Archaeological Report - Gortnahown 4, Co. Cork (Ireland)
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The excavation of the site at Gortnahown 4 revealed deposits of disturbed burnt mound material overlain by re-deposited subsoil. The layers of burnt mound material were ex situ. They may have been ...

The excavation of the site at Gortnahown 4 revealed deposits of disturbed burnt mound material overlain by re-deposited subsoil. The layers of burnt mound material were ex situ. They may have been removed from their original location during land reclamation works. No radiocarbon date was obtained for this site.

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    Archaeological Report - Gortnahown 4, Co. Cork (Ireland) Archaeological Report - Gortnahown 4, Co. Cork (Ireland) Document Transcript

    • Eachtra JournalIssue 10 [ISSN 2009-2237] Archaeological Excavation Report E3832 - Gortnahown 4, Co. Cork Ex-situ burnt mound
    • EACHTRAArchaeological Projects Archaeological Excavation Report Ex-situ burnt mound at Gortnahown 4 Co Cork May 2011 Client: Cork County Council Project: N8 Fermoy to Mitchelstown E No: E3832Excavation Director: James Lyttleton Written by: James Lyttleton and Antonia Doolan
    • Archaeological Excavation Report Gortnahown 4 Co Cork Excavation Director James Lyttleton Written By James Lyttleton and Antonia Doolan 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 Printed in Ireland
    • Table of Contents Summary���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������iii Acknowledgements�������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� iv1 Scope of the project �������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 12 Route location��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 13 Receiving environment ��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 44 Archaeological and historical background ��������������������������������������������������������������������� 55 Site Location and Topography �������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 96 Excavation methodology ������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������ 97 Excavation results �������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 9 Artefacts���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������12 Samples����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������12 Discussion�����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������128 References �������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 15Appendix 1 Stratigraphic Index �������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 17Appendix 2 Site Matrix �������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������20Appendix 3 Groups and subgroup �������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 21 i
    • List of Figures Figure 1: The route of the N8 Fermoy to Mitchelstown Bypass overlain on the Ordnance Survey Discovery Series map� ������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 2 Figure 2: The route of the N8 Fermoy to Mitchelstown Bypass overlain on the first edition Ord- nance Survey map CO010, 011, 019, 020, 027 and 028� ����������������������������������������������������������������� 3 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� �������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 6 Figure 4: Post-excavation plan Gortnahown 4 E3832� ����������������������������������������������������������������������������������10 List of Plates Plate 1: View of eastern quadrant of burnt mound (C�12) and re-deposited subsoil beneath (C�13) from the south-east� �������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 11 Plate 2: Mid-excavation view of the possible pit (C�21) from the south-west� ���������������������������������� 11 Plate 4: Post-excavation view of the post-hole (C�9) from the west� ����������������������������������������������������� 13 Plate 3: Mid-excavation view of the curvilinear (C�5) from the south-east����������������������������������������� 13ii
    • Gortnahown 4-E3832 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3832-gortnahown4-co-cork/SummaryThe excavation of the site at Gortnahown 4 revealed deposits of disturbed burnt moundmaterial overlain by re-deposited subsoil. The layers of burnt mound material were ex situ.They may have been removed from their original location during land reclamation works.No radiocarbon date was obtained for this site.Road project name N8 Fermoy to MitchelstownSite name Gortnahown 4Ministerial Order no. A040E no. E3832Site director James LyttletonTownland GortnahownParish GlanworthBarony Condons and ClangibbonOS Map Sheet No. CO19National Grid Reference 180562 110046 iii
    • 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 Fiona Greene. Illustrations are by Ben Blakeman and Maurizio Toscano. The project was funded by the Irish Government under the National Development Plan 2007-2013 and was commissioned by Cork County Council on behalf of the National Roads Authority. The project archaeologist was Ken Hanley.iv
    • Gortnahown 4-E3832 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3832-gortnahown4-co-cork/1 Scope of the projectThe archaeological works associated with the N8 Fermoy to Mitchelstown was carried outon behalf of Cork County Council, National Road Design Office, Richmond, Glanmire,Co. Cork. The project was funded by the Irish Government under the National Devel-opment Plan 2007-2013. The total archaeological cost was administered by the NationalRoads Authority through Cork County Council as part of the Authority’s commitmentto protecting our cultural heritage. The purpose of the archaeological services project wasto conduct archaeological site investigations within the lands made available, to assess thenature and extent of any potential new sites uncovered and to preserve by record thosesites of agreed archaeological significance, as approved by the Department of Environ-ment, Heritage and Local Government in consultation with the National Museum ofIreland. 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 road. This phase of the project was carried out from September 2006 to September2007 and excavations were conducted under the management of a Senior Archaeologist.A total of 28 sites were excavated during this phase of works under separate licences issuedby 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. Itincluded a proposal for post-excavation and archiving work and a budget for the works.The document detailed the location of the route, the receiving environment, the archaeo-logical and historical background, the scope of the project and the circumstances andscope of fieldwork. The document presented a scheme-wide summary of the archaeologi-cal findings, a research framework within which the findings were dealt with and a pub-lication plan and dissemination strategy for the end results.2 Route locationThe route of the N8 Fermoy to Mitchelstown road is located in the rich pastureland ofNorth Cork (Figure 1 and Figure 2). The project involves the construction of c. 16 kmof the N8 from Gortore north of Fermoy to Carrigane north-east of Mitchelstown. TheN8 Fermoy to Mitchelstown road passes through the townlands of Gortore, Ballynacar-riga, Glenwood, Ballinglanna North, Ballinrush, Caherdrinny, Gortnahown, Ballybeg, 1
    • 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 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 2 E2426 Gortnahown 1 Gortnahown 3 E2423 E2477 Gortnahown 4 Gortnahown 4 E3832 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 1: The route of the N8 Fermoy to Mitchelstown Bypass overlain on the Ordnance Survey Discovery Series map�2
    • Gortnahown 4-E3832 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3832-gortnahown4-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 2 E2426 Gortnahown 1 Gortnahown 3 E2423 E2477 Gortnahown 4 Gortnahown 4 E3832 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� 3
    • iSSUE 10: Eachtra JoUrnal - iSSn 2009-2237 archaEoloGical Excavation rEport Turbeagh, Glenatlucky, 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 et al. 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. 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 well4
    • Gortnahown 4-E3832 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3832-gortnahown4-co-cork/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 occasionaltillage field.4 Archaeological and historical backgroundArchaeological sites of numerous periods were discovered along the route of the newroad (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. AD500 to 1100), medieval period (c. AD 1100 to 1650), post-medieval period (c. AD 1650 tothe 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 thepeat 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 separateperiods in the Pleistocene (from 37,000-32,000 BP and 11,750-10,950 BP), with examplesfrom lake deposits beneath peat bogs frequently dating to the period between 11,750 BPand 10,950 BP (Woodman et al. 1997). The Ballyoran Bog examples were found in thistypical location of lacustrine (lake ) sediments beneath peat and they therefore pre-datethe 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 inBallynamona (CO018-099) and Wallstown (CO018-100) on the northern and southernsides 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, theseincluded; Rath-healy 3 03E1678 and Curraghprevin 3 03E1138 (N8 Rathcormac FermoyBypass), 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 atGortore E2410 and at Caherdrinny 3 E2422 and Mesolithic stone tools were recoveredfrom Ballinglanna North 1 E2414, Ballinglanna North 3 E2416 and Ballinglanna North6 E3972. 5
    • 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 2 E2426 Gortnahown 1 Gortnahown 3 E2423 E2477 Gortnahown 4 Gortnahown 4 E3832 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�6
    • Gortnahown 4-E3832 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3832-gortnahown4-co-cork/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 moresedentary in nature. A substantial Neolithic settlement site has been recorded at LoughGur, 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 theconstruction 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 burialgraves and stone circles. Megalithic tombs can be sub-divided into court tombs, portaltombs, passage tombs and wedge tombs. There are few wedge tombs or stone circlesknown 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 atManning (CO027-091) both located c. 4 km west of the N8. Recent infrastructural work on the N8 Rathcormac to Fermoy and the BallincolligBypass 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 roadand another Neolithic house was excavated at Barnagore (02E0384), along the route ofthe 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 MiddleNeolithic 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 Gortore1b (E2410), Ballinglanna North 3 (E2416) and Caherdrinny 3 (E2422). A large enclosurecontaining several structures associated with Late Neolithic pottery was excavated at Bal-lynacarriaga 3 (E2412). Activity dating to the Neolithic was also recorded at Ballynamona1 (E2428), Ballynamona 2 (E2429), and Gortnahown 2 (E2426) and Gortore 2 (E3973).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 stones 7
    • iSSUE 10: Eachtra JoUrnal - iSSn 2009-2237 archaEoloGical Excavation rEport 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 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 of Mitchelstown, contains 53 small barrows. The Discovery Programme Report 1 (Daly and Grogan 1992, 44) selected four of this group for excavation. Until recently, Bronze Age settlement sites were a rarity in North Cork. A Bronze Age occupation 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 at Killydonoghoe 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 at Ballybrowney (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 fiadh sites were recorded at Ballinglanna North 1 (E2414), Ballinglanna North 3 (E2416), Ball- inglanna North 6 (E3972), Ballynamona 2 (E2429), Caherdrinny 1 (E2420), Kilshanny 3 (E2432) and Kildrum 1 (E3971). Two ring ditches and associated cists and pits burials were recorded at Ballynacarriga 3 (E2412). Portions of several encrusted urns and food vessels dating to the Early Bronze Age were recorded in association with the burials. A cremation 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 the Cork 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 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 (CO019:97/01&03) 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-8
    • Gortnahown 4-E3832 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3832-gortnahown4-co-cork/ern end of the Nagle Mountains, overlooking a pass between the Blackwater and Brideriver valleys just south of Fermoy.Iron Age dates were returned from a roundhouse at Ballinaspig More 5 01E0546, a pos-sible bowl furnace at Curraheen 1 01E1209 and the fulacht fiadh at Curraheen 4 02E1297on the N22 Ballincollig Bypass; the Iron Age structure at Muckridge 1 01E0429 on theN25 Youghal Bypass; iron working sites at Kilrussane 01E0701 and Trabstown 01E0501on the N8 Glanmire Watergrasshill Bypass; the iron working site at Lisnagar Demesne 103E1510, 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 thering 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, Ballynacarriaga3 E2412, Gortnahown 1 E2423, Gortnahown 3 E2477 and Caherdrinny 3 E2422. Thesites, with the exception of a single fire pit at Ballinglanna North 4 E2417, did not dateexclusively to the Iron Age.5 Site Location and TopographyThe site is located in pasture, which slopes into a valley. The valley is orientated fromnorthwest to southeast and is occupied by a small stream or drain flowing to the north-west. The field boundaries are generally low earthen banks topped with hedges and ma-ture deciduous trees.6 Excavation methodologyA grid was set up in the excavation area(s) and all archaeological features were sufficientlycleaned, recorded and excavated so as to enable an accurate and meaningful record of thesite to be preserved. The excavation, environmental sampling, site photographs, site draw-ings, find care and retrieval, on-site recording and site archive was as per the Proceduresfor Archaeological works as attached to the licence method statements for excavationlicences. The site was excavated in February 2008. It was identified during construction of theroad during the construction of a cattle crossing point. Only areas within the CPO wereresolved. The full extent of the area of excavation measured 25 m by 15 m.7 Excavation resultsThe excavation was carried out under E-Number E3832 and complied with the methodstatement approved by the Department of Environment, Heritage, and Local Govern-ment, in consultation with the National Museum of Ireland. 9
    • iSSUE 10: Eachtra JoUrnal - iSSn 2009-2237 archaEoloGical Excavation rEport ± 180460 180470 21 7108854 108854 9 5 11 23108839 108839 Extent of mound of burnt material 0 6 12 Metres 180460 180470 Figure 4: Post-excavation plan Gortnahown 4 E3832� 10
    • Gortnahown 4-E3832 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3832-gortnahown4-co-cork/Plate 1: View of eastern quadrant of burnt mound (C�12) and re-deposited subsoil beneath (C�13) from the south-east�Plate 2: Mid-excavation view of the possible pit (C�21) from the south-west� 11
    • iSSUE 10: Eachtra JoUrnal - iSSn 2009-2237 archaEoloGical Excavation rEport The site at Gortnahown 4 comprised deposits of disturbed burnt mound material overlain by re-deposited subsoil (Figure 4). The full record of excavated contexts is re- corded in the context register (Appendix 1) and the stratigraphic matrix (Appendix 2). Detailed stratigraphic descriptions are found in the groups and sub-groups text (Appen- dix 3). The disturbed deposits of burnt mound material (C.13) included charcoal and heat- shattered stone, mixed with modern branches and roots (Plate 1). It measured 20 m from north-west to south-east by 7 m and up to 1 m deep in parts. The burnt mound deposits excavated are ex situ. The re-deposited burnt mound material appears to have originated from a burnt mound located somewhere in the vicinity. Re-deposited subsoil (C.12) was found beneath the burnt mound deposit. It measured 25 m from north-west to south-east by 12 m, it was up to 0.4 m deep. A piece of mod- ern glass, a piece of plastic and three sherds of modern pottery were recovered from this context. These deposits are probably the result of modern agricultural processes, e.g. levelling out the ground surface. They were cut by two modern field drains (C.11 and C.23). A possible pit (C.21) was excavated at the site (Plate 2). It measured 2.6 m long and 2.1 m wide and 0.3 m deep. It was filled with re-deposited burnt mound material (C.22, C.25 and C.26). This pit was possibly the result of modern agricultural processes. A curvilinear feature (C.5) was excavated at the western end of the site (Plate 3). It measured 17 m from east to west by 1.5 m by 0.3 m deep. It was filled with deposits of burnt mound material (C.4) and a light brown grey pebbly soft clay sand (C.6). Two small possible post-holes (C.7 and C.9) were located just north of the curvilinear features (Plate 4). Artefacts There were no archaeological artefacts from this site. Samples Since the deposits at Gortnahown 4 were primarily ex situ no samples from this site were examined and no radiocarbon dates were obtained. Discussion The layers of burnt mound material excavated at Gortnahown 4 were ex situ. They may have been removed from their original location during land reclamation works. Burnt mounds are the most common Bronze Age sites found in Ireland. Estimates suggest that at least 4,500 examples are known (Power 2000) and this number is con- tinuously growing as sites continue to be identified during archaeological field work. The characteristic site-type is found in low-lying and damp ground and consists of a mound of charcoal-rich black sediment that is packed with heat shattered stones and forms a12
    • Gortnahown 4-E3832 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3832-gortnahown4-co-cork/ Plate 3: Mid-excavation view of the curvilinear (C�5) from the south-east�Plate 4: Post-excavation view of the post-hole (C�9) from the west� 13
    • iSSUE 10: Eachtra JoUrnal - iSSn 2009-2237 archaEoloGical Excavation rEport horse-shoe shape around a pit or trough that filled with water. In many cases all that survives to the present day are black charcoal rich deposits with fragments of shattered stones visible in ploughed fields. The inventory for North Cork lists over 1600 burnt mounds located in North Co. Cork. (ibid.). Three of these sites are located in the townlands of Gortnahown and Ca- herdrinny (CO019-073, -101 and -102). Many more have been recorded since the inven- tory was published on the route of the N8 Mitchelstown Relief Road, the N8 Rathcormac Fermoy Bypass and the N8 Mitchelstown to Cashel. A further seven new sites were re- corded on the N8 Fermoy to Mitchelstown at Ballinglanna North 1, 3 and 6, Ballyna- mona 2, Caherdrinny 2, Kildrum 1 and Kilshanny 3. In all ten radiocarbon dates were obtained from the burnt mound sites on the route of the N8 Fermoy to Mitchelstown. The majority of the sites were Early Bronze Age in date. Domestic activity from the Early Neolithic Period through to the Iron Age was re- corded to the north of Gortnahown 4, over a length of 850 m, along the eastern bank of the Gradoge River in five separate cuttings at Gortnahown 1 E2426, 2 E2423 and 3 E2477. Bronze Age activity was also recorded at Caherdrinny 3 E2422 to the south of Gortnahown 4. The primary location of the burnt mound site formed part of the exten- sive prehistoric landscape of this area.14
    • Gortnahown 4-E3832 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3832-gortnahown4-co-cork/8 ReferencesCotter, E., Buckley, K. & Drumm, M. (2006) ‘N8 Fermoy Mitchelstown Phase 1 – final archaeological testing report’, unpublished report for licence no. 05E1150.Cotter, E. (2005) ‘Bronze Age Ballybrowney Co. Cork’, Recent Archaeological Discoveries on National Road Schemes 2004. National Roads Authority Monograph Series No.2. Dublin.Daly, A. and Grogan, E (1992) ‘Excavation of Four Barrows in Mitchelstowndown West, Knocklong, Co. Limerick’, Discovery Programme Reports 1. Royal Irish Academy. Dublin.Doody, M. (1995) ‘Ballyhoura Hills project’, Discovery Programme Reports 2, 12-44. Royal Irish Academy. Dublin.Gardiner, M.J. Radford,T. (1980) Soil Assocaitions of Ireland and Their Land Use Potential. An Foras Talúntais.Gowen, M. (1988) Three Irish Gas pipelines: new archaeological evidence in Munster. Wordwell. Dublin.Power, D., Lane, S. and Byrne, E., Egan, U., Sleeman, M., with Cotter, E., Monk, J. (2000) Archaeological Inventory of County Cork, Volume 4: North Cork Parts I & II. The Stationery Office. 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.Sherlock, R. (2003) ‘Killdonoghoe’ Bennett, I. (Ed) Excavations 2001. Wordwell. Bray.Sleeman, A.G., & McConnell,B. (1995) Geology of East Cork-Waterford. Geological Survey of Ireland. 15
    • iSSUE 10: Eachtra JoUrnal - iSSn 2009-2237 archaEoloGical Excavation rEport Woodman, P. McCarthy, M. and Monaghan, N.T. 1997 ‘The Irish Quaternary Fauna Project’, Quaternary Science Reviews Vol. 16, No.2 129-159. Woodman, P.C. (1989) ‘The Mesolithic in Munster: a preliminary assessment’. Bonsall, C. (Ed) The Mesolithic in Europe 116-124. John Donald. Edinburgh. Woodman, P.C. (2000) ‘Hammers and Shoeboxes: New Agendas for Prehistory’. New Agendas in Irish Prehistory. Papers in commemoration of Liz Anderson 1-10. Wordwell. Bray.16
    • 17 Appendix 1 Stratigraphic Index Context Context Type Fill of Filled with Strat above Strat below Short Description Dimensions (m) 1 Topsoil NA All Topsoil Entire site 2 Subsoil All NA Subsoil varied from light pink brown soft silt clay to light grey yel- Entire site low sand silt. Occasional sub-rounded fine pebbles. 3 Spread 11 16 Dark grey black firm clay silt. Burnt and unburnt angular and sub- 2.5 x 1.5 x 0.21 iSSUE 10: Eachtra JoUrnal - iSSn 2009-2237 angular frequent medium and coarse pebbles and moderate small stones. Frequent roots. 4 Fill of C.5 5 1 6 Burnt dark black soft silt clay. Burnt occasional angular and sub- 5.2 x 0.75 x 0.2 angular occasional medium, moderate coarse pebbles, frequent small and moderate medium stones. Occasional roots. 5 Cut 4, 6 6 2 Curvi-linear shaped cut with sharp break of slope top. Sides 17 x 1.5 x 0.3 smooth and vertical at N, gentle and smooth at S and moderate and smooth at E. The W end extends into the site baulk. Break of slope base gradual. Base is curvi-linear in plan, concave in profile. 6 Fill of C.5 5 4 5 Light brown grey soft pebbly clay sand. Frequent angular and sub- 4.7 x 1.5 x 0.23 angular coarse pebbles, occasional sub-angular small and medium stones. Moderate flecks and occasional small pieces of charcoal. Occasional small pieces of decayed stone. 7 Possible post- 20 20 2 Sub-circular shape in plan. Sharp break of slope top. Sides are steep 0.29 x 0.24 x 0.1 hole cut and concave at N, S, and W, steep and irregular at E. Break of slope base gradual. Base is oval in plan, concave in profile. 8 Cancelled Cancelled 9 Possible post- 19 19 2 Circular shape in plan. Break of slope top sharp. Sides vertical and 0.16 x 0.16 x 0.14 hole cut irregular. Break of slope base gradual. Base is circular in plan, flat in profile. 10 Cancelled Cancelled 11 Drain cut 15 15 3 Linear shape in plan. Sharp break of slope top & base. Sides verti- 21 x 0.2 x 0.2 cal and smooth. Base is linear in plan, flat in profile. archaEoloGical Excavation rEport
    • 18 Context Context Type Fill of Filled with Strat above Strat below Short Description Dimensions (m) 12 Redeposited 16 13 Light brown yellow soft clay silt with occasional sub-angular coarse 12.5 x 12 x 0.3 subsoil spread pebbles. 13 Spread 12 31 Dark brown black soft clay silt. Frequent sub-angular medium and 19 x 15 x 0.3 coarse pebbles, small and medium stones. 14 Cancelled Cancelled 15 Drain fill 11 1 11 Mid brown orange soft pebbly silt. Frequent sub-rounded coarse 21 x 0.2 x 0.2 pebbles and small stones. Plastic pipe at base. iSSUE 10: Eachtra JoUrnal - iSSn 2009-2237 16 Spread 3 12 Light yellow brown soft clay silt. Occasional coarse sub-angular 1.7 x 1.4 x 0.15 pebbles. 17 Cancelled Cancelled 18 Spread 1 39 Dark brown black stiff clay silt. Sub-angular moderate medium 7 x 0.7 x 0.48 and coarse pebbles, frequent small and occasional medium stones. Frequent medium and occasional large burnt stones. 19 Possible post- 9 1 9 Dark brown grey soft pebbly silt. Occasional angular and sub- 0.16 x 0.16 x 0.14 hole fill angular small stones. 20 Possible post- 7 1 7 Dark grey brown stiff silt clay. Moderate angular and sub-angular 0.29 x 0.24 x 0.1 hole fill pebbles. Moderate flecks of charcoal. 21 Possible pit cut 22, 25, 26 22, 25, 26 2 Irregular shape in plan. Break of slope top & base sharp at E, >2.6 x >2.1 x 0.3 gradual at S. Sides moderate to steep and irregular at S, steep and concave at E, N side extends into baulk, W end not excavated. Base is irregular in plan, concave in profile. 22 Possible pit fill 21 1 21 Dark brown grey soft silt clay. Frequent sub-angular and sub- >2.84 x >1.6 x 0.3 rounded medium and coarse pebbles. 23 Drain cut 24 24 2 Linear shape in plan. Not excavated. 4.2 x 0.25 x ? 24 Drain fill 23 11 23 Mid pink grey soft silt clay. Moderate sub-angular medium and 4.2 x 0.25 x ? coarse pebbles. 25 Possible pit fill 21 1 21 Dark brown black soft silt clay. Frequent sub-angular and sub- >1.8 x >0.4 x 0.3 rounded medium and coarse pebbles. 26 Possible pit fill 21 1 21 Dark grey brown soft silt clay. Frequent sub-angular and sub- >1 x >1 x 0.3 rounded medium and coarse pebbles. archaEoloGical Excavation rEport
    • 19 Context Context Type Fill of Filled with Strat above Strat below Short Description Dimensions (m) 27 Redeposited 31 30 Mid grey pink soft clay silt. In sondage subsoil spread 28 Cancelled Cancelled 29 Cancelled Cancelled 30 Redeposited 27 2 Mid brown soft silt clay. In sondage subsoil spread 31 Redeposited 13 27, 32, 37 In sondage subsoil spread iSSUE 10: Eachtra JoUrnal - iSSn 2009-2237 32 Redeposited 31 33 In sondage subsoil spread 33 Redeposited 32, 37 2 In sondage subsoil spread 34 Cancelled Cancelled 35 Cancelled Cancelled 36 Cancelled Cancelled 37 Redeposited 31 33 In sondage subsoil spread 38 Redeposited 1 39 In sondage subsoil spread 39 Redeposited 18, 38 2 In sondage subsoil spread archaEoloGical Excavation rEport
    • iSSUE 10: Eachtra JoUrnal - iSSn 2009-2237 archaEoloGical Excavation rEportAppendix 2 Site Matrix20
    • Gortnahown 4-E3832 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3832-gortnahown4-co-cork/Appendix 3 Groups and subgroupGroup 1: Modern drains C.11 and C.23.Drain C.11 is filled with C.15. Drain C.23 is filled with C.24. Local farmer has said thatthe drains were inserted in the 1970’s.Group 2: Modern agricultural activitySeveral spreads deposited in a large natural hollow in the subsoil C.2. These layers includeC.3, 16, 12, 13, 31, 27, 30, 32, 33, 18, 37, 38 and 39. Modern pottery was found in two ofthe spreads C.3 and C.12.Group 3: Curvi-linear feature C.5 and possible post-holes C.7 and C.9.A curvi-linear feature which contained burnt mound material C.4 above a grey fill C.6.Two possible postholes are located on the ‘interior’ of the arc of C.5, C.7 is filled withC.20 and C.9 is filled with C.19.Group 4: Pit C.21This large irregular shaped pit is filled with burnt mound material C.22, 25 and 26. Thefunction of the pit is not certain. It may be the result of modern agricultural activity. 21