Eachtra JournalIssue 10                                             [ISSN 2009-2237]           Archaeological Excavation R...
EACHTRAArchaeological Projects   Archaeological Excavation Report                          Prehistoric Activity and Early ...
Archaeological Excavation ReportPrehistoric Activity, Early Medieval Roundhouses and Iron            Working, and Medieval...
©Eachtra Archaeological Projects 2011 The Forge, Innishannon, Co Cork       Set in 12pt Garamond          Printed in Ireland
Table of Contents       Summary�������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������...
List of Figures     Figure	1:	          The	route	of	the	N8	Fermoy	to	Mitchelstown	Bypass	overlain	on	the	Ordnance	       ...
List of PlatesPlate	1:	    View	of	Gortnahown	2	Areas	1	and	2	from	NW�	���������������������������������������������������...
List of Tables     Table	1	   Dimensions	of	main	entrance	and	roof	support	post-holes		�����������������������������������...
Gortnahown 2-E2426                                     http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e2426-gortnahown2-co-cork/Summa...
iSSUE 10: Eachtra JoUrnal - iSSn 2009-2237                           archaEoloGical Excavation rEport              Acknowl...
Gortnahown 2-E2426                                     http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e2426-gortnahown2-co-cork/1    ...
iSSUE 10: Eachtra JoUrnal - iSSn 2009-2237                            archaEoloGical Excavation rEport              2     ...
Gortnahown 2-E2426                                                                                                        ...
iSSUE 10: Eachtra JoUrnal - iSSn 2009-2237                              archaEoloGical Excavation rEport                  ...
Gortnahown 2-E2426                                                                                                        ...
iSSUE 10: Eachtra JoUrnal - iSSn 2009-2237                             archaEoloGical Excavation rEport              Bypas...
Gortnahown 2-E2426                                     http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e2426-gortnahown2-co-cork/Bronz...
iSSUE 10: Eachtra JoUrnal - iSSn 2009-2237                               archaEoloGical Excavation rEport              Gla...
Gortnahown 2-E2426                                    http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e2426-gortnahown2-co-cork/    So...
iSSUE 10: Eachtra JoUrnal - iSSn 2009-2237                                                                                ...
Gortnahown 2-E2426                                   http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e2426-gortnahown2-co-cork/Post-me...
iSSUE 10: Eachtra JoUrnal - iSSn 2009-2237                               archaEoloGical Excavation rEport              Pla...
Gortnahown 2-E2426                                                 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e2426-gortnahown2-c...
iSSUE 10: Eachtra JoUrnal - iSSn 2009-2237                               archaEoloGical Excavation rEport              The...
Archaeological Report - Gortnahown 2, Co. Cork (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Gortnahown 2, Co. Cork (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Gortnahown 2, Co. Cork (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Gortnahown 2, Co. Cork (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Gortnahown 2, Co. Cork (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Gortnahown 2, Co. Cork (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Gortnahown 2, Co. Cork (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Gortnahown 2, Co. Cork (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Gortnahown 2, Co. Cork (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Gortnahown 2, Co. Cork (Ireland)
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Archaeological Report - Gortnahown 2, Co. Cork (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Gortnahown 2, Co. Cork (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Gortnahown 2, Co. Cork (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Gortnahown 2, Co. Cork (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Gortnahown 2, Co. Cork (Ireland)
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Archaeological Report - Gortnahown 2, Co. Cork (Ireland)
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Archaeological Report - Gortnahown 2, Co. Cork (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Gortnahown 2, Co. Cork (Ireland)
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Archaeological Report - Gortnahown 2, Co. Cork (Ireland)
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Archaeological Report - Gortnahown 2, Co. Cork (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Gortnahown 2, Co. Cork (Ireland)
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Archaeological Report - Gortnahown 2, Co. Cork (Ireland)
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Archaeological Report - Gortnahown 2, Co. Cork (Ireland)
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Archaeological Report - Gortnahown 2, Co. Cork (Ireland)
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Archaeological Report - Gortnahown 2, Co. Cork (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Gortnahown 2, Co. Cork (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Gortnahown 2, Co. Cork (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Gortnahown 2, Co. Cork (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Gortnahown 2, Co. Cork (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Gortnahown 2, Co. Cork (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Gortnahown 2, Co. Cork (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Gortnahown 2, Co. Cork (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Gortnahown 2, Co. Cork (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Gortnahown 2, Co. Cork (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Gortnahown 2, Co. Cork (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Gortnahown 2, Co. Cork (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Gortnahown 2, Co. Cork (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Gortnahown 2, Co. Cork (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Gortnahown 2, Co. Cork (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Gortnahown 2, Co. Cork (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Gortnahown 2, Co. Cork (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Gortnahown 2, Co. Cork (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Gortnahown 2, Co. Cork (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Gortnahown 2, Co. Cork (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Gortnahown 2, Co. Cork (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Gortnahown 2, Co. Cork (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Gortnahown 2, Co. Cork (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Gortnahown 2, Co. Cork (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Gortnahown 2, Co. Cork (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Gortnahown 2, Co. Cork (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Gortnahown 2, Co. Cork (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Gortnahown 2, Co. Cork (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Gortnahown 2, Co. Cork (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Gortnahown 2, Co. Cork (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Gortnahown 2, Co. Cork (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Gortnahown 2, Co. Cork (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Gortnahown 2, Co. Cork (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Gortnahown 2, Co. Cork (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Gortnahown 2, Co. Cork (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Gortnahown 2, Co. Cork (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Gortnahown 2, Co. Cork (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Gortnahown 2, Co. Cork (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Gortnahown 2, Co. Cork (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Gortnahown 2, Co. Cork (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Gortnahown 2, Co. Cork (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Gortnahown 2, Co. Cork (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Gortnahown 2, Co. Cork (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Gortnahown 2, Co. Cork (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Gortnahown 2, Co. Cork (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Gortnahown 2, Co. Cork (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Gortnahown 2, Co. Cork (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Gortnahown 2, Co. Cork (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Gortnahown 2, Co. Cork (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Gortnahown 2, Co. Cork (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Gortnahown 2, Co. Cork (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Gortnahown 2, Co. Cork (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Gortnahown 2, Co. Cork (Ireland)
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Archaeological Report - Gortnahown 2, Co. Cork (Ireland)

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The site at Gortnahown was divided into five separate cuttings. Areas 1 and 2 comprised one cutting. Area 3 was located 80 m to the south-west. Area 4 was located 110 m south-west of Area 3 and Area 5 was located 65 m south of Area 4. Areas of activity centred on hearths were dated to the Late Neolithic/Early Bronze Age period. One of the hearth-side groups was associated with flint knapping. Two substantial roundhouses and two ancillary structures, including a workshop were dated to the early medieval period. Evidence for all phases of metalworking including the manufacture of bronze coated iron bells was recorded at the site. The area was enclosed by a ditch in the medieval or post-medieval period.
Evidence for Early Neolithic and Late Neolithic/Early Bronze Age occupation was recorded in the form of a number of pits and post-holes in Area 3. Post-medieval pits and ditches were recorded in Area 4. The truncated remains of two possible medieval houses and a number of pits were recorded in Area 5.

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Archaeological Report - Gortnahown 2, Co. Cork (Ireland)

  1. 1. Eachtra JournalIssue 10 [ISSN 2009-2237] Archaeological Excavation Report E2426 - Gortnahown 2, Co. Cork Prehistoric Activity and Early Medieval Settlement Site with Iron Working
  2. 2. EACHTRAArchaeological Projects Archaeological Excavation Report Prehistoric Activity and Early Medieval Settlement Site with Iron Working Gortnahown 2 Co Cork May 2011 Client: Cork County Council Project: N8 Fermoy to Mitchelstown E No: E2426Excavation Director: Julianna ODonoghue Written by: Jacinta Kiely and Julianna ODonoghue
  3. 3. Archaeological Excavation ReportPrehistoric Activity, Early Medieval Roundhouses and Iron Working, and Medieval Structures Gortnahown 2 Co Cork Excavation Director Julianna ODonoghue Written By Jacinta Kiely and Julianna ODonoghue 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
  4. 4. ©Eachtra Archaeological Projects 2011 The Forge, Innishannon, Co Cork Set in 12pt Garamond Printed in Ireland
  5. 5. Table of Contents Summary��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� v Acknowledgements�������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� vi1 Scope of the project �������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 12 Route location��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 23 Receiving environment ��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 24 Archaeological and historical background ��������������������������������������������������������������������� 45 Site Location and Topography ������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������ 126 Excavation methodology ���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 127 Excavation results ������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������ 14 Areas1and2����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������14 Area3��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������45 Area4��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������47 Area5������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 488 Discussion ��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������589 References �������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 63Appendix 1 Stratigraphic Index ��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������66Appendix 2 Stratigraphic Matrix �����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������146Appendix 3 Groups and Subgroups ���������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 151Appendix 4 Finds Register ����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������196Appendix 5 Lithics Report �����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������202Appendix 6 Pottery Report ��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 214Appendix 7 Archaeometallurgy Report ���������������������������������������������������������������������������222Appendix 8 Plant Remains ����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������287Appendix 9 Animal Bone Report ����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������296Appendix 10 Finds Catalogue ������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������297 i
  6. 6. List of Figures Figure 1: The route of the N8 Fermoy to Mitchelstown Bypass overlain on the Ordnance Survey Discovery Series map� ���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 3 Figure 2: The route of the N8 Fermoy to Mitchelstown Bypass overlain on the first edition Ordnance Survey map CO010, 011, 019, 020, 027 and 028� ��������������������������������������������������������� 5 Figure 3: The route of the N8 Fermoy to Mitchelstown Bypass overlain on the RMP map CO010, 011, 019, 020, 027 and 028� The map is based on the second edition Ordnance Survey maps� �������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������10 Figure 4: Post-excavation plan of Areas 1 - 5� ��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 13 Figure 5: Post-excavation plan of Areas 1 and 2� �������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 15 Figure 6: Post-excavation plan of Late Neolithic/Early Bronze Age activity at Gortnahown� �������� 16 Figure 7: Sections 3, 9 and 12 of ditches C�15 and C�42 in Areas 1 and 2� �����������������������������������������������21 Figure 8: Post-excavation plan of Structures A and B in Areas 1 and 2� �������������������������������������������������23 � Figure 9: Sections of slot trench C�527 Structure A and C�592 and C�644 Structure B and Pit C�505 in interior of Structure A and sections of pits C�542, C�587 and hearth C�567 north of Structure C� �������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������26 Figure 10: Post-excavation plan of the workshop Structure D, the metal-working area to the north and the ditch C�540� ��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������30 Figure 11: Distribution of slag and brazing shroud residues in Area 1 and 2� The numbers illustrated on the plan are the cut numbers of the respective features������������������������������� 31 Figure 12: Sections of charcoal production pits C�771 and C�778 and pit C�738� ����������������������������������34 Figure 13: Sections of smelting furnace C�566 and pit C�622 in workshop Structure D� ��������������������35 Figure 14: Post-excavation plan of western section of site� ��������������������������������������������������������������������������37 Figure 15: Portion of 1st edition OS and 25 inch map showing the line of the ditches in Area 1 and 2 Gortnahown on the 1st edition OS map and the 25 inch OS maps� The N8 is the road built in the 1960s� ������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������ 41 Figure 16: Post-excavation plan of Area 3� ����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������42 � Figure 17: Post-excavation plan of Early Neolithic and Late Neolithic/Early Bronze Age activity in Area 3� ��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������43 Figure 18: Sections of pits C�1055 and C�1043 in Area 3� ���������������������������������������������������������������������������������44 Figure 19: Post-excavation plan of Area 4� ����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������47 � Figure 20: Post-excavation plan of Structure A and associated pits in Area 5� ���������������������������������������49 Figure 21: Sections of slots C�1269 and C�1271 and pit C�1294 in Area 5� ��������������������������������������������������50 Figure 22: Post-excavation plan of Structure B in Area 5� ������������������������������������������������������������������������������51 Figure 23: Sherds of Early Neolithic pottery (a) E2426:1105:1 and (b) E2426:1054:6, both from Vessel 4 and two sherds of Beaker pottery Vessel 8 (a) E2426:1007:2 and (b) E2426:1007:3� ����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������55 Figure 24: Topographical map showing the location of Gortnahown 1 E2423, Gortnahown 2 E2426 and Gortnahown 3 E2477� ����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������59ii
  7. 7. List of PlatesPlate 1: View of Gortnahown 2 Areas 1 and 2 from NW� ��������������������������������������������������������������������������� 12Plate 2: Pits C�68 and C�62 and stake-holes C�82 and C�83 adjacent to hearth C�65 from SE� ������ 17Plate 3: Flint core E2426:58:14������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������ 17Plate 4: Hearth C�145 and associated pits from E� ���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 18Plate 5: Hearth C�4 and pit C�7 from E� ������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 19Plate 6: Flint scraper E2426:663:1 �����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������20Plate 7: Extent of ditch C�15/C�45 with trees marking the line of demolished bank from S� ��������20Plate 8: View of Structures A and B and associated pits from SW� ���������������������������������������������������������22Plate 9: View of Structure A from E� ������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������24Plate 10: View of Structure B from NW� ��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������27Plate 11: Iron knife E2426:590:1� ����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������27Plate 12: Pits to NE of Sturctures A and B, hearth C�567 and pit C�682 in foreground� ���������������������28Plate 13: Hammerstone E2426:666:1 from pit C�682� ������������������������������������������������������������������������������������29Plate 14: Fragment of brazing shroud with detail of cloth impression E2426:539:85� ����������������������32Plate 15: Structure D in Metal working area, pits C�545, C�566, C�548, hearth C�575, and slot C�586 from ENE� ����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������33Plate 16: Interior of Structure D, hearth C�575 and pits C�545, C�566 and C�548 from NE� ��������������33Plate 17: Iron blade E2426:537:4� ��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������35Plate 18: Iron blade E2426:576:2� ��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������35Plate 19: Post-excavation of pit C�778�����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������36Plate 20: View of gully C�228 from S� �������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������38Plate 21: View of excavation and illustration of gully C�228 from N� �������������������������������������������������������39Plate 22: Pit C�118 with stakeholes in the base� �����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������39Plate 23: Pit C�1066 and associated post-holes in Area 3 from NW� ���������������������������������������������������������46Plate 24: Structure A Area 5 from SE� ������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������48Plate 25: View of pits C�1363 in foreground, pit C�1294 in background and pits C�1254 and C�1252 to right in Area 5 from N� ���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������51Plate 26: Northern wall of Structure B Area 5� �������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������52Plate 27: View of Structure B from SW� ���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������52Plate 28: Flint end scraper E2426:539:1� ��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������53Plate 29: Flint hollow based arrowhead E2426:1:8� ����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������53Plate 30: Group of macro stone tools from Gortnahown including rubbing stones and hammerstones� �����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������54 iii
  8. 8. List of Tables Table 1 Dimensions of main entrance and roof support post-holes ���������������������������������������������������25 Table 2 Dimensions of main post-holes in the foundation trench ��������������������������������������������������������28 Table 3 Dimensions of post-holes Structure C ����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������29 Table 4 Dimensions of hearths in Structure D associated with metalworking ���������������������������������33 Table 5 Dimensions of furnace and pits north of Structure D associated with metalworking ���38 Table 6 Radiocarbon dates �����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������57iv
  9. 9. Gortnahown 2-E2426 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e2426-gortnahown2-co-cork/SummaryThe site at Gortnahown was divided into five separate cuttings. Areas 1 and 2 comprisedone cutting. Area 3 was located 80 m to the south-west. Area 4 was located 110 m south-west of Area 3 and Area 5 was located 65 m south of Area 4. Areas of activity centred onhearths were dated to the Late Neolithic/Early Bronze Age period. One of the hearth-sidegroups was associated with flint knapping. Two substantial roundhouses and two ancil-lary structures, including a workshop were dated to the early medieval period. Evidencefor all phases of metalworking including the manufacture of bronze coated iron bells wasrecorded at the site. The area was enclosed by a ditch in the medieval or post-medievalperiod. Evidence for Early Neolithic and Late Neolithic/Early Bronze Age occupation wasrecorded in the form of a number of pits and post-holes in Area 3. Post-medieval pits andditches were recorded in Area 4. The truncated remains of two possible medieval housesand a number of pits were recorded in Area 5.Road project name N8 Fermoy to Mitchelstown BypassSite name Gortnahown 2Ministerial Order no. A040E no. E2426Site director Julianna O’DonoghueTownland GortnahownParish GlanworthBarony Condons ClangibbonOS Map Sheet No. CO019National Grid Reference 180851 109592 -181006 109775 v
  10. 10. iSSUE 10: Eachtra JoUrnal - iSSn 2009-2237 archaEoloGical Excavation rEport Acknowledgements The senior archaeologist was John Tierney and the post-excavation managers were Penny Johnston and Jacinta Kiely. Administration of the project was by Choryna Kiely and Fio- na Greene. Illustrations are by Ben Blakeman, Enda O’Mahony and Maurizio Toscano. Photographs are by John Sunderland, Hawkeye and Eachtra Archaeological Projects. Spe- cialist analysis was carried out by Mary Dillon, Penny Johnston, Farina Sternke, Helen Roche and Eoin Grogan, Tim Young and the 14 Chrono Centre at Queen’s University Belfast. The project was funded by the Irish Government under the National Develop- ment Plan 2007-2013 and was commissioned by Cork County Council on behalf of the National Roads Authority. The project archaeologist was Ken Hanley.vi
  11. 11. Gortnahown 2-E2426 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e2426-gortnahown2-co-cork/1 Scope of the projectThe archaeological works associated with the N8 Fermoy to Mitchelstown Bypass wascarried out on behalf of Cork County Council, National Road Design Office, Rich-mond, Glanmire, Co. Cork. The project was funded by the Irish Government under theNational Development Plan 2007-2013. The total archaeological cost was administeredby the National Roads Authority through Cork County Council as part of the Author-ity’s commitment to protecting our cultural heritage. The purpose of the archaeologicalservices project was to conduct archaeological site investigations within the lands madeavailable, to assess the nature and extent of any potential new sites uncovered and topreserve by record those sites of agreed archaeological significance, as approved by theDepartment of Environment, Heritage and Local Government in consultation with theNational Museum of Ireland. Phase 1 of the project (archaeological testing of the route) was carried out in October2005 under licence 05E1150 issued by Department of the Environment Heritage and Lo-cal Government (DoEHLG). The principal aim of this phase of the project was to test forany previously unknown sites by a programme of centreline and offset testing and to testsites of archaeological potential identified in the EIS and geophysical surveying. Five Cul-tural Heritage Sites were tested under individual excavation licences 05E1122-05E1126. 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 bypass. This phase of the project was carried out from September 2006 to Septem-ber 2007 and excavations were conducted under the management of a Senior Archaeolo-gist. A total of 28 sites were excavated during this phase of works under separate licencesissued by DoEHLG. 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 arisingfrom archaeological works along the route of the new N8 Fermoy to Mitchelstown By-pass. It included a proposal for post-excavation and archiving work and a budget for theworks. The document detailed the location of the route, the receiving environment, thearchaeological and historical background, the scope of the project and the circumstancesand scope of fieldwork. The document presented a scheme-wide summary of the archaeo-logical findings, a research framework within which the findings were dealt with and apublication plan and dissemination strategy for the end results. 1
  12. 12. iSSUE 10: Eachtra JoUrnal - iSSn 2009-2237 archaEoloGical Excavation rEport 2 Route location The route of the N8 Fermoy to Mitchelstown road is located in the rich pastureland of North Cork (Figure 1). The project involves the construction of c. 16 km of the N8 from Gortore north of Fermoy to Carrigane north-east of Mitchelstown. The N8 Fermoy to Mitchelstown road passes through the townlands of Gortore, Ballynacarriga, Glenwood, Ballinglanna North, Ballinrush, Caherdrinny, Gortnahown, Ballybeg, Turbeagh, Glena- tlucky, Ballynamona, Kilshanny, Corracunna, Kildrum, Garryleagh, and Carrigane. The townlands are located in the parishes of Kilcrumper, Glanworth and Brigown and Barony of Condons Clangibbon, with the exception of Gortore, and Glenwood, which are located in the Barony of Fermoy. The route begins at the northern end of the Fermoy Bypass at Gortore, c. 2km north of Fermoy, and continues northwards across the River Funshion, and to the west of the Glencorra Stream, a tributary of the Funshion, for 4 km. At Caherdrinny, it crosses over the western extremities of the Kilworth Mountains. From there it descends north-east- wards onto the broad plain that extends east and north-eastwards from Mitchelstown. It crosses the existing N8 at Gortnahown and passes to the east of Mitchelstown, crossing the R665 Mitchelstown-Ballyporeen road and links up with the N8 Cashel Mitchelstown Road at Carrigane south of Kilbeheny and 2 km west of where the borders of the Cork, Limerick and Tipperary counties meet. 3 Receiving environment The topography of East Cork and Waterford consists of east/west valleys separated by in- tervening ridges. The ridges consist of sandstones and mudstones of the Devonian Period (Old Red Sandstone) laid down 355-410 million years ago and the valleys of Carbonifer- ous limestones laid down 290-355 million years ago. The sediments covering many of the rocks are mainly of glacial origin deposited by glacial ice or meltwater (Sleeman and McConnell 1995, 1). The landscape of the area is dominated by the Galtee Mountains to the north, the Ballyhoura Mountains to the north-west, the Kilworth Mountains to the east and the Nagles to the south. The landscape is drained by the Blackwater River, the Funshion River (which flows into the Blackwater River c. 2 km north-east of Fermoy), and the Glencorra Stream, a tributary of the Funshion River. The largest population centres in the area, Fermoy and Mitchelstown, have developed on the banks of the River Blackwater and Gradoge (a tributary of the Funshion), respectively. The route begins at Gortore, c. 2 km north of Fermoy, at an elevation of c. 40 m OD. At Caherdrinny, it rises to its maximum elevation of c. 180 m OD as it crosses over the western extremities of the Kilworth Mountains, before descending onto the broad plain that that extends east and north-eastwards from Mitchelstown, at an elevation of 100-120 m OD.2
  13. 13. Gortnahown 2-E2426 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e2426-gortnahown2-co-cork/ N Derry Donegal Antrim Tyrone Leitrim Fermanagh Armagh Down Sligo Cavan Louth Garryleagh 1 Carrigane 1 Mayo Roscommon Longford E2433 E2434 Meath Westmeath Dublin Gal ay w Offaly Kildare Laois Wicklow Clare Kildrum 1 Carlow E3971 Tippeary r Kilkenny Limerick Wexford Kilshanny 3 Kerry N8 Waterford E2432 Cork Kilshanny 2 E2431 Ballynamona 2 Kilshanny 1 E2429 E2430 Ballynamona 1 Glenatluckly 1 E2428 E2427 Gortnahown 3 E2477 Gortnahown 1 E2423 Gortnahown 2 E2426 Gortnahown 4 E3832 Caherdrinny 3 E2422 Caherdrinny 2 E2421 Caherdrinny 1 E2420 Ballinrush 1 E2419 Ballinglanna North 5 E2418 Ballinglanna North 4 E2417 Ballinglanna North 3 E2416 Ballinglanna North 6 E3972 Ballinglanna North 2 E2415 Ballinglanna North 1 E2414 Ballynacarriga 3 E2412 Ballynacarriga 2 E2413 Ballynacarriga 1 Key E2411 Post Medieval Gortore 1B E2410 Early Medieval Gortore 2 Prehistoric Site E3973 Prehistoric Settlement Site Burnt Mound Non-archaeological 0km 2km Townland BoundariesFigure 1: The route of the N8 Fermoy to Mitchelstown Bypass overlain on the Ordnance Survey Discovery Series map� 3
  14. 14. iSSUE 10: Eachtra JoUrnal - iSSn 2009-2237 archaEoloGical Excavation rEport The soils on the southern portion of the route are characterised by acid brown earths derived from mixed sandstone and limestone glacial till. These soils occur generally in the valleys of Cork and Waterford (Gardiner and Radford 1980, 61), and have a wide use range, being suitable for tillage and grass production. The soils on the western limits of Kilworth Mountains are characterised by brown podzolics derived from sandstone. The soils on the northern portion of the route are characterised by brown podzolics derived from sandstone and shale glacial till. They have a wide range of potential uses and are well suited to arable and pastoral farming (ibid., 67). Land use along the route was almost en- tirely grassland devoted to intensive dairying and cattle-rearing, with only an occasional tillage field. 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), Neolithic (c. 4000 to 2000 BC), Chalcolithic (Beaker) (c. 2500-2000 BC), Bronze Age (c. 2000 to 500 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). A number of Giant Irish Deer (Megaloceros giganteus) skulls, large antlers, antler frag- ments and various long-bones were retrieved from the clay sediments, c. 1.5 m below the peat stratum at Ballyoran Bog (04E1014) on the route of the N8 Rathcormac Fermoy. A radiocarbon date of cal BC 11201-10962 was returned for the Giant Irish Deer. Gi- ant Irish Deer are extinct but are known to have inhabited Ireland during two separate periods in the Pleistocene (from 37,000-32,000 BP and 11,750-10,950 BP), with examples from lake deposits beneath peat bogs frequently dating to the period between 11,750 BP and 10,950 BP (Woodman et al. 1997). The Ballyoran Bog examples were found in this typical location of lacustrine (lake ) sediments beneath peat and they therefore pre-date the beginnings of bog formation and the first human settlement of the area. Mesolithic (c. 8000 to 4000 BC) The earliest known human settlement in Ireland dates from the Mesolithic period (c. 8000 BC - 4000 BC). In Munster, the majority of the evidence (flint scatters) for Meso- lithic occupation has ‘come from the Blackwater valley in Co. Cork’ (Woodman 1989, 116). Flint scatters were recorded in the townlands of Kilcummer Lower (CO034-060) on the northern bank of the Blackwater c. 13 km to the south-west of the route and in Ballynamona (CO018-099) and Wallstown (CO018-100) on the northern and southern sides of the Awbeg river respectively c. 20 km to the west of the route (Power et al. 2000, 2). Mesolithic sites and find spots were recorded on other road schemes in Co. Cork, these included; Rath-healy 3 03E1678 and Curraghprevin 3 03E1138 (N8 Rathcormac Fermoy4
  15. 15. Gortnahown 2-E2426 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e2426-gortnahown2-co-cork/ N Derry Donegal Antrim Tyrone Leitrim Fermanagh Armagh Down Sligo Cavan Garryleagh 1 Carrigane 1 Louth Mayo Roscommon Longford E2433 E2434 Meath Westmeath Dublin Gal ay w Offaly Kildare Clare Laois Wicklow Kildrum 1 Carlow E3971 Tippeary r Kilkenny Limerick Wexford Kilshanny 3 Kerry N8 Waterford E2432 Cork Kilshanny 2 E2431 Ballynamona 2 Kilshanny 1 E2429 E2430 Ballynamona 1 Glenatluckly 1 E2428 E2427 Gortnahown 22 Gortnahown E2426 E2426 Gortnahown 1 Gortnahown 3 E2423 E2477 Gortnahown 4 E3832 Caherdrinny 3 E2422 Caherdrinny 2 E2421 Caherdrinny 1 E2420 Ballinrush 1 E2419 Ballinglanna North 5 E2418 Ballinglanna North 4 E2417 Ballinglanna North 3 E2416 Ballinglanna North 6 E3972 Ballinglanna North 2 E2415 Ballinglanna North 1 E2414 Ballynacarriga 3 E2412 Ballynacarriga 2 E2413 Ballynacarriga 1 Key E2411 Post Medieval Gortore 1B Early Medieval E2410 Gortore 2 Prehistoric Site E3973 Prehistoric Settlement Site Burnt Mound Non-archaeological 0km 2km Townland BoundariesFigure 2: The route of the N8 Fermoy to Mitchelstown Bypass overlain on the first edition Ordnance Survey map CO010, 011, 019, 020, 027 and 028� 5
  16. 16. iSSUE 10: Eachtra JoUrnal - iSSn 2009-2237 archaEoloGical Excavation rEport Bypass), Ballynacarriaga 1 01E0567 (N25 Youghal Bypass), Ballinaspig More 5 01E0546 (N22 Ballincollig Bypass) and Carrigrohane 3 02E0431 (N22 BG). Mesolithic activity was recorded on the route of the N8 Fermoy-Mitchelstown at Gortore E2410 and at Caherdrinny 3 E2422 and Mesolithic stone tools were recovered from Ballinglanna North 1 E2414, Ballinglanna North 3 E2416 and Ballinglanna North 6 E3972. 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. A substantial Neolithic settlement site has been recorded at Lough Gur, Co. Limerick. Previously the nearest known Neolithic house was located in Pepper- hill (CO016-226/01) c. 30 km to the northwest of the route. It was recorded during the construction of the Bruff-Mallow gas pipeline (Gowen 1988, 44-51). The material culture includes the manufacture of pottery, flint and stone arrowheads, scrapers, axes etc. The range of monuments types includes Megalithic tombs, single burial graves and stone circles. Megalithic tombs can be sub-divided into court tombs, portal tombs, passage tombs and wedge tombs. There are few wedge tombs or stone circles known from north or east Cork. Two of the exceptions are wedge tombs located at Lab- bacallee (CO027-086), which is one of the largest wedge tombs in the country, and at Manning (CO027-091) both located c. 4 km west of the N8. Recent infrastructural work on the N8 Rathcormac to Fermoy and the Ballincollig Bypass have added significantly to the number of Neolithic sites in the county. A Neo- lithic house was excavated at Gortore (E2119), on the N8 Rathcormac to Fermoy road and another Neolithic house was excavated at Barnagore (02E0384), along the route of the Ballincollig Bypass. Both of these Cork examples produced essentially the same ra- diocarbon results (cal BC 3940-3620 at Barnagore and cal BC 3928-3655 from Gortore) and they represent the oldest known houses in the county. A single pit at Fermoy town- land (05E0078), located c. 3 km to the south of Gortore, produced 12 sherds of a Middle Neolithic Globular bowl, and another site at Curraghprevin (c.12 km south of Gortore) produced Western Neolithic (Early Neolithic) pottery and a radiocarbon date of 3090- 2580 BC (Late Neolithic). Rectangular Neolithic houses were recorded on the route of the N8 FM at Gortore 1b (E2410), Ballinglanna North 3 (E2416) and Caherdrinny 3 (E2422). A large enclosure containing several structures associated with Late Neolithic pottery was excavated at Bal- lynacarriaga 3 (E2412). Activity dating to the Neolithic was also recorded at Ballynamona 1 (E2428), Ballynamona 2 (E2429), and Gortnahown 2 (E2426) and Gortore 2 (E3973).6
  17. 17. Gortnahown 2-E2426 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e2426-gortnahown2-co-cork/Bronze Age (c. 2000 to 500BC)The Bronze Age is characterised by the introduction of metallurgy and an increase insettlement and burial sites. Copper ores were mined and copper, bronze and gold itemsmanufactured. 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 areknown. The most prolific Bronze Age site type is the fulacht fiadh; over 2,000 exampleshave been recorded in County Cork alone. These monuments survive as low mounds ofcharcoal rich black silt, packed with heat-shattered stones, and generally situated close toa water source. Fulachta fiadh are generally classified as ‘cooking places’, whereby stoneswere heated in a hearth and subsequently placed in a trough of water, the water continuedto boil with the addition of hot stones and wrapped food was cooked within the hot wa-ter. The trough eventually filled with small stones, ash and charcoal that were removed,forming the basis of the familiar mound. The Bronze Age cemetery site at Mitchelstowndown West, c. 16 km to the north ofMitchelstown, contains 53 small barrows. The Discovery Programme Report 1 (Daly andGrogan 1992, 44) selected four of this group for excavation. Until recently, Bronze Age settlement sites were a rarity in North Cork. A Bronze Ageoccupation site was recorded underlying the medieval ringfort Lisleagh I (CO027-158)c. 2.5 km to the west of the N8 (Power et al. 2000, 210). A house site was excavated atKillydonoghoe on the route of the N8 Glanmire-Watergrasshill Bypass (Sherlock 2003).Three circular houses dating to the Middle Bronze Age were excavated at Mitchelstown(04E1072) on the N8 Mitchelstown Relief Road. A large Bronze Age settlement site con-sisting of three circular enclosures and three circular houses was excavated in 2003 atBallybrowney (03E1058), on the route of the N8 Rathcormac-Fermoy (Cotter 2005, 40). Bronze Age round houses were recorded on the route of the N8 Fermoy – Mitchel-stown at Kilshanny 1 (E2432) and Ballynamona 2 (E2429). Burnt mounds/fulachta fiadhsites were recorded at Ballinglanna North 1 (E2414), Ballinglanna North 3 (E2416), Ball-inglanna North 6 (E3972), Ballynamona 2 (E2429), Caherdrinny 1 (E2420), Kilshanny3 (E2432) and Kildrum 1 (E3971). Two ring ditches and associated cists and pits burialswere recorded at Ballynacarriga 3 (E2412). Portions of several encrusted urns and foodvessels dating to the Early Bronze Age were recorded in association with the burials. Acremation burial and associated Early Bronze Age urn were also recorded at Glenatlucky(E2427).Iron Age (c. 500 BC to AD 500)Until the last decade there was little evidence of a significant Iron Age presence in theCork region. 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 monu-ments of the period. Recent infrastructural work on the N22 Ballincollig Bypass, the N8 7
  18. 18. iSSUE 10: Eachtra JoUrnal - iSSn 2009-2237 archaEoloGical Excavation rEport Glanmire Watergrasshill Bypass and the M8 Rathcormac Fermoy has altered the picture considerably. Three separate stretches of a linear boundary, the Claidh Dubh, have been recorded in County Cork. The longest stretch, c. 24 km in length extends from the Nagle Mountains, across the Blackwater valley and into the Ballyhoura Hills. Radiocarbon dating following excavation of a section of it revealed it dated to some time before AD100 (Doody 1995, 23). Two of the four hillfort sites in Cork are located in North Cork (Power et al. 2000, 205). Caherdrinny (CO019:97/0103) is located at the western end of the Kilworth Mountains, c. 700 m to the west of the N8, Corrin (CO035:49/01) is located at the east- ern end of the Nagle Mountains, overlooking a pass between the Blackwater and Bride river valleys just south of Fermoy. Iron Age dates were returned from a roundhouse at Ballinaspig More 5 01E0546, a possible bowl furnace at Curraheen 1 01E1209 and the fulacht fiadh at Curraheen 4 02E1297 on the N22 Ballincollig Bypass; the Iron Age structure at Muckridge 1 01E0429 on the N25 Youghal Bypass; iron working sites at Kilrussane 01E0701 and Trabstown 01E0501 on the N8 Glanmire Watergrasshill Bypass; the iron working site at Lisnagar De- mesne 1 03E1510, the pit at Maulane East 1 03E1286, the pit at Scartbarry 3 03E1800, the corn-drying kiln at Rath-healy 1 03E1139, the burnt mound at Fermoy Wood 04E1014 and the ring ditch at Ballybrowney Lower 3 05E0233 all on the M8 Rathcormac Fermoy. Activity dating to the Iron Age was recorded on the route of the N8 Fermoy – Mitch- elstown at Ballinglanna North 3 E2416, Ballinglanna North 4 E2417, Ballynacarriaga 3 E2412, Gortnahown 1 E2423, Gortnahown 3 E2477 and Caherdrinny 3 E2422. The sites, with the exception of a single fire pit at Ballinglanna North 4 E2417, did not date exclusively to the Iron Age. Early medieval period (c. AD 500 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). A major research excavation of two ringforts was undertaken at Lisleagh, c. 2.5 km to the west of the N8 route, in the late 1980s/early1990s. Structural, domestic and industrial evidence was recorded at both sites. A number of stake and wattle round houses, and ironworking were recorded in Lisleagh I, which had two phases of occupation, ranging from the early 7th century to the 9th century AD (Monk 1995, 105-116).8
  19. 19. Gortnahown 2-E2426 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e2426-gortnahown2-co-cork/ Souterrains, frequently associated with ringforts and enclosures, are man made un-derground chambers linked by narrow passageways. The concealed entrance is locatedat ground level. It is thought souterrains were used for storage or places of refuge duringtimes of trouble (Clinton 2001). It has also been hypothesised that some may have beenused for housing slaves. The monastery of Brigown (which gave the name to the modern parish in Mitchel-stown) was founded in the 7th century by Fanahan. Fanahan is reputed to have com-missioned seven smiths to make seven sickles which were used by him for self-mortifica-tion. The new monastery was named, Brí Gabhann, for the smiths (Power 1996, 3). Theecclesiastical remains comprise a church, graveyard, holy well and site of round tower(CO019:30/01-05). A possible enclosure site with evidence of metalworking was excavatedby John Purcell in Brigown. This was possibly the enclosure of Brigown. No dates wereobtained from the site (John Purcell personal communication). A ringfort and associated souterrain (CO027-109) were excavated on the route of theN8 Fermoy – Mitchelstown at Ballynacarriga 2 (E2413). Two circular houses and a com-prehensive range of metalworking activities were excavated at Gortnahown 2 (E2426).Sites with evidence of metalworking activities were also excavated at Ballynamona 2(E2429) and Ballinglanna North 1 (E2412).High and later medieval periods (c. AD 1100 to 1650)This period is characterized by the arrival of the Anglo-Normans and the building oftower houses. Mitchelstown was formerly known as Brigown / Mitchelstown (CO019-149). It was listed as a market town in 1299 and was located on the southern bank of theGradoge River, to the east of Mitchelstown Castle (Power et al. 2000, 595). The towndeveloped under the patronage of the House of Desmond. It passed into the hands of theEarls of Kingston in the 17th century (Power 1996, 23). The Condon family controlled the barony of Condons and Clongibbon. Two oftheir castles are located in close vicinity to the route of the N8 FM. Cloghleagh Castle(CO027:113) is located on the northern bank of the Funshion River to the east of thenew route. It was built on an outcrop of limestone bedrock. It is a 5-storey tower withassociated bawn wall (Power et al. 2000, 537). Caherdrinny Castle (CO019:97/02) is lo-cated to the west of the route. It was a 5-storey tower built within the hillfort enclosure(CO019:97/0103). Glanworth Castle (Boherash CO027-42) is located on a sheer lime-stone cliff overlooking the River Funshion 5 km to the west of the route. The 13th-centuryhall house is associated with a four-sided walled enclosure (ibid. 516). 9
  20. 20. iSSUE 10: Eachtra JoUrnal - iSSn 2009-2237 archaEoloGical Excavation rEport N Derry Donegal Antrim Tyrone Leitrim Fermanagh Armagh Down Sligo Cavan Garryleagh 1 Carrigane 1 Louth Mayo Roscommon Longford E2433 E2434 Meath Westmeath Dublin Gal ay w Offaly Kildare Clare Laois Wicklow Kildrum 1 Carlow RMP Sheet No. CO10 E3971 Tippeary r Kilkenny RMP Sheet No. CO11 Limerick Wexford Kilshanny 3 Kerry N8 Waterford E2432 Cork Kilshanny 2 E2431 Ballynamona 2 Kilshanny 1 E2429 E2430 Ballynamona 1 Glenatluckly 1 E2428 E2427 Gortnahown 22 Gortnahown E2426 E2426 Gortnahown 1 Gortnahown 3 E2423 E2477 Gortnahown 4 E3832 Caherdrinny 3 E2422 Caherdrinny 2 E2421MP Sheet No. CO19 Caherdrinny 1 RMP Sheet No. CO20 E2420 Ballinrush 1 E2419 Ballinglanna North 5 E2418 Ballinglanna North 4 E2417 Ballinglanna North 3 E2416 Ballinglanna North 6 E3972 Ballinglanna North 2 E2415 Ballinglanna North 1 E2414 Ballynacarriga 3 E2412 Ballynacarriga 2 E2413RMP Sheet No. CO27 Ballynacarriga 1 Key E2411 Post Medieval Gortore 1B Early Medieval E2410 Gortore 2 Prehistoric Site E3973 Prehistoric Settlement Site Burnt Mound Non-archaeological 0km 2km RMP Sheet No. CO28 Townland BoundariesFigure 3: The route of the N8 Fermoy to Mitchelstown Bypass overlain on the RMP map CO010, 011, 019, 020, 027 and 028� The map is based on the second edition Ordnance Survey maps�10
  21. 21. Gortnahown 2-E2426 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e2426-gortnahown2-co-cork/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). Three de-mesnes associated with country houses are within the route of the N8 at Moorepark,Ballynacarriga and Glenwood. The estate system was dismantled in Ireland in the early20th century. Demesnes usually comprise of a large country house with associated stables,farm buildings and gate lodges, areas of woodland and ornamental gardens etc. The de-mesne was usually enclosed by a high stone wall such as that associated with Moorepark.Moorepark house and demesne was the seat of the Earls Mountcashell (Lewis 1988, 312).The Moorepark Estate covered an area around 800 acres and extended both north andsouth of the river Funshion. The house was sold to the British War Office c. 1903 bythe 5th Earl’s daughter (Bence-Jones 1996, 211). It burned down in 1908 and was neverrebuilt. No trace of it now survives The demesne is clearly defined by woodland on the1841-2 and 1906 edition Ordnance Survey maps, which was most likely enclosed by awall. It is likely that the demesne walls are contemporary with the mansion house andtherefore date to the 18th century. The Cork to Dublin mail coach road originally ran towest of the demesne walls as it appears on the 1841-2 and 1906 Ordnance Survey maps. The site of a workhouse (C0019-11301-) built in 1852 is located in Kilshanny townlandto the east of Mitchelstown. The complex of buildings, including a hospital chapel andmortuary, was enclosed within a three-metre high limestone wall and could accommo-date up to 600 people. Closed in 1916 and burned by the IRA in 1922, only the boundarywall and main entrance way survive today (Power 2002, 48). A late 19th century bridge of rubble limestone approached by a causeway at eitherend and carrying a tertiary road from Kilworth-Glanworth over the Glencorra Stream.A road crosses the stream at the same location on the 1841-2 Ordnance survey map, butthe bridging structure is not named. The site is named Glencorra Bridge on the 1906Ordnance Survey map. This site is of local architectural significance. 11
  22. 22. iSSUE 10: Eachtra JoUrnal - iSSn 2009-2237 archaEoloGical Excavation rEport Plate 1: View of Gortnahown 2 Areas 1 and 2 from NW� 5 Site Location and Topography The site is located at a height of 120 m OD at the base of the Kilworth Mountains. The Gradoge River, flowing in a north-easternly direction was located to the west and the present N8 Fermoy-Mitchelstown was located to the east. A fulacht fiadh was recorded to the immediate north of Area 1 and 2, on the southern bank of the stream. The Fermoy- Mitchelstown road, marked on the 1st edition OS map, was re-aligned in the 1960’s. The re-alignment destroyed the eastern half of Areas 1 and 2 in Gortnahown. A modern re- cut of the ditch, enclosing the western half of the site, is marked on all editions of the OS maps. 6 Excavation methodology The excavation was carried out under E-Number E2426 and complied with the method statement approved by the Department of Environment, Heritage, and Local Govern- ment, in consultation with the National Museum of Ireland. The site was mechanically stripped of topsoil The site was mechanically stripped of topsoil under strict archaeologi- cal supervision. Stripping was done with a tracked machine with a flat toothless bucket. Where appropriate mini-diggers were used, and in the larger areas to be stripped multiple large tracked machines were used; all stripping operations involved the use of multiple dumpers for topsoil mounding. 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. A grid was set up in the excavation area(s) 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.12
  23. 23. Gortnahown 2-E2426 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e2426-gortnahown2-co-cork/ 180880 181020 ± Areas 1 and 2109780 109780 O ) 127 m O.D. Area 3 Area 4109560 109560 Area 5 0 120 m 180880 181020 Figure 4: Post-excavation plan of Areas 1 - 5� 13
  24. 24. iSSUE 10: Eachtra JoUrnal - iSSn 2009-2237 archaEoloGical Excavation rEport 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 5 February 2007 to 4 May 2007. Only areas within the CPO were resolved. The full extent of the area of excavation measured 7279 m2. The site was divided into five separate areas: Areas 1 and 2 measured 5046 m2, Area 3 measured 1173 m2, Area 4 measured 427 m2 and Area 5 measured 646 m2. The full record of excavated contexts is recorded in the context register (Appendix 1) and the stratigraphic matrix (Appendix 2). Detailed stratigraphic descriptions are found in the groups and sub-groups text (Appendix 3). 7 Excavation results The site at Gortnahown was divided into five separate cuttings. Areas 1 and 2 comprised one cutting. Area 3 was located 80 m to the south-west. Area 4 was located 110 m south- west of Area 3 and Area 5 was located 65 m south of Area 4 (Figure 4). Areas 1 and 2 Areas 1 and 2 were bound to the east by the existing N8 Fermoy to Mitchelstown which was constructed in the 1960’s and to the west by an enclosing ditch. This field bound- ary was marked on all editions of the OS map. An area of Late Neolithic/Early Bronze Age (Beaker) activity, two substantial circular houses, an extensive area of metalworking, including a workshop, associated with all phases of iron working dating to the early me- dieval period were partially enclosed by the ditch (Figure 5, Plate 1). Late Neolithic/Early Bronze Age Four hearths (C.4, C.29, C.65, C.145) in association with pits and post-holes were re- corded in the southern half of the site (Figure 6). Some of the basal fills of the hearths survived and the underlying subsoil was heavily scorched. No definite structures could be identified and larger concentrations of features were associated with two of the hearths. In addition the basal fills of two isolated hearths (C.24, C.36) were recorded c. 10 m to the west of hearths C.65 and C.145. A group of seven pits (C.52 C.59 C.62, C68, C.93, C.100, C.131 and C.132) and two stakeholes (C.82 and C.83) were clustered together in the south-western section of the site. The group were set around a small area of burnt subsoil (C.65); the base of a hearth and were associated with flint knapping (Plate 2). The pits ranged in size between 0.44 and 0.68m in length, 0.38 and 0.66m in width and 0.09 and 0.36m in depth. They were all similar in plan being oval to sub-circular in shape. All the pits, except pit C.68, contained a single sandy silt fill with inclusions of pebbles and charcoal. Flint was recovered from the fills of five of the pits (C.52, C.59, C.62, and C.68 and C.132). A knife (E2426:46:1), two flint cores (E2426:46:4 5), one flint flake (E2426:46:3) and a piece of flint debitage14

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