone all of which are suitable for magnetic susceptibility and mag- netic gradiometer geophysical surveys. However, the majority of archaeological features were magnetically very weak, which reflects a poor contrast between the fill of cut mate- rials and the parent geology. Magnetic susceptibility data were also generally very weak. Permissions to undertake the geophysical surveys were obtained from the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government (License R179). The geophysical survey was requested to assess the extent of the archaeological remains located outside the C.P.O. boundary. All sites were assessed using magnetic gradiometer and magnetic susceptibility surveys with the exception of Drumbaun 2 where high vegetation prevented the use of the magnetic susceptibility meter. Drumroe Located within the townland of Drumroe, the northwest corner of the site (Figure 1) lies at Ordnance Survey of Ireland Irish National Grid (ING) Reference E205155 N181674, adjacent to Chainage 13970-14170. The survey area is located on the southern edge of the N7 C.P.O. boundary within land that is topographically high and rising to the east. Fieldwork was conducted on the 4th June 2008 in hot and dry weather conditions that were suitable for the geophysical survey. The archaeological excavation at Drumroe 1 comprised a Bronze Age house, a group of pits and a number of medieval and modern field boundaries. The house measured 7 m in diameter and was truncated by the C.P.O. boundary (Eachtra 2008c).50
  • Drumroe-e3773 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3773-drumroe-co-offaly/Aims & ObjectivesThe geophysical survey was requested to assess the extent of the archaeological remainslocated outside the C.P.O. boundary. Specific objectives were to: • Assess the extent and location of the archaeological remains associated with those uncovered in the excavation • Determine the presence or absence other associated archaeological features A meth- odology was developed to allow multiple techniques to systematically investigate the site. Detailed magnetic gradiometer and magnetic susceptibility surveys were carried out within the survey area. These techniques have been used in commercial and research archaeological projects for many years and are considered the most appropriate techniques for a detailed investigation of the underlying archaeology (Clarke 1996, Scollar et al. 1990). Where possible, the use of multiple geophysical techniques allows a greater confidence to be placed in the interpretation of detected anomalies, which is especially useful on small sites such as this. Their combined application can be used to determine the geometry, compositional material and the extent of an archaeological target.MethodologyThe fieldwork was carried out by J. Bonsall, D. Jones and H. Gimson of Earthsound Ar-chaeological Geophysics. A magnetic gradiometer survey was carried out using two GeoscanResearch FM256 fluxgate gradiometers. Two pairs of sensors were mounted on a CF6carry frame. A magnetic susceptibility survey was carried out using a Bartington MS2 MagneticSusceptibility meter and MS2D search loop interfaced with a Trimble Pro-XRS Differ-ential GPS. A rectangular grid was laid out using a Trimble Pro-XRS Differential Global Position-ing System (see Technical Appendix 2), and divided in to 40 × 40 m sub-grids for thegradiometer survey.Magnetic Gradiometer SurveyThe survey was undertaken along lines parallel to the sub-grid edges, walking approxi-mately south to north, starting in the southwest corner of each grid. Subsequent lineswere surveyed in alternate directions (‘zigzag’). Data were recorded using an FM256 at a spatial resolution of 1 m intervals betweentraverses and 0.25 m intervals along those lines. The instrument was positioned facingnorth, parallel to the Earth’s magnetic field, to allow increased geo-magnetic resolution. The instrument was set to a recording sensitivity of 0.1 nT. Prior to the beginning ofthe survey and after the completion of every two sub-grids, the electronic and mechanicalsetup of the instrument were examined and calibrated as necessary over a common refer-ence point. The magnetic drift from zero was not logged. 51
  • iSSue 11: eachtra Journal - iSSn 2009-2237 archaeological excavation report Data were collected automatically using an internal sample trigger while the opera- tor walked at a constant pace along the traverse. The data were stored in an internal data logger and downloaded to a field computer using Geoscan Research Geoplot v.3.00a software. Data Processing Preliminary Data Treatment The data were pre-processed in Geoplot 3.00. Spurious high intensity anomalies, com- monly statistical outliers, are referred to as geophysical ‘spikes’. In magnetic data, an ‘iron spike’ is a response to a buried ferrous object, often in the topsoil. Iron spikes are generally not removed in geophysical data; although often modern in origin, they can be indica- tive of archaeological material. The raw data contained some poorly matched sub-grids, caused by the internal drift of the fluxgate gradiometer and the gradual misalignment of the fluxgate sensors between calibration episodes. To compensate for this, a zero mean traverse (ZMT) function was employed. The use of ZMT alters data to adjust the mean of each traverse to zero by increasing or decreasing data as necessary. This alters the sta- tistical properties of the data to give a uniformly bipolar background, centred around zero. Post-ZMT plots were compared with raw data to analyse the potential removal of geophysical anomalies along the line of a traverse. Further Processing No further processing functions were applied due to the high quality of the data collec- tion. A low pass Gaussian filter was applied, reducing the variability of the data whilst improving the visibility of weak archaeological features. This also had a smoothing effect on the data. A sine wave interpolation function was applied to provide a smooth, aestheti- cally pleasing image for presentation. For a given point x, the contribution of adjacent readings to the interpolated point is given by the function sinc (x) = sin πx/πx (Scollar 1990). This function is used as a sliding window along each transect, resulting in an inter- polated image, expanding the resolution of the data from 1 m x 0.25 m to 0.5 m x 0.125 m. This function was chosen as giving a clearer interpolated image than linear interpola- tion (which assumes a direct linear change between each point) or bicubic interpolation (taking the surrounding sixteen values into account). Graphical Display Pre-processed data are displayed in XY traceplot format in Figures 2, 7, 10, 15, and 20. An XY traceplot presents the data logged on each traverse as a single line with each succes- sive traverse incremented on the Y-axis to produce a stacked plot. The data have not been clipped at –3 and +3 nT. The main advantage of this display option is that the full range of data can be viewed, dependent on the clip, so that the ‘shape’ of individual anomalies can be discerned and potential archaeological anomalies differentiated from iron ‘spikes’. Processed data are shown in Greyscale format in Figures 3, 8, 11, 16 and 21. The grey- scale plot presents data as pixels on a linear grey shaded scale, increasing or decreasing52
  • Drumroe-e3773 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3773-drumroe-co-offaly/dependent on the values of the maximum and minimum clip. The magnetic gradiometerdata have been clipped at –2 (white) and +2 nT (black). Data values beyond the clip limitsare shown as ‘pure’ black or white. The main advantage of this display option is that thedata can be viewed as a base map. An interpretation plot is presented in Figures 4, 9, 12, 17 and 22.Magnetic Susceptibility SurveyA geophysical grid baseline was not established for the Magnetic Susceptibility survey; aDifferential Global Positioning System (DGPS) data logger, a Trimble TSC1, displayed agraphical representation of the survey area, with traverses spaced every 5 m. The graphi-cal representation was utilised by the geophysicists to navigate and collect data points atpredetermined intervals. The topsoil volume magnetic susceptibility survey was undertaken along lines parallelto the survey grids, walking approximately south to north. Subsequent lines were sur-veyed in alternate directions (‘zigzag’). Data were recorded at a spatial resolution of 5mintervals between traverses and 5m intervals along those lines. The MS2 was set to a recording sensitivity of 1 SI unit to obtain (infinite) volumespecific magnetic susceptibility (Volume MS or κ). When measured in SI units, the datais expressed as 1 x 10-5 κ. The MS-DGPS recorded northing and easting within the IrishNational Grid to a minimum accuracy of ±1 m, and altitude to an accuracy of ±2 m. Prior to surveying each survey station, the MS2 was calibrated according to the man-ufacturers guidelines, by ‘zeroing’ whilst holding the sensor approximately 3 m in the air.The positive and negative data presented in this report are the κ value of the survey areacompared to the κ value of the air, being, theoretically, zero. Data were collected and stored automatically in the TSC1 data logger by using apush button trigger on the MS2. The geophysicists walked at a constant pace along eachtraverse, pausing only briefly at each survey station to obtain a measurement of magneticsusceptibility. The data were downloaded to a field computer using Trimble PathfinderOffice 2.9 software.Data Processing Preliminary Data Treatment The data were exported from Pathfinder Office 2.9 to Microsoft Excel. The Excel datawere gridded in xyz format as northing, easting and κ, using Golden Software Surfer8.00. Further Processing A natural neighbour interpolation function was applied to the data to provide asmooth, aesthetically pleasing image for presentation. No further processing functionswere applied due to the high quality of the data collection. Graphical Display Contour plots can be shaded to emphasise particular regions between lines. Processeddata are shown in interpolated colourscale contour plot format in Figures 5, 13, 18 and 23. 53
  • iSSue 11: eachtra Journal - iSSn 2009-2237 archaeological excavation report The colourscale plot presents data as pixels on a linear colour shaded scale, increasing or decreasing dependent on the values of the maximum and minimum clip. The geophysical data have not been clipped. The main advantage of this display option is that the data can be viewed as a base map. A disadvantage is that the interpolation process can exaggerate isolated high or low data (this is noticeable over areas where no data has been collected, e.g. in the space occupied by a field boundary); to compensate for this, each survey sta- tion has been marked by a small black dot, creating a point cloud, to an accuracy of ±1 m, so that exaggeration between points can be visualised. An interpretation plot of the magnetic susceptibility data is presented in Figures 6, 14, 19 and 24. Reporting, Mapping & Archiving The geophysical survey and report follow the recommendations outlined in the English Heritage Guidelines (David et al. 2008) and IFA Paper No. 6 (Gaffney et al. 2002) as a minimum standard. The conditions of the Detection Licence issued by the Licensing Section of the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government require a copy of this report. Geophysical data, figures and text are archived following the recommendations of the Archaeology Data Service (Schmidt 2001). Field boundaries were mapped and drawn based upon data gathered by the DGPS. Technical information on the equipment used, data processing and methodology are given in Appendix 1. Appendix 2 details the survey geo-referencing information and Ap- pendix 3 describes the composition and location of the archive. Results & Discussion The interpretation figures should not be looked at in isolation but in conjunction with the relevant discussion section and with the information contained in the Appendices. Features are numbered in the relevant figures listed below [G1=gradiometer anomalies, M1=magnetic susceptibility anomalies] and are described and interpreted within the text. In magnetic gradiometer data, a dipolar anomaly or ‘iron spike’ is a response to buried ferrous objects, often in the topsoil. Iron spikes generally are not removed in geophysical data, although often modern in origin, they can be indicative of archaeological material. Magnetic Gradiometer Survey Figure 10 – Pre-processed Magnetic Gradiometer Data Figure 11 – Magnetic Gradiom- eter Data Figure 12 – Magnetic Gradiometer Interpretation Anomaly [G19] represents an arcing boundary ditch which appears to be made up of two parallel ditches on the western side, whereas only a single ditch was detected to the east. Measuring 116 m in length this anomaly is forms an enclosure ditch associated with the medieval boundary and possible structure revealed during the excavation. Some weakly magnetic parallel linear features can be seen, enclosed by the G19 ditch – these are likely to represent plough furrows.54
  • Drumroe-e3773 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3773-drumroe-co-offaly/ Anomaly [G20] is a linear ditch which runs from the edge of the survey area for alength of 56 m and terminates against anomaly G19. This relict field boundary can be stseen in the 1 Edition Ordnance Survey Map of the area. Anomaly [G21] comprises several linear parallel ditches which run from the exca-vation area in the north to the south and extend beyond the survey area. Measuringapproximately 50 m in length, these anomalies represent a continuation of the parallelditches revealed during the excavation. Anomaly [G22] is a linear ditch which runs from the excavation area for a length of30 m and terminates against G19. Anomaly [G23] is a curvilinear ditch which extendsfrom G19, aligned SE-NW, extending beyond the survey area. Measuring 40 m in length,this anomaly could be archaeological or agricultural in origin.Magnetic Susceptibility SurveyFigure 13 – Magnetic Susceptibility Data Figure 14 – Magnetic Susceptibility Interpre-tation The magnetic susceptibility data is reasonably enhanced at this site, with generaltrends between 2 to 14 SI Units, with lower magnetic susceptibility in the SW corner andhigher background responses. Anomaly [M5] marks the location of a boundary between low magnetic susceptibilityvalues to the southwest and slightly higher values to the north. This anomaly probablymarks the boundary to the archaeological activity. Anomaly [M6] is located inside the higher values of M5 and marks a further in-crease in the values, probably associated with archaeological remains. The location of thisanomaly places it inside G19 the enclosure ditch detected in the magnetic gradiometerdata, suggesting that this enclosure ditch did represent the extent of the majority of ar-chaeological activity.ConclusionAchievement of ObjectivesThe geophysical surveys have assessed land adjacent to archaeologically significant siteswhich were identified within the C.P.O boundary of the new road. The magnetic gradi-ometer surveys have identified and mapped possible archaeological remains within theseareas which will help to enhance the interpretation of the sites’ extent and composition.The magnetic susceptibility survey across the sites was useful in that it reinforced certaintrends identified in the magnetic gradiometer data.Summary of ResultsA number of possible ditches were detected which have a direct relationship to the ar-chaeological excavation results. The edge of the probable zone of archaeological activitywas also established with the detection of an arcing enclosure ditch. A number of single 55
  • iSSue 11: eachtra Journal - iSSn 2009-2237 archaeological excavation report and interconnecting ditches were also detected which may be archaeological or agricul- tural in origin. Dissemination The results of this survey were submitted to Eachtra Archaeological Projects. Earthsound will ensure that copies will be forwarded to the Department of the Environment, Herit- age and Local Government and the National Museum of Ireland in compliance with the Licence agreement. Acknowledgements Fieldwork: James Bonsall BA (Hons) MSc PIFA Daniel Jones MA Heather Gimson BA (Hons) MSc MIAI Report: Heather Gimson James Bonsall Graphics: Heather Gimson Bibliography Clark, A.J. 1996 Seeing Beneath the Soil, London, Batsford David, A. Linford, N. & Linford, P. 2008 Geophysical Survey in Archaeological Field Evaluation, Second Edition, English Heritage Eachtra 2008a Busherstown Preliminary Archaeological Report, N7 Castletown to Nenagh (Derrinsallagh to Ballintotty) Road Scheme, Unpublished Archaeological Report by Eachtra Archaeological Projects Eachtra 2008b Drumbaun 2 Preliminary Archaeological Report, N7 Castletown to Nenagh (Derrinsallagh to Ballintotty) Road Scheme, Unpublished Archaeological Report by Eachtra Archaeological Projects Eachtra 2008c Drumroe 1 Preliminary Archaeological Report, N7 Castletown to Nenagh (Derrinsallagh to Ballintotty) Road Scheme, Unpublished Archaeological Report by Eachtra Archaeological Projects Eachtra 2008d Killeisk 1 Preliminary Archaeological Report, N7 Castletown to Nenagh (Derrinsallagh to Ballintotty) Road Scheme, Unpublished Archaeological Report by Eachtra Archaeological Projects Eachtra 2008e Park 1 Preliminary Archaeological Report, N7 Castletown to Nenagh (Derrinsallagh to Ballintotty) Road Scheme, Unpublished Archaeological Report by Eachtra Archaeological Projects56
  • Drumroe-e3773 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3773-drumroe-co-offaly/Gaffney, C., Gater, J. & Ovenden, S. 2002 The use of Geophysical Techniques in Archaeological Evaluations, IFA Paper No. 6, Institute of Field ArchaeologistsSchmidt, A. 2001 Geophysical Data in Archaeology: A Guide to Good Practice, Archaeology Data Service, Oxford, OxbowScollar, I., Tabbagh, A., Hesse, A. And Herzog, I. 1990 Archaeological Prospecting and Remote Sensing, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press. Topics in Remote Sensing Vol. 2The following texts are referenced in the Technical Appendix:Walker, R. 2000 Geoplot Version 3.00 for Windows, Instruction Manual, Version 1.2, Clayton, West Yorkshire 57