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Archaeological Report - Greenhills 1, Co. Tipperary (Ireland)
 

Archaeological Report - Greenhills 1, Co. Tipperary (Ireland)

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The excavation of the site at Greenhills comprised a mound of burnt material. The mound was located on the northern and eastern side of a hollow and overlay nine pits. An Early Bronze Age date was ...

The excavation of the site at Greenhills comprised a mound of burnt material. The mound was located on the northern and eastern side of a hollow and overlay nine pits. An Early Bronze Age date was returned from the fill of one of the pits. A flint scraper E3638:7:1 dating to the Late Neolithic / Early Bronze Age was recovered from one of the layers.

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    Archaeological Report - Greenhills 1, Co. Tipperary (Ireland) Archaeological Report - Greenhills 1, Co. Tipperary (Ireland) Document Transcript

    • Eachtra JournalIssue 11 [ISSN 2009-2237] Archaeological Excavation Report E3638 - Greenhills 1, Co. Tipperary Burnt Mound
    • EACHTRAArchaeological Projects Archaeological Excavation Report Greenhills 1 Co Tipperary Burnt Mound Date: December 2011 Client: Laois County Council and National Roads Authority Project: N7 Castletown to Nenagh (Contract 1) E No: E3638Excavation Director: Jacinta Kiely Written by: Jacinta Kiely
    • Archaeological Excavation Report Greenhills 1 Co Tipperary Excavation Director Jacinta Kiely Written By Jacinta Kiely EACHTRA Archaeological Projects CORK GALWAY The Forge, Innishannon, Co. Cork Unit 10, Kilkerrin Park, Liosbain Industrial Estate, Galwaytel: 021 4701616 | web: www.eachtra.ie | email: info@eachtra.ie tel: 091 763673 | web: www.eachtra.ie | email: galway@eachtra.ie
    • © Eachtra Archaeological Projects 2011 The Forge, Innishannon, Co Cork Set in 12pt Garamond Printed in Ireland
    • Table of Contents Summary���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������iii Acknowledgements�������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� iv1 Scope of the project �������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 12 Route location��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 23 Receiving environment ��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 44 Archaeological and historical background ��������������������������������������������������������������������� 45 Site Location and Topography �������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 86 Excavation methodology ������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������ 87 Excavation results ������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������ 11 Layersofburntmoundmaterial���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 11 � ThePits�����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������13 Modernagriculturalactivity���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������178 Discussion �������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 199 References ��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������23Appendix 1 Stratigraphic Index ��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������25Appendix 2 Site Matrix ������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 26Appendix 3 Groups and Subgroups ������������������������������������������������������������������������������������ 27Appendix 4 Lithics Report �������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������34Appendix 5 Plant Remains Report ��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 37Appendix 6 Animal Bone Report ������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������ 39 i
    • List of Figures Figure 1: Portion of map of Ireland showing the route of the N7 Castletown to Nenagh (Derrinsallagh to Ballintotty) Road Scheme (Contract 1)� ����������������������������������������������������������� 3 Figure 2: Discovery series OS map showing the route of the N7 Castletown to Nenagh (Derrinsallagh to Ballintotty) Road Scheme (Contract 1) and the location of all excavation sites� ����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 5 Figure 3: Portion of the Ist edition Ordnance Survey Map TN22 showing the location of Greenhills 1� �������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 9 Figure 4: Location and extent of Greenhills 1 E3638 on the N7 Castletown to Nenagh� �����������������10 Figure 5: Post-excavation plan of Greenhills 1 E3638� ���������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 12 Figure 6: Post-excavation plan of eight pits C�8, C�12, C�58, C�47, C�49, C�56, C�27 and C�46� ���������� 15 Figure 7: Section of pits C�8 and C�12 and channel C�32, section of pit C�27 and layers of burnt mound material and profile of pit C�25� ������������������������������������������������������������������������������ 16 Figure 8: Prehistoric sites on and in the environs of N7 Castletown to Nenagh� ��������������������������������21 List of Plates Plate 1: Aerial view of Greenhills 1� ���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 8 Plate 2: View of mound of burnt material on edge of hollow from east� �������������������������������������������� 11 Plate 3: View of group of six pits from south� ������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������ 14 Plate 4: View of pits C�8 and C�12 from north� ����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 14 Plate 5: View of pit C�27 from north� ����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 17 Plate 6: Flint scraper E3638:7:1� ��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 18 Plate 7: View of seasonal pond and pits in background from south� ��������������������������������������������������� 19 List of Tables Table 1 Layers of burnt mound material� ���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 13 Table 2 Dimensions of group of six pits� ����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 13 Table 3 Dimensions of pits C�25, 27 and 46� ���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 13 Table 4: Radiocarbon date ������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 18 � Table 5: Radiocarbon dates from the burnt mound sites on the N7 Castletown to Nenagh (Contract 1) �������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������20ii
    • Greenhills 1-e3638 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3638-greenhills1-co-tipperary/SummaryThe excavation of the site at Greenhills comprised a mound of burnt material. The moundwas located on the northern and eastern side of a hollow and overlay nine pits. An EarlyBronze Age date was returned from the fill of one of the pits. A flint scraper E3638:7:1dating to the Late Neolithic / Early Bronze Age was recovered from one of the layers.Road project name N7 Castletown to NenaghSite name Greenhills 1E no. E3638Site director Jacinta KielyTownland GreenhillsParish CullenwaineCounty TipperaryBarony IkerrinOS Map Sheet No. TN22National Grid Reference 203215 181566Elevation 115 m O.D. iii
    • issUe 11: eachtra JoUrnal - issn 2009-2237 archaeoloGical excavation report Acknowledgements The project was commissioned by Laois County Council and was funded by the Na- tional Roads Authority under the National Development Plan (2000-2006). The project archaeologist was Niall Roycroft. Kildare County Council supervised the archaeological contract with RE staff of Pat Dowling and Colum Fagan. Kildare County Council Sen- ior Executive Engineer was Joseph Kelly and Kildare County Council Senior Engineer was John Coppinger. The senior archaeologist was John Tierney and the post-excavation manager was Jacinta Kiely. Illustrations are by Maurizio Toscano, photographs by John Sunderland and Eagle Photography and aerial photography by StudioLab. Specialist anal- ysis was carried out by Mary Dillon, Penny Johnston, Margaret McCarthy and the 14 Chrono Centre at Queen’s University Belfast.iv
    • Greenhills 1-e3638 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3638-greenhills1-co-tipperary/1 Scope of the projectEachtra Archaeological Projects were commissioned by Laois County Council and theNational Roads Authority to undertake archaeological works along 17.1 km (Contact1) of the 35km N7 Castletown to Nenagh (Derrinsallagh to Ballintotty) national roadscheme (EIS approved in November 2005). The scheme runs from the eastern junctionof the present N7 Nenagh Bypass, North Tipperary a tie in to the M7/M8 Portlaoise-Castletown scheme to the south of Borris-in-Ossory in County Laois. The scheme is ap-proximately 191 hectares. Contract 1 comprises the western half of the scheme and runsfrom Clashnevin to Castleroan passing along the Tipperary North and Offaly countyborder regions. The Ministers Direction Number is A38. It was funded by the Irish Government under the National Development Plan 2000-2006. The total archaeological cost was administered by the National Roads Authoritythrough Laois County Council as part of the Authority’s commitment to protecting ourcultural heritage. The purpose of the archaeological services project was to conduct ar-chaeological site investigations within the lands made available for the scheme and toassess the nature and extent of any new potential archaeological sites uncovered. Phase 1 of the project (archaeological testing of the route) was carried out in 2007under licence E3371, E3372 and E3375-8 issued by Department of the Environment Her-itage and Local Government (DoEHLG) in consultation with the National Museumof Ireland. The principal aim of this phase of the project was to test for any previouslyunknown sites by a programme of centreline and offset testing and to test sites of archaeo-logical potential identified in the EIS. Phase 2 of the project (resolution) involved the resolution of all archaeological sitesidentified within the proposed road corridor prior to commencement of the constructionof the road. This phase of the project was carried out from June 2007 to February 2008and excavations were conducted under the management of a Senior Archaeologist. A totalof 27 sites were excavated during this phase of works under separate licences issued byDoEHLG. A post-excavation assessment and strategy document was prepared in Phase 3 of theproject to present a management strategy for dealing with post-excavation work aris-ing from archaeological works along the route of the new N7 Castletown to Nenagh. Itincluded a proposal for post-excavation and archiving work and a budget for the works. 1
    • issUe 11: eachtra JoUrnal - issn 2009-2237 archaeoloGical excavation report 2 Route location The route of the N7 Castletown to Nenagh road is located in Counties North Tipperary and Offaly (OF) (Figure 1). The project (Contract 1) involves the construction of c. 17.5 km of the N7 from Clashnevin east of Nenagh to Castleroan south-east of Dunkerrin. It passes through the townlands of Clashnevin, Derrybane, Newtown, Lissanisky, Killeisk, Garavally, Derrycarney, Garrynafanna, Gortnadrumman, Kilgorteen, Falleen, Knock- ane, Clash, Park, Rosdremid (OF), Clynoe (OF), Cullenwaine, Moneygall, Greenhills, Drumbaun, Busherstown (OF), Drumroe (OF), Moatquarter, Loughan (OF) and Cas- tleroan (OF). The townlands are located in the parishes of Ballymackey, Cullenwaine, Castletownely, Rathnaveoge, Finglas and Dunkerrin and the baronies of Upper Ormond, Ikerrin and Clonisk, The route begins at the eastern end of the Nenagh bypass at Clashnevin c. 5 km east of Nenagh and continues eastward on the northern side of the existing N7 in Co. Tip- perary. It crosses a number of third class roads to the north of Toomyvara and 0.7 km east of Clash crossroads crosses the Ollatrim River. It extends into County Offaly directly east of Park. From here it crosses the R490 0.6 km north of Moneygall. It extends back in County Tipperary and through the demesne of Greenhills before crossing the existing N7 at the junction of Greenhills and Drumbaun townlands. It crosses back into County Offaly and climbs east into Busherstown and Drumroe. It crosses the Keeloge Stream into Moatquarter in County Tipperary and extends northeast back into County Offaly through the townlands of Loughan and Castleroan 1.4 km southwest of Dunkerrin.2
    • 182550 198900 215250 Greenhills 1-e3638 193300 193300 ! ( Nenagh Derg (Lough) 182950 182950 172600 172600 0 5 10 182550 198900 Kilometres 215250 ± Figure 1: Portion of map of Ireland showing the route of the N7 Castletown to Nenagh (Derrinsallagh to Ballintotty) Road Scheme (Contract 1)� http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3638-greenhills1-co-tipperary/3
    • issUe 11: eachtra JoUrnal - issn 2009-2237 archaeoloGical excavation report 3 Receiving environment North Tipperary is bounded on the west by the River Shannon and Lough Derg with the Silvermines, to the south, and small hills extending towards Devilsbit and Borrisnoe Mountains to the east. The mountains are composed largely of Silurian strata and Old Red Sandstone. Copper, silver and lead deposits have been mined in the Silvermines. The geology of the lowlands consists of Carboniferous limestone covered by glacial drift in addition to tracts of raised bog. The western portion of the study area is drained by the Ollatrim River which flows westwards into the River Ballintotty which in turns drains into the River Nenagh. The eastern portion is drained by the Keeloge Stream and other small water sources. These rise in the foothills of the Silvermine Mountains and flow north. The Keeloge drains into the Little Brosna River c. 1 km south of Shinrone, Co Offaly. The Brosna turns north and drains into the Shannon south of Banagher. The largest population centre in the area is Nenagh. The smaller population centres, are Toomyvara, Moneygall and Dunkerrin. The soils on the route are characterised by 80% grey brown podzolics, 10% gleys, 5% brown earths and 5% basin peat. They are derived from glacial till of predominantly Car- boniferous limestone composition. These soils occur in Tipperary and Offaly and have a wide use range being suitable for both tillage and pasture (Gardiner and Radford 1980, 97-99). Land use along the route was a mix of grassland devoted to intensive dairying and cattle-rearing and tillage. 4 Archaeological and historical background Archaeological sites of numerous periods were discovered along the route of the new road (Figure 2). The periods are referred to as follows: Mesolithic (c. 8000 to 4000 BC), Neo- lithic (c. 4000 to 2000 BC), Bronze Age (c. 2000 to 600 BC), and Iron Age (c. 500 BC to AD 500), early medieval period (c. AD 500 to 1100), medieval period (c. AD 1100 to 1650), post-medieval period (c. AD 1650 to the present). Mesolithic (c. 8000 to 4000 BC) The earliest known human settlement in Ireland dates from the Mesolithic period (c. 8000 BC - 4000 BC). The majority of the evidence (flint scatters) for Mesolithic occupa- tion has come from the river valleys. No evidence for the Mesolithic was recorded on the route. Neolithic (c. 4000 to 2000 BC) The Neolithic Period is characterised by the introduction of agriculture and the begin- nings of the clearance of the woodlands. The population increased and became more4
    • 190400 196200 202000 207800 Greenhills 1-e3638 186400 186400 Castleroan 1 E 3909 Greenhills 1 Busherstown 1 E 3661 Loughan 1 Greenhills 3 E 4000 E 3658 Moneygall 2 Culleenwaine 1 E 3635 E 3741 Moatquarter 1 Clynoe 2 E 3910 E 3774 181800 181800 Park 1 Drumroe 1 Garravally Kilgorteen 1 E 3659 E 3773 E 3589 E 3739 Drumbaun 2 Derrybane 2 E 3912 E 3591 Greenhills 1 Greenhills 2 E 3638 E 3637 Clashnevin 2 E 3590 Clash 1 Park 2 E 3660 E 3772 Derrycarney 1 E 3740 Clashnevin 1 Derrybane 1 Killeisk 1 E 3586 E 3585 E 3587 177200 177200 0 3 6 Kilometres ± 190400 196200 202000 207800 Figure 2: Discovery series OS map showing the route of the N7 Castletown to Nenagh (Derrinsallagh to Ballintotty) Road Scheme (Contract 1) and the location of all excavation sites� http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3638-greenhills1-co-tipperary/5
    • issUe 11: eachtra JoUrnal - issn 2009-2237 archaeoloGical excavation report sedentary in nature. The most important Neolithic site in the vicinity was at Tullahedy recorded on the route of the Nenagh by-pass. It was a specialist chert arrow manufactur- ing site. No evidence for a Neolithic site was recorded on the route but stone tools dating to the Neolithic were recorded at Busherstown E3661, Clash E3660, Cullenwaine E3741 and Greenhills 2 and 3 E3637 and E3658. Stone tools dating to the late Neolithic/Early Bronze Age were recorded at Busherstown E3661, Castleroan E3909, Cullenwaine E3741, Derrybane 1 E3585, Drumroe E3773, Greenhills 1 E3638 and Moatquarter E3910 Bronze Age (c. 2000 to 600BC) The Bronze Age is characterised by the introduction of metallurgy and an increase in settlement and burial sites. Copper ores were mined and copper, bronze and gold items manufactured. The range of burial site types includes cist graves, pit and urn burials, cremation cemeteries, barrows, ring-ditches and wedge tombs. Stone circles and stand- ing stones also date to the Bronze Age. Both enclosed and unenclosed settlement sites are known. The most prolific Bronze Age site type is the fulacht fiadh. These monuments survive as low mounds of charcoal rich black silt, packed with heat-shattered stones, and generally situated close to a water source. Fulachta fiadh are generally classified as ‘cook- ing places’, whereby stones were heated in a hearth and subsequently placed in a trough of water, the water continued to boil with the addition of hot stones and wrapped food was cooked within the hot water. The trough eventually filled with small stones, ash and charcoal that were removed, forming the basis of the familiar mound. Two new fulachta fiadh / burnt mounds were recorded at Clashnevin 1 E3586, Cullen- waine E3741 and six at three separate locations in Greenhills, E3638, E3637 and E3658. Evidence of nine roundhouses or partial round structures were recorded; two at Cas- tleroan E3909, Derrybane 2 E3591 and Drumbaun 2 E3912 and one at Clash E3660, Drumroe E3773 and Moatquarter E3910. Iron Age (c. 500 BC to AD 500) Upto recently there was little evidence of a significant Iron Age presence in Munster. Settlement sites are few and far between as well as being difficult to identify (Woodman, 2000) while the material culture of this period is limited. Linear earthworks, believed to have marked tribal boundaries, and hillforts are two of the most visible monuments of the period. Ten percent of sites excavated on NRA road schemes in recent years have produced Iron Age dates. The dates have led to the identification of 30 new Iron Age sites in Munster from road schemes in counties Cork, Limerick and Tipperary (McLaughlin 2008, 51). These include a ditched enclosure in Ballywilliam and a wooden trackway in Annaholty Bog excavated on the route of the N7 Nenagh-Limerick (Taylor 2008, 54). Evidence of domestic activity dating to the Late Bronze Age / Early Iron Age was re- corded at Clashnevin 2.6
    • Greenhills 1-e3638 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3638-greenhills1-co-tipperary/Early medieval period (c. AD 400 to 1100)The early medieval period is characterised by the arrival of Christianity to Ireland. Thecharacteristic monument type of the period is the ringfort. Ringforts are the most nu-merous archaeological monument found in Ireland, with estimates of between 30,000and 50,000 illustrated on the first edition of the Ordnance Survey 6” maps of the 1840’s(Barry 1987). As a result of continued research, the construction of these monuments hasa narrow date range during the early medieval period between the 7th and 9th centuriesAD. Although there are some very elaborate examples of ringforts, they often take theform of a simple earth or stone enclosure functioning as settlements for all classes of secu-lar society (Stout 1997). North Tipperary is rich in early ecclesiastical sites and the remains of these religiouscentres are at the core of some of the towns and villages. Roscrea, for example, was chosenby St Cronan as a location for his monastery in the seventh century as it was located atthe crossroads on the Slighe Dála, an important roadway in early medieval times (NIAH2006, 4-8). A possible early medieval enclosure and associated road way was recorded at KilleiskE3587. A denuded ringfort (OF046-013) was excavated at Clynoe 2 E3774.High and later medieval periods (c. AD 1100 to 1650)This period is characterized by the arrival of the Anglo-Normans and the building of tow-er houses. The Anglo-Normans obtained charters in the thirteenth century for the townsof Nenagh, Roscrea, Thurles and Templemore and established markets. Nenagh grewrapidly in the aftermath of the granting of the lands of Munster to Theobald fitzWalter in1185 (ibid. 8). Moated sites represent the remains of isolated, semi-defended homesteadsin rural areas. They were build mainly in the late thirteenth and early fourteenth cen-turies in counties, such as Wexford, Kilkenny, Tipperary, mid-Cork and Limerick, thatwere colonised by English settlers (O’Conor 1998, 58). The Archaeological Inventory forNorth Tipperary lists 39 moated sites (2002, 298). A newly recorded moated site was excavated at Busherstown E3661.Post-medieval period (c. 1650 to the present)The post-medieval period is characterised by mills, limekilns, workhouses, country hous-es and associated demesnes, vernacular buildings and field systems (Figure 3). A smalldemesne associated with a county house was recorded in the townland of Greenhills. 7
    • issUe 11: eachtra JoUrnal - issn 2009-2237 archaeoloGical excavation report Plate 1: Aerial view of Greenhills 1� Greenhills 1 (E3638) 0 20 40 Meters ± 5 Site Location and Topography The site at Greenhills 1 is located on undulating lowland on the northern side of a dry sandy ridge on the edge of a hollow where peat had formed over a clay subsoil. When ground water levels were high the hollow formed a seasonal pond. The site is located within the former grounds of the Greenhills Demesne, with a walled orchard/garden and outbuildings locate nearby (Plate 1). 6 Excavation methodology The site was mechanically stripped of topsoil under strict archaeological supervision. Stripping was done with a tracked machine with a flat toothless bucket. Topsoil stripping commenced in the areas of identified archaeology and continued radially outward until the limit of the road take was reached or until the limit of the archaeological remains was fully defined. 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 mean- ingful record of the site to be preserved. The excavation, environmental sampling, site photographs, site drawings, find care and retrieval, on-site recording and site archive was as per the Procedures for Archaeological works as attached to the licence method state- ments for excavation licences. The site was excavated from 13 November 2007 to the 8 December 2007. Only areas within the LMA (lands made available) were resolved. The full extent of the area of exca- vation measured 2580 m sq (Figure 4).8
    • Greenhills 1-e3638 GREENHILLS Greenhills 1 DRUMBAUN MONEYGALL 0 150 300 ¥ Meters Figure 3: Portion of the Ist edition Ordnance Survey Map TN22 showing the location of Greenhills 1� http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3638-greenhills1-co-tipperary/9
    • 202880 203250 20362010 181799 181799 Ballyfinboy (River) GREENHILLS issUe 11: eachtra JoUrnal - issn 2009-2237 126 00 125 00 124 00 123 00 181569 181569 122 00 121 00 120 00 11 900 11 800 11 700 11 600 11 500 MONEYGALL DRUMBAUN 181339 181339 Greenhills 1 (E3638) 0 100 200 Metres ± 202880 203250 203620 Figure 4: Location and extent of Greenhills 1 E3638 on the N7 Castletown to Nenagh� archaeoloGical excavation report
    • Greenhills 1-e3638 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3638-greenhills1-co-tipperary/Plate 2: View of mound of burnt material on edge of hollow from east� The full record of excavated contexts is recorded in the context register (Appendix 1)and the stratigraphic matrix (Appendix 2). Detailed stratigraphic descriptions are foundin the groups and sub-groups text (Appendix 3). The context register and site photographsmaybe viewed in the EAPOD (Eachtra Archaeological Projects office database) in theaccompanying CD.7 Excavation resultsThe excavation of the site at Greenhills comprised a mound of burnt material. The moundwas located on the northern and eastern side of a hollow (Figure 5, Plate 2). It overlaynine pits.Layers of burnt mound materialEight layers of burnt mound material were concentrated in four discrete small shallowmounds on the northern and eastern slopes of a low ridge. The main concentration of themound measured 16 m by 10 and was up to 0.5 m in depth. All the layers contained vari-ous amounts of burnt pebbles and stones. The terminology, Mounds 1-4, were used in thecontext and stratigraphic registers, they refer to discrete areas of layers of burnt moundmaterial. The mounds do not represent four different episodes of use but are the result of 11
    • 12 203240 203260 ± 18 181584 181584 Field boundaries issUe 11: eachtra JoUrnal - issn 2009-2237 Connected 8 32 troughs 12 47 58 49 25 56 27 O ) 36 115 m O.D. 46 Mound material Mound material Seasonal Pond 181571 181571 0 10 m 203240 203260 Figure 5: Post-excavation plan of Greenhills 1 E3638� archaeoloGical excavation report
    • Greenhills 1-e3638 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3638-greenhills1-co-tipperary/truncation of the original mound due to agricultural activities, including the excavationof a field boundary. The main focus of the original extent of the mound of layers of burnt material waslikely to have been in proximity to the groups of pits. Mound Layers 1 C.51, C.52, C.53 2 C.37/C.40 and C.42 3 C.33 4 C.7, C.24 and C.30Table 1 Layers of burnt mound material�A flint scraper E3638:7:1 was recovered from one of the layers.The PitsA total of nine pits were recorded at Greenhills. Six of the pits (C.8, C.12, C.47, C.49,C.56 and C.58) formed a sub-circular arrangement, two more (C.27 and C.46) were lo-cated 2.5 m to the west and the ninth C.25 was located 12.5 m to the east. The fills of thepits were all derived from layers of burnt mound material. Context No No. of fills Dimensions Capacity Pit C.8 3 1.8 x 1.4 x 0.4 1.008 Pit C.12 1 1.7 x 1.5 x 0.36 0.918 Pit C.47 1 1.63 x 1.3 x 0.36 0.762 Pit C.49 1 1.8 x 1.2 x 0.4 0.864 Pit C.56 1 1.8 x 1.8 x 0.4 1.296 Pit C.58 1 1.5 x 1.4 x 0.4 0.84Table 2 Dimensions of group of six pits� The group of six pits (C.8, C.12, C.47, C.49, C.56 and C.58) were located in an areathat measured 17 m sq (Figure 6, Plate 3). They were similar in size and shape. The fillswere derived from burnt mound material. The base of the all the pits was very unevendue to the high gravel content of the underlying subsoil. Three (C.8, C.12 and C.58) werearranged in a line measuring 5 m in length. Pit C.8 was connected to pit C.12 by a nar-row channel C.32 that measured 0.5 m by 0.4 m by 0.2 m in depth (Figure 7, Plate 4).The third pit C.58 was located to the immediate south of pit C.12 but was not connecteddirectly by a channel. The subsoil that the pits were cut into sloped to the south. The other three pits (C.47, C.49 and C.56) were located to the immediate west in asub-circular arrangement. Each of the three was connected to the adjoining pit. Context No No. of fills Dimensions Capacity Pit C.25 1 1.2 x 1.2 x. 0.3 0.432 Pit C.27 1 1.7 x 1.7 x 0.35 1.011 Pit C.46 1 1.6 x 1.7 x 0.3 0.816Table 3 Dimensions of pits C�25, 27 and 46� 13
    • issUe 11: eachtra JoUrnal - issn 2009-2237 archaeoloGical excavation report Plate 3: View of group of six pits from south� Plate 4: View of pits C�8 and C�12 from north�14
    • 203242 203255 ± Greenhills 1-e3638 181580 181580 Connected troughs Mound material 181573 181573 Seasonal Pond 0 5m 203242 203255 Figure 6: Post-excavation plan of eight pits C�8, C�12, C�58, C�47, C�49, C�56, C�27 and C�46� http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3638-greenhills1-co-tipperary/15
    • 16 Greenhills 1 E3638 Northwest facing section of C.12, C.8 and C.32 Topsoil C.9 C.31 C.10 C.13 C.32 C.11 C.12 C.8 Greenhills 1 issUe 11: eachtra JoUrnal - issn 2009-2237 E3638 East facing section of C.27 and layers of burnt mound material C.26 C.37 C.27 C.38 C.40 C.39 C.2 Greenhills 1 E3638 Southeast facing profile of C.25 C.25 0 500 mm Figure 7: Section of pits C�8 and C�12 and channel C�32, section of pit C�27 and layers of burnt mound material and profile of pit C�25� archaeoloGical excavation report
    • Greenhills 1-e3638 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3638-greenhills1-co-tipperary/Plate 5: View of pit C�27 from north� Pits C.27 and C.46 were located adjacent to one another (Figure 8) 2.5 m to the westof the group of six. They were on the same level on the slope as the group of six. Pit C.27was sub-rectangular in plan (Plate 5) and the base was flat. A Middle Bronze Age date ofcal BC 2133-2081 2061-1950 (UB-12353) was returned from the fill of pit C.46. Pit C.25 was located on the eastern periphery of the site. It was separated from theremainder of the pits by a modern field boundary.Modern agricultural activityTwo field boundaries were recorded within the area of excavation. They were both orien-tated north-west / south-east. The ditch C.18 was 2 m wide by 0.4 m in depth. A terminusof the ditch was recorded within the area of the excavation to the south and it extendedbeyond the area of the excavation to the north. The foundation of a field boundary wasrecorded 3 m inside or to the south-west of the ditch. It truncated the layers of burntmound material and extended beyond the area of the excavation to the south. It was upto3 m wide by 0.2 m in depth. The field boundary was marked on the first edition of the OS map sheet TN22.Lithic findsThe lithic was examined by Farina Sternke (Appendix 4). A small flint convex end scraperwhich dates to the Late Neolithic/Early Bronze Age (Beaker) period was recovered fromthe one of the layers of burnt mound material (Plate 6). 17
    • issUe 11: eachtra JoUrnal - issn 2009-2237 archaeoloGical excavation report Plant remains The plant remains were identified by Pen- ny Johnston (Appendix 5). Charred seeds were absent from all the samples. The ab- sence of seeds from samples associated with burnt mounds is a relatively common phenomenon. Animal bone report The animal bone was identified by Marga- ret McCarthy (Appendix 6). A very small quantity of bone was recovered from two of the layers C.33 and C.39, the only identified specimen being an adult cow tooth from the former and nine fragments of bone from a large-sized animal such as cow and ten in- determinate specimens from the latter. Plate 6: Flint scraper E3638:7:1� Charcoal The charcoal was identified for radiocarbon dating by Mary Dillon. Prunus charcoal were identified from the fill of a pit. Radiocarbon dates Radiocarbon analysis was carried out by the 14 Chrono Centre in Queen’s University Belfast. Dates were calibrated using Calib Rev5.0.2 (©1986-2005 M.Stuiver & P.J. Re- imer) and in conjunction with Stuiver & Reimer 1993 and Reimer et al. 2004. Lab Context Material Un-calibrated δ 13 1 sigma calibration 2 sigma code date C calibration UB- 45 Prunus charcoal 3657 +/- 24 -24.2 BC 2123-2093 2042- BC 2133-2081 12353 from fill of pit C.46 2010 2000-1977 2061-1950 Table 4: Radiocarbon date18
    • Greenhills 1-e3638 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3638-greenhills1-co-tipperary/Plate 7: View of seasonal pond and pits in background from south�8 DiscussionA fulacht fiadh / burnt mound were recorded on low ground in Greenhills. The layers ofburnt mound material overlay nine pits. Many theories speculate as to the actual use ofburnt mound/fulacht fiadh sites (e.g. O’Kelly 1954; Ó Drisceoil 1988). We recognise thesites archaeologically by the remains of charcoal and heat shattered stones but as Ó Néill(2004) points out, these are the remains of a technology (the use of hot stones known as‘pyrolithic technology’), rather than specific indications of the aims of the process. Thelarge trough and smaller pits indicate that there was extensive use of hot stone technologyat this site and that it was probably used for heating water. Burnt mounds are the most common Bronze Age sites found in Ireland. Estimatessuggest that at least 4,500 examples are known. The characteristic site-type is found inlow-lying and damp ground and consists of a mound of charcoal-rich black sediment thatis packed with heat shattered stones and forms a horse-shoe shape around a pit or troughthat filled with water. In many cases all that survives to the present day are black charcoalrich deposits with fragments of shattered stones visible in ploughed fields. These sites are associated with the process of roasting stones to heat water. The remainsof these ‘pyrolithic technologies’ (terminology follows Ó Néill 2004) produce the tell-taledeposits rich in charcoal and heat-affected stone. Debate continues about their use, as hotwater is required for many processes including cooking, brewing, washing, dyeing and,most recently it has been argued that some burnt mounds were primarily used to boil andcure meat for long term storage (Roycroft 2006). 19
    • issUe 11: eachtra JoUrnal - issn 2009-2237 archaeoloGical excavation report Traditionally these sites have been interpreted as ancient cooking places, where large stones were heated in fires and then added to the water filled trough the extreme heat of the stones eventually heating the water in the trough until it reached boiling point. Experimental cooking at reconstructed sites such as Ballyvourney (O’Kelly 1954) has demonstrated that meat wrapped in straw and placed into a boiling trough can be cooked quite effectively. The perceived lack of any animal bones from these excavated sites has been used as an argument against this theory. More recently however there is a growing corpus of sites which have produced animal bone (Tourunen 2008) including, though the amounts are small, all of the burnt mounds sites on the N7 (Contract 1). The traditional perception of the burnt mound site is that they are isolated features on the landscape situated on marginal ground away from settlement. Recent studies how- ever are requiring a re-evaluation of this perception. It can be regarded as certain that the settlement sites and associated burnt mounds are only one part of a wider prehistoric landscape which also includes lithic production and metalworking sites as well as burial sites (Sternke 2009). Each of the six sites excavated on the N7 was located with a 1km ra- dius of a Bronze Age settlement site, Clashnevin within 1 km east of Derrybane 2 E3591, the site at Park E3772 was one of complex of burnt mound sites in the vicinity of Park 1 E3659 and the three sites at Greenhills (E3638, E3637, and E3658) within 1 km east of Drumbaun E3912. The inventory for North Tipperary lists 77 burnt mounds (Farrelly 2002) and the in- ventory for Offaly lists 14 (O’Brien 1997) (Figure 9). Many more sites have been recorded since the inventories were published. A total of six burnt mounds including Greenhills were excavated on the N7 Castletown to Nenagh (Contract 1). At least 15 burnt mound sites were excavated on the N7 Castletown to Nenagh (Contract 2) with a concentration of 11 sites in the townland of Camlin. Burnt mounds were also excavated on the route of the Nenagh by-pass and the Limerick Ring Road. A further five sites were recorded in Park and Rosdrehid townlands during the testing of the service area site (Frazer 2009). Site Name E No. Radiocarbon date 2 sigma calibration Period Clashnevin 1 E3586 BC 1262-1110 1103-1072 1068-1056 Middle Bronze Age Clashnevin 1 E3586 AD 982-1040 Medieval Cullenwaine E3741 BC 2462 - 2294 Early Bronze Age Greenhills 1 E3638 BC 2133 - 1950 Early Bronze Age Greenhills 2 E3637 BC 1889-1748 Early Bronze Age Greenhills 2 E3637 BC 2561-2536 2492-2299 Early Bronze Age Greenhills 3 E3658 BC 1125-975 954-943 Middle Bronze Age Greenhills 3 E3658 BC 2465-2286 2246-2243 Early Bronze Age Greenhills 3 E3658 BC 1876-1841 1823-1797 1781-1683 Early Bronze Age Park 2 E3772 BC 1508-1422 Middle Bronze Age Park 2 E3772 BC 1527-1433 Middle Bronze Age Table 5: Radiocarbon dates from the burnt mound sites on the N7 Castletown to Nenagh (Contract 1) Most dated burnt mound sites have a focus of activity in the Middle to Late Bronze Age (Brindley and Lanting 1990; and see graph of dates in Ó Néill 2003/2004). In all20
    • 191232 208232 ¢ Greenhills 1-e3638 184059 184059 178059 178059 191232 208232 Barrow (11) Cairn (1) Fulacht Fiadh (15) Megalithic tomb (3) Pit group (3) Standing stone (9) 0 2.5 5 Burnt spread (2) Cremation (2) Linkardstown burial (2) Mound (6) Settlement site (9) Km Figure 8: Prehistoric sites on and in the environs of N7 Castletown to Nenagh� http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3638-greenhills1-co-tipperary/21
    • issUe 11: eachtra JoUrnal - issn 2009-2237 archaeoloGical excavation report ten radiocarbon dates were obtained from the burnt mound sites on the route of the N7 Castletown to Nenagh. The majority of the sites are Early Bronze Age in date. There are six main types of archaeological features encountered at burnt mound sites; wells/springs, layers/deposits, hearths, trough/boiling pits, smaller pits, and stakeholes/ postholes. Three of the six feature types were recorded at Greenhills 1. The mound over- lay nine pits. There is no water course in proximity to the site but the site is located on the edge of a wet boggy area. During the course of the excavation, when the weather was dry, ground water rose in the excavated area of the hollow to a depth of 0.3 m (Plate 7). The water level remained at this depth for number of days before gradually decreasing. The mound at Greenhills survived to a height of 0.5 m. Several burnt layers were iden- tified within the mound. No formal hearth was identified in association with the mound. A group of six pits or troughs were located adjacent to one another. Five of the six pits were interlinked. They would have functioned in unison in food processing. They may have held containers made from organic material such as baskets or wooden buckets. The pits themselves could not have held water as they were cut into a sandy gravel subsoil. One of the two pits located to the west of the group of six may have functioned as a trough. It may have been lined though no trace of lining in the form of stake-holes was recorded. There were six burnt mound sites recorded on the route of the N7 (Contract 1). All of the sites conformed to a general common design but there were a number of differences that distinguished one site from another. The water source that was used at each site was different. All of the sites at Greenhills and Park were located on the edge of a wet boggy hollow. A substantial well was recorded at Clashnevin, a less substantial well was recorded at Park. There was no obvious water source at Cullenwaine. There were no stone tools re- covered from the burnt mound at Clashnevin. In contrast they were recovered from four of the other five sites, including a flint scraper from Greenhills. The presence of the flint and chert scrapers suggests that hide-processing and wood- and/or bone-working were some of the activities that could have been carried out at these sites.22
    • Greenhills 1-e3638 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3638-greenhills1-co-tipperary/9 ReferencesBrindley, A.L. and Lanting, J.N. (1990) ‘The dating of fulachta fiadh’, in Buckley, V. (ed.) Burnt Offerings. International contributions to burnt mound archaeology, 55-56. Dublin, Wordwell.Farrelly, J., and O’Brien, C. (2002) Archaeological Inventory of County Tipperary Vol. 1 - North Tipperary, The Stationery Office Dublin.Frazer, W. (2009) Archaeological Assessment Report Nenagh NRA Service Area Park townland, North Co. Tipperary and Roshedrid and Clynoe townlands, Co. Offaly 09E122. Margaret Gowan & Co. Ltd. Unpublished report.Gardiner, M.J. and Radford,T. (1980) Soil Associations of Ireland and Their Land Use Potential. Dublin, An Foras Talúntais.McLaughlin, M. and Conran, S. (2008) ‘The emerging Iron Age of South Munster’ in Seanda, Issue 3, 51-53. Dublin.National Inventory of Architectural Heritage (2006) An Introduction to the Architectural Heritage of North Tipperary. Government of Ireland.O’Brien, C. (1997) Archaeological Inventory of County Offaly, The Stationery Office, Dublin.O’Conor, K.D. (1998) The Archaeology of Medieval Rural Settlement in Ireland, Discovery Programme Monographs No 3, Discovery Programme/Royal Irish Academy Dublin.O’Kelly, M.J. (1954) Excavations and experiments in Irish cooking places. Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland, Vol 84.Ó Néill, J. (2003/2004) Lapidibus in igne calefactis coquebatur: The historical burnt mound “tradition”, Journal of Irish Archaeology Vol. XII & XIII.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. 23
    • issUe 11: eachtra JoUrnal - issn 2009-2237 archaeoloGical excavation report Roycroft, N. (2006) A theory on Boiled Bull and Burnt Mounds, Seanda Issue 1, 38-39, National Road Authority, Dublin. Roycroft, N. (2008) Before, during and after the Kingdom of Ely, Seanda, Issue 3. 34-35, National Road Authority, Dublin. Sternke, F. (2009) More than meets the eye; an appraisal of the lithic assemblages from the route of the N7 Castletown to Nenagh (Contract 1). Seanda. Issue 4, 30-31,National Road Authority, Dublin. Stuiver, M., and Reimer, P.J. (1993) ‘Extended (super 14) C data base and revised CALIB 3.0 (super 14) C age calibration program’, Radiocarbon 35, 215-230. Stout, M. (1997) The Irish Ringfort. Dublin, Four Courts Press. Taylor, K. (2008) ‘At home and on the road: two Iron Age sites in County Tipperary’ in Seanda, Issue 3, 54-55. Dublin. Tourunen, A. (2008) Fauna and fulachta fiadh: animal bones from burnt mounds on the N9/N10 Carlow Bypass. In J. O’Sullivan and M. Stanley (eds.), Roads, Rediscovery and Research. Archaeology and the National Roads Authority Monograh Series No. 5. Wordwell. Woodman, P.C. (2000) ‘Hammers and Shoeboxes: New Agendas for Prehistory’., pp. 1 -10 in Desmond, A., Johnson, G., McCarthy, M., Sheehan, J. and Shee Twohig, E. New Agendas in Irish Prehistory. Papers in commemoration of Liz Anderson. Bray, Wordwell.24
    • Greenhills 1-e3638 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3638-greenhills1-co-tipperary/Appendix 1 Stratigraphic IndexPlease see attached CD. 25
    • issUe 11: eachtra JoUrnal - issn 2009-2237 archaeoloGical excavation report Appendix 2 Site Matrix26
    • Greenhills 1-e3638 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3638-greenhills1-co-tipperary/Appendix 3 Groups and SubgroupsGroup Number Description Subgroup Numbers Description Context numbersGroup 1 Natural deposits 1a Topsoil C.1, C.4 1b Subsoil C.2, C.3Group 2 Layers of Burnt 2a Layers C.7, C.30, C.33, mound material C37/C.40, C.42, C.51, C.52, C.53Group 3 Pits 3a Pits and channel C.8, C.12, C.47, C.49, C.56, C.58, C.32 3b Pit C.25, 3c Pits C.27, C.46Group 4 Modern features 4a layers C.38, C.6 4b wall C.36 4c Ditch C.18Non arch. C.28, C.43, C.44, C.54 and C.55Group 1 Natural DepositsTopsoil C.1DescriptionA firm, mid brown sandy, peaty clay, maximum depth 0.50m.InterpretationThis represented the topsoil which had formed across the northern portion of the site.Topsoil C.4 (same as C.5/C.23/C.28/C.29/C.39)DescriptionA firm, dark reddish brown peat, maximum depth 0.30mInterpretationThis represented the topsoil which had formed across the southern portion of the site. Thepeat was deeper in the hollow to the south where the seasonal pond was located.Subsoil C.2 (same as C.35)DescriptionA loose, mid grey pebbly sand and gravel.InterpretationThis subsoil occurs primarily on the ridge in the northern portion of the site but occursintermittently across the site.Subsoil C.3 (same as C.19/C.20/C.22)DescriptionA weakly cemented, light yellowish grey clayey sand with a medium density of stoneinclusions. 27
    • issUe 11: eachtra JoUrnal - issn 2009-2237 archaeoloGical excavation report Interpretation This is a natural horizon found primarily under the seasonal pond on the southern fringes of the site. General interpretation Group 1 The topsoil was a mix of peaty clay and peat. The peaty clay had accumulated for the most part on the low ridge and overlay the sandy gravel while the peat had accumulated on the edges of the ridge and in the hollow. It overlay a clayey sand. Large pieces of natural wood had accumulated in the hollow. During the course of the excavation, when the weather was dry, ground water rose in the excavated area of the hollow to a depth of c. 0.3 m. The water level remained at this depth for number of days before gradually decreasing. Group 2 Layers of burnt mound material Subgroup 2a Layer C.7 (same as layer C.24) Description A firm, dark greyish brown sandy, stony silt. It measured 8.5m x 6m and had a maximum depth of 0.2m. Interpretation This layer was the disturbed remains of part of a burnt mound. Layer C.30 Description Soft dark brown sandy peat. It measured 1.46m by 0.19m in depth. Interpretation This layer was the disturbed remains of part of a burnt mound. It overlay pit C.25. Layer C.33 Description Loose, dark greyish brown sandy, stony silt. It measured 2.8m x 0.20m and had a maxi- mum depth of 0.20m. Very similar in morphology to the other layers, C.51, C.37 and C.40 that formed the mound of burnt material. Interpretation This layer was the disturbed remains of part of a burnt mound. Layer C.37/C.40 Description28
    • Greenhills 1-e3638 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3638-greenhills1-co-tipperary/A soft, dark greyish brown stony silt. It reached a maximum depth of 0.40m and meas-ured c. 5.1m NS x 8.8m EW.InterpretationThis layer was the disturbed remains of part of a mound of burnt material.Layer C.42DescriptionDark grey black peat sand. It measured 2.6m by 1.3m.InterpretationThis layer was the disturbed remains of part of a mound of burnt material.Layer C.51DescriptionA soft, dark greyish brown stony silt. It reached a maximum depth of 0.40m and meas-ured c. 6.16m x 7m.InterpretationThis deposit was the disturbed remains of part of a mound of burnt material.Layer C.52DescriptionMid brown yellow sand. It measured 0.92m by 0.24m in depth.InterpretationThis layer was the disturbed remains of part of a mound of burnt material. It underlaylayer C.51.Layer C.53DescriptionDark yellow brown sandy silt. It measured 0.56m by 0.06m in depth.InterpretationThis layer was the disturbed remains of part of a mound of burnt material. It underlaylayer C.51.General interpretation Group 2Eight layers of burnt mound material were recorded on the southern and eastern edgesof the shallow ridge, they were concentrated in four small shallow mounds. All the layerscontained various amounts of burnt pebbles and stones. The mounds do not representfour different episodes of use but are the result of truncation of the original mound due toagricultural activities and possibly to an element of soil creep on a slope. The main focusof the original extent of the mound of layers of burnt material was likely to have been inproximity to the groups of pits. 29
    • issUe 11: eachtra JoUrnal - issn 2009-2237 archaeoloGical excavation report Note: The terms Mounds 1-4 were used as descriptive terms during excavation and are used in the context and stratigraphic registers, they define discrete areas of layers of burnt mound material. Mound Layers 1 C.51, C.52, C.53 2 C.37/C.40 and C.42 3 C.33 4 C.7, C.24 and C.30 Group 3 Pits and troughs Context No No. of fills Dimensions Capacity Pit C.8 3 1.8 x 1.4 x 0.4 1.008 Pit C.12 1 1.7 x 1.5 x 0.36 0.918 Pit C.25 1 1.2 x 1.2 x. 0.3 0.432 Pit C.27 1 1.7 x 1.7 x 0.35 1.011 Pit C.46 1 1.6 x 1.7 x 0.3 0.816 Pit C.47 1 1.63 x 1.3 x 0.36 0.762 Pit C.49 1 1.8 x 1.2 x 0.4 0.864 Pit C.56 1 1.8 x 1.8 x 0.4 1.296 Pit C.58 1 1.5 x 1.4 x 0.4 0.84 Subgroup 3a Group of six pits and channel C.32 Pit C.8 (fills C.9, C.10 and C.11) Description The pit was oval in plan. Fills C.9 and C.10 contained a loose, dark brown silty, pebbly, stony, peaty sand which had a maximum depth of 0.08m and 0.20m respectively. C.11, the basal layer was a compact, mid grey clayey silty sand. Interpretation The pit was connected to pit C.12 by a narrow channel C.32. It was located in proximity to the other five pits. Pit C.12 (fill C.13) Description This pit was sub-circular in plan. The fill C.13 was a loose, dark brownish black silty, peb- bly, stony sand, similar to C.9 and C.10. Interpretation The function of the pit was related to the other five pits. Pit C.47 (fill C.48) Description The pit was circular in plan. The fill C.48 was a firm, dark brownish black stony silt with a moderate density of stone inclusions. Interpretation30
    • Greenhills 1-e3638 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3638-greenhills1-co-tipperary/The function of the pit was related to the other five pits.Pit C. 49 (fill C.50)DescriptionThe pit was circular in plan. The fill C.50 was a firm, dark brownish black stony silt witha moderate density of stone inclusions.InterpretationThe function of the pit was related to the other five pits.Pit C. 56DescriptionThis pit was oval in plan and contained the burnt mound layer C.51.InterpretationThe function of the pit was related to the other five pits.Pit C. 58 (fill C.57)DescriptionThis pit was oval in plan and contained the fill C.57 which was a loose, dark greyish blacksilty sand with occasional flecks of charcoal.InterpretationThe function of the pit was related to the other five pits.Channel C.32 (fill C.31)DescriptionLinear in plan, it measured 0.5m x 0.4m and had a maximum depth of 0.20m. It con-tained the fill C.31 which was a soft, loose, mid grey clayey silt. The short channel con-nected pit C.8 to pit C.12.InterpretationA channel between pits C.8 and C.12, which would suggest regulation of water/watermanagement.Subgroup 3bPit C. 25 (fill C.21)DescriptionThis pit measured 1.2 m in length, 1.2 m in width and 0.3 m in depth, was sub-circularin plan, was located under spread 4 and contained the fill C.51 which was a loose, darkgreyish black silty sand with occasional flecks of charcoal.InterpretationThe pit was located at a distance from the group of six pits (subgroup 1). 31
    • issUe 11: eachtra JoUrnal - issn 2009-2237 archaeoloGical excavation report Subgroup 3c Pit C.27 (fill C.26) Description The pit was irregular in plan.. It contained the fill C.51 which was loose, dark greyish black silty sand with occasional flecks of charcoal. Interpretation The pit was located 0.2m east of pit C.46. Pit C.46 (fill C.45) Description The pit was circular in plan. It contained the fill C.45 which was a dark brownish black, sandy stony silt, with occasional flecks of charcoal. Interpretation This pit could have functioned as a trough. No evidence of a lining was recorded. General Interpretation Group 3 The group of six pits were located in close proximity to one another in a circular arrange- ment. The pits were similar in size. Pit C.8 was connected to pit C.12 by a narrow channel C.32. Pit C.47 was possibly connected to Pit C.49 by a narrow channel and pit C.49 to pit C.56 by a narrow channel. The base of the six pits was very uneven due to the high stone content of the underlying subsoil. Pit C.25 was located c. 12.5m to the east and the two pits C.46 and C.27 were located c. 2.5m to the west of the group of six. Did pit C.46 function as a trough? Or did all the pits serve the same function? Group 4 Modern features Subgroup 4a Layers C.38 and C.6 Layer C.38 Description A firm, peaty mid brown silt. Occasional fine sub-rounded and rounded; and moderate medium sub-rounded pebbles. It measured 3m EW x 1.5m NS and a maximum depth 0.10m. Interpretation A modern layer that overlay C.37, a layer of burnt mound material. It was a mix of peat and topsoil deposited possibly as a result of reclamation/drainage by farmer. The inclusion of modern pottery, glass and roof-slate indicated a modern date for it. Layer C.632
    • Greenhills 1-e3638 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3638-greenhills1-co-tipperary/DescriptionA soft, mid greyish brown clay that measured 2.5m x 0.30m and had a maximum depthof 0.08mInterpretationA mixed layer of gravel, fine pebbles, sand and clay. A modern deposit possibly associatedwith drainage.Subgroup 4bField boundary C.36 (fill 34)DescriptionLinear in plan with rounded corners. It reached a maximum depth of 0.20m and extend-ed in an east west direction. It contained the fill C.34, a loose sandy silt, mid yellowishbrown in colour.InterpretationCut of a field boundary which was not recorded on any of the editions of the OS maps,but the landowner was able to confirm its existence.Subgroup 4cDitch C.18 (fills C.14, C.15, C.16, C.17 and C.41)DescriptionLinear in plan with rounded corners on NE and SW. It had a maximum depth of 0.40m.It contained the fills C.14, C.15, C.16, C.17 and C.41. The fills C.14 and C.15 were aloose, mid yellowish brown silty sand similar in texture and composition. C.16 was a soft,mid brownish grey sandy clay. The basal fill was C.17/C.41 a soft, mid yellowish greysandy clay.InterpretationCut of a modern field ditch located to NE of pit C.25. This ditch is marked on the firstedition OS map sheet TN22. It was recorded for a length of c. 22 and extended beyondthe area of excavation to the north.General interpretation of Group 4The fulacht fiadh was located within the area of Greenhills Demesne, to the north of thewalled in garden. Boundaries associated with the demesne were recorded within the areaof the excavation.Non-archaeological numbersC.43, C.44, C.54 and C.55 33
    • issUe 11: eachtra JoUrnal - issn 2009-2237 archaeoloGical excavation report Appendix 4 Lithics Report Introduction One lithic find from the archaeological excavation of a prehistoric site at Greenhills 1, Co. Tipperary was presented for analysis (Table 1). The find is associated with a fulacht fiadh and nine associated pits. Find Number Context Material Type Cortex Condition Length (mm) Width (mm) Thickn. (mm) Complete Retouch E3638:7:1 7 Flint Retouched Artefact No Patinated 26 10 9 Yes distal and right edge direct semiabrupt Table 1 Composition of the Lithic Assemblage from Greenhills 1 (E3638) Methodology All lithic artefacts are examined visually and catalogued using Microsoft Excel. The fol- lowing details are recorded for each artefact which measures at least 2 cm in length or width: context information, raw material type, artefact type, the presence of cortex, arte- fact condition, length, with and thickness measurements, fragmentation and the type of retouch (where applicable). The technological criteria recorded are based on the terminol- ogy and technology presented in Inizan et al. 1999. The general typological and morpho- logical classifications are based on Woodman et al. 2006. Struck lithics smaller than 2 cm are classed as debitage and not analysed further, unless they represent pieces of techno- logical or typological significance, e.g. cores etc. The same is done with natural chunks. Quantification The lithic (E3638:7:1) is a worked piece of flint. Provenance The artefact was recovered from the burnt material of mound 4. Condition: The lithic survives in patinated, complete condition.34
    • Greenhills 1-e3638 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3638-greenhills1-co-tipperary/Technology/Morphology:The artefact is a small convex end scraper which was produced on a bipolar flake. It wassubsequently re-used as a bipolar core. The scraper measures 26 mm long, 10 mm wideand 9 mm thick.Dating:The artefact dates to the Late Neolithic/Early Bronze Age (Beaker) period.ConservationLithics do not require specific conservation, but should be stored in a dry, stable environ-ment. Preferably, each lithic should be bagged separately and contact with other lithicsshould be avoided, so as to prevent damage and breakage, in particular edge damagewhich could later be misinterpreted as retouch. Larger and heavier items are best kept inindividual boxes to avoid crushing of smaller assemblage pieces.DiscussionThe size and composition of the flaked assemblage is typical for Irish burnt mounds.Recent excavations in the south-east of Ireland revealed a similar pattern of very small as-semblages found in associated fulachta fiadh, e.g. the N25 Waterford By-Pass (Woodman2006). These assemblages are dominated by the use of local remanié or imported nodulesof beach pebble flint which is often worked using the bipolar method (see also O’Hare2005).SummaryThe lithic find from the archaeological excavation at Greenhills 1, Co. Tipperary is asmall flint convex end scraper which dates to the Late Neolithic/Early Bronze Age (Beak-er) period. This site makes a minor contribution to the evidence for prehistoric settlement andland use in Co. Tipperary.Recommendations for Illustration • Convex End Scraper (E3638:7:1) 35
    • issUe 11: eachtra JoUrnal - issn 2009-2237 archaeoloGical excavation report Bibliography Inizan, M.-L., M. Reduron-Ballinger, H. Roche and J. Tixier 1999. Technology and Terminology of Knapped Stone 5. CREP, Nanterre. O’Hare, M. B., 2005. The Bronze Age Lithics of Ireland. Unpublished PhD Thesis. Queen’s University of Belfast. Woodman, P.C. 2006. The significance of the lithic assemblages from the archaeological excavations on the Waterford By-Pass. Unpublished Report for Headland Archaeology (Ireland) Ltd. Woodman, P. C., Finlay, N. and E. Anderson, 2006. The Archaeology of a Collection: The Keiller-Knowles Collection of the National Museum of Ireland. National Museum of Ireland Monograph Series 2. Wordwell, Bray.36
    • Greenhills 1-e3638 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3638-greenhills1-co-tipperary/Appendix 5 Plant Remains ReportIntroductionThis report details the results of preliminary assessment work carried out on sieved sam-ples from Greenhills 1, Co. Tipperary (E3638). The site comprised a burnt mound/fulachtfiadh and associated pits.MethodologyThe samples were collected on site as bulk soil and were processed using machine-as-sisted floatation (following guidelines in Pearsall 2000). The floating material (or ‘flot’)from each sample was collected in a stack of geological sieves (the smallest mesh size was250mm). When all the carbonised material was collected the flot was then air-dried in paper-lined drying trays prior to storage in airtight plastic bags. The samples were scanned un-der low-powered magnification (x 10 to x 40) using a binocular microscope. The resultsof preliminary scanning are presented in Table 1 at the end of this report. A total of 19samples were scanned.Recommendations for further analysis of plant remainsCharred seeds were absent from all of the samples. Un-charred Cleaver-type seeds (Gal-ium spp.) were found in 2 samples; C.37 (S.26) and C.45 (S.30) but it is likely that thesewere modern seeds that somehow became mixed with the archaeological deposit. Theabsence of seeds from samples associated with burnt mounds/fulachta fiadh is a relativelycommon phenomenon (Johnston 2007, 70).ReferencesJohnston, P. 2007 ‘Analysis of carbonised plant remains’ in Grogan, E., O’Donnell, L. and Johnston, P. The Bronze Age Landscapes of the Pipeline to the West. Bray, Wordwell, 70 – 79.Pearsall, D. 2000 Paleoethnobotany: a Handbook of Procedures. New York, Academic Press. 37
    • issUe 11: eachtra JoUrnal - issn 2009-2237 archaeoloGical excavation report Sample Context Charcoal Seeds Percentage 1 9 Low Absent 100 2 10 Low Absent 100 3 11 Low Absent 100 7 17 Low Absent 100 10 21 Low Absent 100 16 13 Low Absent 100 17 31 Low Absent 100 19 33 Medium Absent 100 20 34 Low Absent 100 22 26 Low Absent 100 23 41 Low Absent 100 26 37 Medium Low 100 29 40 High Absent 100 30 45 High Low 100 31 50 Medium Absent 100 32 48 Medium Absent 100 33 51 Medium Absent 100 36 54 Low Absent 100 37 57 Medium Absent 100 Table 1: Scanned samples from Greenhills 1, Co� Tipperary (E3638)38
    • Greenhills 1-e3638 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3638-greenhills1-co-tipperary/Appendix 6 Animal Bone ReportThe excavations at Greenhills 1 uncovered a substantial deposit of charcoal-rich soil andheat-shattered stones interpreted as a burnt mound site dated to the Early Bronze Age.Animal bone was recovered from the overlying peat (C4) and from the various layers thatmade up the burnt mound. The partial remains of an adult sheepdog skeleton were foundin the peat and identified bones include ribs, vertebrae, scapula, maxilla, skull, teeth andhumerus. The underlying burnt mound deposits produced very few bones with the onlyidentified specimen being an adult cow tooth recovered from C33. The sample of bonesfrom layer (C39) consists of nine fragments of bone from a large-sized animal such as cowand ten indeterminate specimens. 39