Eachtra JournalIssue 11                                                     [ISSN 2009-2237]                  Archaeologic...
EACHTRAArchaeological Projects                          Archaeological Excavation Report                          Killeisk...
Archaeological Excavation Report                                                     Killeisk                             ...
© Eachtra Archaeological Projects 2011  The Forge, Innishannon, Co Cork        Set in 12pt Garamond          Printed in Ir...
Table of Contents       Summary�������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������...
List of Figures     Figure	1:	         Portion	 of	 map	 of	 Ireland	 showing	 the	 route	 of	 the	 N7	 Castletown	 to	 Ne...
List of PlatesPlate	1:	    Aerial	view	of	Killeisk�	����������������������������������������������������������������������...
iv
KilleisK-e3587                                        http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3587-killeisk-co-tipperary/Summ...
issUe 11: eachtra JoUrnal - issn 2009-2237                           archaeological excavation report              Acknowl...
KilleisK-e3587                                        http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3587-killeisk-co-tipperary/1   ...
182550                                                    198900                                                     21525...
KilleisK-e3587                                        http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3587-killeisk-co-tipperary/Drum...
issUe 11: eachtra JoUrnal - issn 2009-2237                               archaeological excavation report              4  ...
KilleisK-e3587                                          http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3587-killeisk-co-tipperary/  ...
190400                                                               196200                                               ...
KilleisK-e3587                                        http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3587-killeisk-co-tipperary/High...
10        BALLINREE                                                                                                       ...
KilleisK-e3587                                        http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3587-killeisk-co-tipperary/ Kil...
194132                                                  194502                                            19487212     179...
KilleisK-e3587                                          http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3587-killeisk-co-tipperary/7 ...
issUe 11: eachtra JoUrnal - issn 2009-2237                                                                                ...
KilleisK-e3587                                                   http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3587-killeisk-co-tip...
16                                                                                                          421           ...
Killeisk         E3587         NW facing profile of C.245                                                                 ...
issUe 11: eachtra JoUrnal - issn 2009-2237                                archaeological excavation report              wh...
KilleisK-e3587                                                    http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3587-killeisk-co-ti...
issUe 11: eachtra JoUrnal - issn 2009-2237                                          archaeological excavation report      ...
Killeisk      E3587      East facing section of C.464                                                                     ...
issUe 11: eachtra JoUrnal - issn 2009-2237                                         archaeological excavation report       ...
KilleisK-e3587                                          http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3587-killeisk-co-tipperary/le...
issUe 11: eachtra JoUrnal - issn 2009-2237                                        archaeological excavation report        ...
KilleisK-e3587                                             http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3587-killeisk-co-tipperary...
issUe 11: eachtra JoUrnal - issn 2009-2237                                                                                ...
KilleisK-e3587                                                       http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3587-killeisk-co...
Archaeological Report - Killeisk, Co. Tipperary (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Killeisk, Co. Tipperary (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Killeisk, Co. Tipperary (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Killeisk, Co. Tipperary (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Killeisk, Co. Tipperary (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Killeisk, Co. Tipperary (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Killeisk, Co. Tipperary (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Killeisk, Co. Tipperary (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Killeisk, Co. Tipperary (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Killeisk, Co. Tipperary (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Killeisk, Co. Tipperary (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Killeisk, Co. Tipperary (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Killeisk, Co. Tipperary (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Killeisk, Co. Tipperary (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Killeisk, Co. Tipperary (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Killeisk, Co. Tipperary (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Killeisk, Co. Tipperary (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Killeisk, Co. Tipperary (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Killeisk, Co. Tipperary (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Killeisk, Co. Tipperary (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Killeisk, Co. Tipperary (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Killeisk, Co. Tipperary (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Killeisk, Co. Tipperary (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Killeisk, Co. Tipperary (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Killeisk, Co. Tipperary (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Killeisk, Co. Tipperary (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Killeisk, Co. Tipperary (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Killeisk, Co. Tipperary (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Killeisk, Co. Tipperary (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Killeisk, Co. Tipperary (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Killeisk, Co. Tipperary (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Killeisk, Co. Tipperary (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Killeisk, Co. Tipperary (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Killeisk, Co. Tipperary (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Killeisk, Co. Tipperary (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Killeisk, Co. Tipperary (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Killeisk, Co. Tipperary (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Killeisk, Co. Tipperary (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Killeisk, Co. Tipperary (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Killeisk, Co. Tipperary (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Killeisk, Co. Tipperary (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Killeisk, Co. Tipperary (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Killeisk, Co. Tipperary (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Killeisk, Co. Tipperary (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Killeisk, Co. Tipperary (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Killeisk, Co. Tipperary (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Killeisk, Co. Tipperary (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Killeisk, Co. Tipperary (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Killeisk, Co. Tipperary (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Killeisk, Co. Tipperary (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Killeisk, Co. Tipperary (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Killeisk, Co. Tipperary (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Killeisk, Co. Tipperary (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Killeisk, Co. Tipperary (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Killeisk, Co. Tipperary (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Killeisk, Co. Tipperary (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Killeisk, Co. Tipperary (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Killeisk, Co. Tipperary (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Killeisk, Co. Tipperary (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Killeisk, Co. Tipperary (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Killeisk, Co. Tipperary (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Killeisk, Co. Tipperary (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Killeisk, Co. Tipperary (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Killeisk, Co. Tipperary (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Killeisk, Co. Tipperary (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Killeisk, Co. Tipperary (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Killeisk, Co. Tipperary (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Killeisk, Co. Tipperary (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Killeisk, Co. Tipperary (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Killeisk, Co. Tipperary (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Killeisk, Co. Tipperary (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Killeisk, Co. Tipperary (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Killeisk, Co. Tipperary (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Killeisk, Co. Tipperary (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Killeisk, Co. Tipperary (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Killeisk, Co. Tipperary (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Killeisk, Co. Tipperary (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Killeisk, Co. Tipperary (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Killeisk, Co. Tipperary (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Killeisk, Co. Tipperary (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Killeisk, Co. Tipperary (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Killeisk, Co. Tipperary (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Killeisk, Co. Tipperary (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Killeisk, Co. Tipperary (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Killeisk, Co. Tipperary (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Killeisk, Co. Tipperary (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Killeisk, Co. Tipperary (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Killeisk, Co. Tipperary (Ireland)
Archaeological Report - Killeisk, Co. Tipperary (Ireland)
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in …5
×

Archaeological Report - Killeisk, Co. Tipperary (Ireland)

1,010 views
961 views

Published on

The excavation of the site at Killeisk comprised a mixture of Early Bronze Age activity and high and late medieval activity. Two separate groups of pits dated to the Early Bronze Age. A large elliptical enclosure and associated linear features, which formed field enclosures and droveways, dated to the high and late medieval period. A kiln and associated pit and enclosure also dated to the late medieval period. The kiln was located to the south-west of the enclosure. Two fragments of decorated rotary quern stones were recovered from the enclosure and associated linear features. A small assemblage of animal bone was recovered from the ditch of the enclosure.

Published in: Education, Technology
0 Comments
0 Likes
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Views
Total views
1,010
On SlideShare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
0
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
2
Comments
0
Likes
0
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Archaeological Report - Killeisk, Co. Tipperary (Ireland)

  1. 1. Eachtra JournalIssue 11 [ISSN 2009-2237] Archaeological Excavation Report E3587 - Killeisk, Co. Tipperary Early Bronze Age pits, medieval enclosure and associated field enclosures
  2. 2. EACHTRAArchaeological Projects Archaeological Excavation Report Killeisk Co. Tipperary Early Bronze Age pits, medieval enclosure and associated field enclosures Date: December 2011 Client: Laois County Council and National Roads Authority Project: N7 Castletown to Nenagh (Contract 1) E No: E3587Excavation Director: Simon OFaolain Written by: Simon OFaolain
  3. 3. Archaeological Excavation Report Killeisk Co. Tipperary Excavation Director Simon OFaolain Written By Simon OFaolain EACHTRA Archaeological Projects CORK GALWAY The Forge, Innishannon, Co. Cork Unit 10, Kilkerrin Park, Liosbain Industrial Estate, Galwaytel: 021 4701616 | web: www.eachtra.ie | email: info@eachtra.ie tel: 091 763673 | web: www.eachtra.ie | email: galway@eachtra.ie
  4. 4. © Eachtra Archaeological Projects 2011 The Forge, Innishannon, Co Cork Set in 12pt Garamond Printed in Ireland
  5. 5. Table of Contents Summary��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 1 Acknowledgements��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 21 Scope of the project �������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 32 Route location��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 33 Receiving environment ��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 54 Archaeological and historical background ��������������������������������������������������������������������� 65 Site Location and Topography �������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 96 Excavation methodology ������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������ 97 Excavation results ������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������ 13 DescriptionofPrehistoricPitGroup1������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������13 DescriptionofPrehistoricPitGroup2������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������19 DescriptionofEnclosureandAssociatedFieldsystem������������������������������������������������������������23 Descriptionofkilnandassociatedfeatures������������������������������������������������������������������������������������41 �8 Discussion �������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 529 References ��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������56Appendix 1 Stratigraphic Index �������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 59Appendix 2 Stratigraphic Matrix �������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������60Appendix 3 Groups and sub-groups ����������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 61Appendix 4 Lithic Artefact Report����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������83Appendix 5 Quernstone Report ��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������85Appendix 6 Plant Remains Report ���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������88Appendix 7 Animal Bone Report �����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������99Appendix 8 Geophysical Survey �����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������105 i
  6. 6. 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)� ����������������������������������������������������������� 4 Figure 2: Discovery series Ordnance survet map showing the route of the N7 Castletown to Nenagh (Derrinsallagh to Ballintotty) Road Scheme (Contract 1) and the location of all excavation sites� ������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������ 8 Figure 3: Portion of the Ist edition Ordnance Survey Map OF47 showing the location of Killeiks� ���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������10 Figure 4: Location and extent of Killeisk E3587 on the N7 Castletown to Nenagh� ��������������������������� 12 Figure 5: Post-excavation plan of Killeisk E3587� ��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 14 Figure 6: Post-excavation plan of prehistoric pit group 1 at Killeisk� ������������������������������������������������������ 16 � Figure 7: Sections of pit C245 and associated stake-holes at Killeisk� ����������������������������������������������������� 17 Figure 8: Post-excavation plan of prehistoric pit group 2 at Killeisk� ������������������������������������������������������20 � Figure 9: Sections of pit C464 and C466 at Killeisk� ���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������21 Figure 10: Post-excavation plan of enclosure and associated field systems at Killeisk� ���������������������26 Figure 11: Sections of enclosure ditch L1 C�4 and well C�135 at Killeisk� ���������������������������������������������������28 Figure 12: Sections of L9 C522, L8 C92 and L4 C11� ������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������32 Figure 13: Sections of L5 C13 and L8 C24� ������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������34 Figure 14: Sections of L1 C4, L5 C13 and L10 C111� ��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������35 Figure 15: Post-excavation plan of kiln and associated features at Killeisk� �������������������������������������������37 Figure 16: Sections of kiln C358 and pit C364 at Killeisk� �������������������������������������������������������������������������������43 Figure 17: Sections of L7 C100� ��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������45 Figure 18: Plan of geophysical showing extent of enclosure at Killeisk����������������������������������������������������49 Figure 19: Prehistoric sites on and in the environs of N7 Castletown to Nenagh� ��������������������������������51 Figure 20: Medieval sites on and in the environs of N7 Castletown to Nenagh� �����������������������������������53ii
  7. 7. List of PlatesPlate 1: Aerial view of Killeisk� ����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 11Plate 2: View of pit C245 and associated stake-holes at Killeisk� ������������������������������������������������������������ 15Plate 3: View of pit C281 at Killeisk� ������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 15Plate 4: View of charcoal enriched fills of pits in Bronze Age Pits Group 2 at Killeisk� �������������������� 19Plate 5: View of pit C466 and associated stake-holes at Killeisk� ������������������������������������������������������������22Plate 6: View of enclosure L1 at Killeisk from north-west� ������������������������������������������������������������������������24Plate 7: View of main cut of enclosure ditch C4 bottomed out and in section rectut C7 at Killeisk� ��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������24Plate 8: View of stone layer C88 in enclosure ditch C4 at Killeisk� Note quernstone E3587:88:1 above whiteboard� ������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������27Plate 9: View of main cut of enclosure ditch C4 and the narrower recut C7 inscised through its base� ���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������27Plate 10: View of L8 C24, C58 and L1 C4 from left to right at Killeisk� �����������������������������������������������������29 �Plate 11: View of L2 C39 and C90 from NE and LI C4 in foreground at Killeisk� �����������������������������������30Plate 12: View of L4 C11 and L5 C13 from NW at Killeisk� ����������������������������������������������������������������������������� 31Plate 13: Quernstone E3587:130:1� ������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������33Plate 14: Quernstone E3587:125:1� ������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������33Plate 15: View of kiln and associated features from NW at Killeisk� ���������������������������������������������������������42Plate 16: View of kiln C538 at Killeisk� �����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������42Plate 17: View of charcoal in cupola of kiln C538 at Killeisk ������������������������������������������������������������������������44Plate 18: Hone stone E3587:1:1� �����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������47List of TablesTable 1 Linear Numbers and corresponding cut numbers used in the text� �������������������������������������25Table 2 Radiocarbon dates �����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������50 iii
  8. 8. iv
  9. 9. KilleisK-e3587 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3587-killeisk-co-tipperary/SummaryThe excavation of the site at Killeisk comprised a mixture of Early Bronze Age activityand high and late medieval activity. Two separate groups of pits dated to the Early BronzeAge. A large elliptical enclosure and associated linear features, which formed field enclo-sures and droveways, dated to the high and late medieval period. A kiln and associated pitand enclosure also dated to the late medieval period. The kiln was located to the south-west of the enclosure. Two fragments of decorated rotary quern stones were recoveredfrom the enclosure and associated linear features. A small assemblage of animal bone wasrecovered from the ditch of the enclosure.Road project name N7 Castletown to NenaghSite name KilleiskE no. E3587Site director Simon Ó FaoláinTownland KilleiskParish BallymackeyCounty TipperaryBarony Upper OrmondOS Map Sheet No. TN 21National Grid Reference 194519 / 179498Elevation 101 m O.D. 1
  10. 10. 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 and GIS are by Maurizio Toscano, photographs by John Sunderland and Eagle Photography and aerial photography by StudioLab. Spe- cialist analysis was carried out by Anne Carey, Mary Dillon, Penny Johnston, Margaret McCarthy, Farina Sternke and the 14 Chrono Centre at Queen’s University Belfast.2
  11. 11. KilleisK-e3587 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3587-killeisk-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.2 Route locationThe route of the N7 Castletown to Nenagh road is located in Counties North Tipperaryand Offaly (OF) (Figure 1). The project (Contract 1) involves the construction of c. 17.5km of the N7 from Clashnevin east of Nenagh to Castleroan south-east of Dunkerrin. Itpasses through the townlands of Clashnevin, Derrybane, Newtown, Lissanisky, Killeisk,Garavally, Derrycarney, Garrynafanna, Gortnadrumman, Kilgorteen, Falleen, Knock-ane, Clash, Park, Rosdremid (OF), Clynoe (OF), Cullenwaine, Moneygall, Greenhills, 3
  12. 12. 182550 198900 2152504 193300 193300 ! ( Nenagh issUe 11: eachtra JoUrnal - issn 2009-2237 Derg (Lough) 182950 182950 172600 172600 0 5 10 182550 198900 Kilometres 215250 ± Figure 1: Portion of map of Ireland showing the route of the N7 Castletown to Nenagh (Derrinsallagh to Ballintotty) Road Scheme (Contract 1)� archaeological excavation report
  13. 13. KilleisK-e3587 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3587-killeisk-co-tipperary/Drumbaun, Busherstown (OF), Drumroe (OF), Moatquarter, Loughan (OF) and Cas-tleroan (OF). The townlands are located in the parishes of Ballymackey, Cullenwaine,Castletownely, Rathnaveoge, Finglas and Dunkerrin and the baronies of Upper Ormond,Ikerrin and Clonisk, The route begins at the eastern end of the Nenagh bypass at Clashnevin c. 5 km eastof Nenagh and continues eastward on the northern side of the existing N7 in Co. Tip-perary. It crosses a number of third class roads to the north of Toomyvara and 0.7 kmeast of Clash crossroads crosses the Ollatrim River. It extends into County Offaly directlyeast of Park. From here it crosses the R490 0.6 km north of Moneygall. It extends backin County Tipperary and through the demesne of Greenhills before crossing the existingN7 at the junction of Greenhills and Drumbaun townlands. It crosses back into CountyOffaly and climbs east into Busherstown and Drumroe. It crosses the Keeloge Streaminto Moatquarter in County Tipperary and extends northeast back into County Offalythrough the townlands of Loughan and Castleroan 1.4 km southwest of Dunkerrin.3 Receiving environmentNorth Tipperary is bounded on the west by the River Shannon and Lough Derg withthe Silvermines, to the south, and small hills extending towards Devilsbit and BorrisnoeMountains to the east. The mountains are composed largely of Silurian strata and OldRed Sandstone. Copper, silver and lead deposits have been mined in the Silvermines. Thegeology of the lowlands consists of Carboniferous limestone covered by glacial drift inaddition to tracts of raised bog. The western portion of the study area is drained by the Ollatrim River which flowswestwards into the River Ballintotty which in turns drains into the River Nenagh. Theeastern portion is drained by the Keeloge Stream and other small water sources. These risein the foothills of the Silvermine Mountains and flow north. The Keeloge drains into theLittle Brosna River c. 1 km south of Shinrone, Co Offaly. The Brosna turns north anddrains into the Shannon south of Banagher. The largest population centre in the area is Nenagh. The smaller population centres,are Toomyvara, Moneygall and Dunkerrin. The soils on the route are characterised by 80% grey brown podzolics, 10% gleys, 5%brown earths and 5% basin peat. They are derived from glacial till of predominantly Car-boniferous limestone composition. These soils occur in Tipperary and Offaly and have awide use range being suitable for both tillage and pasture (Gardiner and Radford 1980,97-99). Land use along the route was a mix of grassland devoted to intensive dairying andcattle-rearing and tillage. 5
  14. 14. issUe 11: eachtra JoUrnal - issn 2009-2237 archaeological excavation report 4 Archaeological and historical background Archaeological sites of numerous periods were discovered along the route of the new road (Figure 2). The periods are referred to as follows: Mesolithic (c. 8000 to 4000 BC), Neo- lithic (c. 4000 to 2000 BC), Bronze Age (c. 2000 to 600 BC), and Iron Age (c. 500 BC to AD 500), early medieval period (c. AD 500 to 1100), medieval period (c. AD 1100 to 1650), post-medieval period (c. AD 1650 to the present). Mesolithic (c. 8000 to 4000 BC) The earliest known human settlement in Ireland dates from the Mesolithic period (c. 8000 BC - 4000 BC). The majority of the evidence (flint scatters) for Mesolithic occupa- tion has come from the river valleys. No evidence for the Mesolithic was recorded on the route. Neolithic (c. 4000 to 2000 BC) The Neolithic Period is characterised by the introduction of agriculture and the begin- nings of the clearance of the woodlands. The population increased and became more sedentary in nature. The most important Neolithic site in the vicinity was at Tullahedy recorded on the route of the Nenagh by-pass. It was a specialist chert arrow manufactur- ing site. No evidence for a Neolithic site was recorded on the route but stone tools dating to the Neolithic were recorded at Busherstown E3661, Clash E3660, Cullenwaine E3741 and Greenhills 2 and 3 E3637 and E3658. Stone tools dating to the late Neolithic/Early Bronze Age were recorded at Busherstown E3661, Castleroan E3909, Cullenwaine E3741, Derrybane 1 E3585, Drumroe E3773, Greenhills 1 E3638 and Moatquarter E3910. Neo- lithic pottery was recorded at Cullenwaine E3741 and Drumbaun E3912. Bronze Age (c. 2000 to 600BC) The Bronze Age is characterised by the introduction of metallurgy and an increase in settlement and burial sites. Copper ores were mined and copper, bronze and gold items manufactured. The range of burial site types includes cist graves, pit and urn burials, cremation cemeteries, barrows, ring-ditches and wedge tombs. Stone circles and stand- ing stones also date to the Bronze Age. Both enclosed and unenclosed settlement sites are known. The most prolific Bronze Age site type is the fulacht fiadh. These monuments survive as low mounds of charcoal rich black silt, packed with heat-shattered stones, and generally situated close to a water source. Fulachta fiadh are generally classified as ‘cook- ing places’, whereby stones were heated in a hearth and subsequently placed in a trough of water, the water continued to boil with the addition of hot stones and wrapped food was cooked within the hot water. The trough eventually filled with small stones, ash and charcoal that were removed, forming the basis of the familiar mound.6
  15. 15. KilleisK-e3587 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3587-killeisk-co-tipperary/ 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)Up to recently there was little evidence of a significant Iron Age presence in Munster.Settlement sites are few and far between as well as being difficult to identify (Woodman,2000) while the material culture of this period is limited. Linear earthworks, believedto have marked tribal boundaries, and hillforts are two of the most visible monumentsof the period. Ten percent of sites excavated on NRA road schemes in recent years haveproduced Iron Age dates. The dates have led to the identification of 30 new Iron Age sitesin Munster from road schemes in counties Cork, Limerick and Tipperary (McLaughlin2008, 51). These include a ditched enclosure in Ballywilliam and a wooden trackway inAnnaholty Bog excavated on the route of the N7 Nenagh-Limerick (Taylor 2008, 54). Three Iron Age dates were returned from pits in Castleroan E3909 and DrumroeE3773 on the route of the N7 Castletown to Nenagh (Contract 1).Early medieval period (c. AD 400 to 1100)The early medieval period is characterised by the arrival of Christianity to Ireland. Thecharacteristic monument type of the period is the ringfort. Ringforts are the most nu-merous archaeological monument found in Ireland, with estimates of between 30,000and 50,000 illustrated on the first edition of the Ordnance Survey 6” maps of the 1840’s(Barry 1987). As a result of continued research, the construction of these monuments hasa narrow date range during the early medieval period between the 7th and 9th centuriesAD. Although there are some very elaborate examples of ringforts, they often take theform of a simple earth or stone enclosure functioning as settlements for all classes of secu-lar society (Stout 1997). North Tipperary is rich in early ecclesiastical sites and the remains of these religiouscentres are at the core of some of the towns and villages. Roscrea, for example, was chosenby St Cronan as a location for his monastery in the seventh century as it was located atthe crossroads on the Slighe Dála, an important roadway in early medieval times (NIAH2006, 4-8). Early medieval activity was recorded at five sites on the route of the N7 Castletown toNenagh (Contract 1). A series of corn-drying kilns were recorded at Busherstown E3661.A denuded ringfort (OF046-013) was excavated at Clynoe 2 E3774. An area of iron-working and associated pits was recorded at Drumbaun E3912. Iron working activity,corn-drying kilns and settlement activity was recorded at Park 1 E3659. A group of pitsand associated ditch were recorded at Drumroe E3773. 7
  16. 16. 190400 196200 202000 2078008 Killeisk 1 186400 186400 Castleroan 1 E 3909 Busherstown 1 E 3661 Loughan 1 E 4000 issUe 11: eachtra JoUrnal - issn 2009-2237 Greenhills 3 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 Ordnance survet map showing the route of the N7 Castletown to Nenagh (Derrinsallagh to Ballintotty) Road Scheme (Contract 1) and the location of all excavation sites� archaeological excavation report
  17. 17. KilleisK-e3587 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3587-killeisk-co-tipperary/High and later medieval periods (c. AD 1100 to 1650)This period is characterized by the arrival of the Anglo-Normans and the building of tow-er houses. The Anglo-Normans obtained charters in the thirteenth century for the townsof Nenagh, Roscrea, Thurles and Templemore and established markets. Nenagh grewrapidly in the aftermath of the granting of the lands of Munster to Theobald fitzWalter in1185 (ibid. 8). Moated sites represent the remains of isolated, semi-defended homesteadsin rural areas. They were build mainly in the late thirteenth and early fourteenth cen-turies in counties, such as Wexford, Kilkenny, Tipperary, mid-Cork and Limerick, thatwere colonised by English settlers (O’Conor 1998, 58). The Archaeological Inventory forNorth Tipperary lists 39 moated sites (2002, 298). A medieval enclosure and associated field systems were recorded at Killeisk E3587. Anewly recorded moated site was excavated at Busherstown E3661. A series of ditches andsettlement activity was recorded at Park 1 E3659.Post-medieval period (c. 1650 to the present)The post-medieval period is characterised by mills, limekilns, workhouses, country hous-es and associated demesnes, vernacular buildings and field systems (Figure 3). A smalldemesne associated with a county house was recorded in the townland of Greenhills.5 Site Location and TopographyThe site at Killeisk was located in level pasturage at between 100 and 110m OD (Plate1). A small tributary stream of the Ollatrim River (Abhainn an Chalatroma) ran acrossit from SE to NW, but had been diverted into an underground course in a deep ditch inmodern times. It lay in the NW corner of Killeisk townland adjacent to the boundarywith Garravally at W and Lissanisky at N.6 Excavation methodologyThe site was mechanically stripped of topsoil under strict archaeological supervision.Stripping was done with a tracked machine with a flat toothless bucket. Topsoil strippingcommenced in the areas of identified archaeology and continued radially outward untilthe limit of the road take was reached or until the limit of the archaeological remains wasfully defined. A grid was set up in the excavation area(s) and all archaeological featureswere sufficiently cleaned, recorded and excavated so as to enable an accurate and mean-ingful record of the site to be preserved. The excavation, environmental sampling, sitephotographs, site drawings, find care and retrieval, on-site recording and site archive wasas per the Procedures for Archaeological works as attached to the licence method state-ments for excavation licences. 9
  18. 18. 10 BALLINREE DERRYCARNEY GARRAVALLY y ar r Tribut Ri v e issUe 11: eachtra JoUrnal - issn 2009-2237 Ol l a t r i m LISSANISKY KILLEISK 0 150 300 ¥ Meters Figure 3: Portion of the Ist edition Ordnance Survey Map OF47 showing the location of Killeiks� archaeological excavation report
  19. 19. KilleisK-e3587 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3587-killeisk-co-tipperary/ Killeisk 1 (E3587) 0 30 60 Meters ±Plate 1: Aerial view of Killeisk� The site was excavated from 9 June to 25 August 2007. Only areas within the LMA(lands made available) were resolved. The full extent of the area of excavation measured10,000 m sq (Figure 4). 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. 11
  20. 20. 194132 194502 19487212 179775 179775 LISSANISKY y G A R R AVA L LY ributar 340 0 330 0 River T 320 0 issUe 11: eachtra JoUrnal - issn 2009-2237 31 00 Ollatrim 30 00 179545 179545 29 00 28 00 27 00 KILLEISK 260 0 179315 179315 250 0 Killeisk 1 (E3587) 240 0 230 0 0 100 200 Metres ± 194132 194502 194872 Figure 4: Location and extent of Killeisk E3587 on the N7 Castletown to Nenagh� archaeological excavation report
  21. 21. KilleisK-e3587 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3587-killeisk-co-tipperary/7 Excavation resultsArchaeology on the site at Killeisk consisted of four main groups of features and a rela-tively small group of ungrouped features (Figure 5). The four groups, each dealt with indetail below, were: [1] Pit Group 1: A number of mostly irregular pits some of which were filled with‘burnt mound’ type charcoal enriched soil with some heat-shattered stone. Dating to theEarly Bronze Age, this group formed a fairly diffuse cluster slightly to SW of the centreof the site. [2] Pit Group 2: A discrete cluster of mostly irregular pits and cuts, some of whichwere filled with ‘burnt mound’ type fills. These were located near the N end of the siteand again dated to the Early Bronze Age. [3] Enclosure and Associated Field-system: Part of a large elliptical enclosure and as-sociated linear features which themselves form part of a system of enclosures, drovewaysand fields apparently dating from the late medieval period. This system occupied much ofthe site except along its NW edge. [4] Kiln and Associated Features: The sub-surface remains of a limestone-built kiln,also apparently of late medieval date, along with three associated smaller features. Thisgroup lay near the SW extremity of the site.Description of Prehistoric Pit Group 1This group consisted of some 30 cut features, mostly pits of some sort, which lay scatteredthroughout the W central area of the site (Figure 6). The main concentration of these pitslay in a cluster N of the droveway ditches. No finds were recovered in any of the featuresforming part of this group. Six of the pits in this group were filled or partially filled withblack charcoal-rich ‘burnt mound’ type deposits with fire cracked stone. A radiocarbondate for oak charcoal from this material gave a range of BC 2276–2047. The central and most obviously archaeological part of the group is the central clusterformed of seven fairly large cuts – three of them intercutting – and seven stakeholes. CutC245 [l. 2.34m, w. 1.26m, d. 0.18m] was irregular in plan with a flattish base and hadthree stakeholes cut into its base, [C323, C325 and C327] (Figure 7, Plate 2). The cut andall three stakeholes were filled with the same material, C244, a black charcoal-rich ‘burntmound’ type fill. Adjacent to the pit and forming an arc on its SE side, were four fur-ther stakeholes [C354, C352, C356 and C350]. The fill in all four cases was a mid greyishbrown silty sand with no inclusions. The stakes are probably associated with the activityat pit C245. The stakes cut into the base of the pit and those forming an arc on one side ofit would suggest some form of associated superstructure suspended on the stakes. Cut 247 [l. 2.76m, w. 1.16m, d. 0.35m] was a large sub-rectangular pit. It had a singleoriginal fill, mid grey sandy silt C293. A further, quite irregular cut [C268] had been in-cised through the original fill on the N side of C247. There were three fills in this cut, theuppermost of which [C246] was a black stony, charcoal-rich silt of ‘burnt mound’ type 13
  22. 22. issUe 11: eachtra JoUrnal - issn 2009-2237 archaeological excavation report 194469 194540 ± L8 518 499 Bronze Age 512 464 pits 2179564 179564 491 92 472 466 502 484 509 474 24 L8 448 135 Well L1 Enclosure 187 183 L3 442 270 456 289 188 179 80 O ) 4 307 225 313 171 421 273 101 m O.D. 173 181 76 437 261 39 204 365 280 90 217 251 229 Bronze Age 259 19 417 213 pits 1 219 334 415 282 253 412 221 452 435 402 255 305 445 401 288 L2 381 409 245 281 Sub-enclosure 249 9 397 317 Droveway L4 54 390 11 128 L5 L6 13 111 L10 L7 L9 102179458 179458 344 100 364 Kiln 522 358 0 30 m 194469 194540 Figure 5: Post-excavation plan of Killeisk E3587� 14
  23. 23. KilleisK-e3587 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3587-killeisk-co-tipperary/Plate 2: View of pit C245 and associated stake-holes at Killeisk�Plate 3: View of pit C281 at Killeisk� 15
  24. 24. 16 421 ± 323 245 327 325 350 365 issUe 11: eachtra JoUrnal - issn 2009-2237 356 354 217 352 259 Bronze Age pits 1 334 219 253 452 221 402 255 305 288 445 409 381 281 249 317 390 11 L4 0 10 m Figure 6: Post-excavation plan of prehistoric pit group 1 at Killeisk� archaeological excavation report
  25. 25. Killeisk E3587 NW facing profile of C.245 KilleisK-e3587 C.244 C.324 C.245 C.325 Killeisk 1 E3587 NE facing profile of C.352 and C.354 C.351 C.353 C.352 C.354 Killeisk E3587 NE facing section of C.245 C.244 C.245 10 cm 0 50 cm http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3587-killeisk-co-tipperary/ Figure 7: Sections of pit C245 and associated stake-holes at Killeisk�17
  26. 26. issUe 11: eachtra JoUrnal - issn 2009-2237 archaeological excavation report which was also the main secondary fill of original cut C247. A further large sub-oval cut, C317 [l. 1.9m, w. 1.32m, d. 0.43m] had been cut adjacent to C247 on its E side. This itself was truncated by a further oval cut, C345 [l. 0.44m, w. 0.39m, d. 0.43m], which had been cut into the bottom of C317. Both fills post-dated the recut. Some 3m to NE of the four intercutting pits lay C281 [l. 3.2m, w. 2.15m, d. 0.89m], a large, deep cut, sub-circular in plan with steep sides and a flat base (Plate 3). It contained six fills, five of which appeared sterile. The second lowest fill, C278 [d. 0.73m], was the exception, a fine soft dark bluish silt with inclusions of charcoal lumps and which yielded a sample of waterlogged wood. This pit may have been used as a water-hole or well. Two further pits in the immediate vicinity contained ‘burnt mound’ type fills, ir- regular pit C249 and sub-circular pit C219, oak charcoal from the fill of which gave a radiocarbon date range of cal BC 2276-2047 (UB–15091). About 10m to W of the above features lay a scattered group of three quite irregular pits, C381, C390 and C402. The fills of these features contained a certain amount of charcoal but other wise their form and content were uninformative. Interpretation of Pit Group 1. This group is interpreted as a cluster of pits some or all of which relate to some form of pyrotechnical activity. Of the nine cut features considered to be definitely archaeological, all but one (C219) were found in a tight grouping. Here we had four pits the fill of which was typical of burnt material from prehistoric pit groups, consisting of black charcoal-enriched silt with frequent inclusions of fire-shattered stone. One of the pits had three stakeholes cut into its base, with a further four stakeholes forming an arc immediately to SE. This suggests the likelihood of some form of superstructure having existed in this case. Another pit, C247, had a distinctly rectangular shape in plan. Pits C247, C268 and C317 intercut each other and the latter had a further recut, C345, in its base, all of which suggest some reuse or alteration of this arrangement of pits. None of the pits containing ‘burnt mound’ type material exhibited any signs of in situ burning, and so it is not certain that they were originally intended for use in relation to pyrotechnical activity. Nothing in their fills or shapes indicated what their original purpose might have been, and only the usual sug- gestion of use for storage may be made. A single grain of barley was recovered from the fill of pit C247, but while interesting, a single grain cannot be deemed sufficient to sug- gest anything as regards the function of the pit and could easily have blown in from the surrounding area. Nonetheless, it does at least suggest that agricultural and/or domestic activities were taking place in the immediate vicinity of the pits. Adjacent to these pits at NE was a large, deep sub-circular cut, C281, the lower fill of which was waterlogged and which produced samples of waterlogged wood. This may have been a well or water-hole. Its proximity to the pits filled with burnt material and stakeholes suggest it might have been a water source used to supply the needs of whatever ‘hot stone’ process was taking place here.18
  27. 27. KilleisK-e3587 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3587-killeisk-co-tipperary/Plate 4: View of charcoal enriched fills of pits in Bronze Age Pits Group 2 at Killeisk� Other than this grouping just discussed, the other features in Pit Group 1 are lesscertainly linked. Small pit or post-hole C259 had a shape which suggested deliberate for-mation, but was likewise isolated from any other definitely archaeological feature. Otherthan the ‘burnt mound’ type fills referred to, the other fills of the features in this sub-group, though often containing traces of charcoal, are mostly grey and brown silts of thetype which occur all over the site and which seem to result from natural silting. C219 is another flat-based sub-circular pit filled with ‘burnt mound’ type material,but lies isolated from the others some 9m to N. It is of particular note, however, becauseit is the only feature in this group to produce a radiocarbon date. This was for oak char-coal from the upper ‘burnt mound’ type fill C218 and gave a dating range of cal BC2276–2047 (UB–15091). Such a date, in the Early Bronze Age, is fairly typical for suchpit groups with their burnt fills.Description of Prehistoric Pit Group 2This group consists of a fairly discrete cluster of 16 cut features, all but one lying withinthe same 10m grid [120,120] and the exception lying immediately outside of this (Figure8). Of these cuts 9 are pits and 7 stakeholes. The overall appearance of the group was verysimilar to that of Group 1 above, i.e. a number of pits clustered around a central largepit which featured a number of stakeholes within and/or around it. There were likewisea significant number of features which were filled or partially filled with ‘burnt mound’ 19
  28. 28. issUe 11: eachtra JoUrnal - issn 2009-2237 archaeological excavation report 529 464 ± 528 525 518 527 466 531 526 499 530 468 517 491 507 512 464 Bronze Age pits 2 468 502 472 484 509 474 0 5 m Figure 8: Post-excavation plan of prehistoric pit group 2 at Killeisk� type fills [6 of the pits] (Plate 4). Again, no artefacts or bone were recovered from any of the features. A radiocarbon date of cal BC 2286–2140 (UB–15092) for Pomoideae [family including apple, and hawthorn] charcoal, showed that the two pit groups at Killeisk are roughly contemporary. The central feature was a large flat-based circular pit, C466 [l. 1.92m, w. 1.6m, d. 0.2m], the lower fill of which [C465] was ‘burnt mound’ type material and which had 7 stakeholes cut into its sides and base [C525-531] (Figure 9, Plate 5). The fills of these stakeholes were in all cases free of the burnt material filling the lower part of the pit, a fact suggesting the stakes had been removed or had rotted a long time before the dumping of the burnt fill in the pit. The W side of C466 was truncated by an elongated irregular cut, C468 which had the same burnt fill as the former. It was itself truncated by a post-medieval field-drain. Three more quite substantial but irregular pits [C472, C474 and C464], two of which contained ‘burnt mound’ type material, lay in the immediate vicinity of the central round cut. A further spread of this material was excavated immediately to W of C468. About 0.8m to E of C466 was C464 [l. 1.27m, w. 1.01m, d. 0.24m], a pit of irregular plan with gentle to steeply sloping sides and an irregular base. The single fill was C463, a black charcoal-enriched silty sand with fragmented stones. A radiocarbon date range of cal BC 2286–2140 (UB–15092) was returned for charcoal from this fill.20
  29. 29. Killeisk E3587 East facing section of C.464 KilleisK-e3587 # # # # # C.463 # C.464 Killeisk E3587 SE facing section of C.466 C.496 # C.465 # # # # # # # # # # # # # C.466 10 cm 0 50 cm http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3587-killeisk-co-tipperary/ Figure 9: Sections of pit C464 and C466 at Killeisk�21
  30. 30. issUe 11: eachtra JoUrnal - issn 2009-2237 archaeological excavation report Plate 5: View of pit C466 and associated stake-holes at Killeisk� Four other smaller cuts [C499, C507, C512 and C517] lay scattered between 1 and 5m to N of the central cluster, two of which contained ‘burnt mound’ type material, and which are interpreted as small pits or post-holes. Interpretation and Discussion of Pit Group 2. This group was similar to Pit Group 1 in that it consisted essentially of a cluster of pits centred on a single large pit with stakeholes incised into its base and sides. In both groups there was ample evidence of the use of ‘hot stone’ technology for some purpose, in the form of fills of black, charcoal-rich silts with quantities of heat-shattered stone. Also, in both cases the densest distribution of cut features occurred around the central pit, thus confirming its central function and importance, with the burnt fills found almost exclu- sively in the central feature and the cut features immediately adjacent to it. The seven stakeholes in the base of circular cut C466 were the best structural evidence in this group and must represent the remains of some form of superstructure relating to the pit’s use. However, the fills of the stakeholes indicate that they were either rotted or withdrawn and naturally silted up before the pit was used as a location to deposit the burnt stone fill. Alternatively the stakes might have been in situ and still standing when the burnt fill was deposited, but this seems unlikely. In the latter scenario one would expect some of the burnt fill to have entered the upper fill of the stakeholes as the stakes rotted, and this was not found to be the case. These facts, coupled with the absence of any evidence in the sides or bases of any of the pits for in-situ burning (another fact paral-22
  31. 31. KilleisK-e3587 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3587-killeisk-co-tipperary/leled in Pit Group 1), emphasizes that the deposition of the ‘burnt mound’ type fills was– despite being the most notable feature of the group – peripheral and subsequent to theoriginal usage of the pit group, whatever that may have been. Large regular-planned pitswith numbers of stakeholes cut into their base are frequently found in association withFulachta Fiadh in which situation they are generally interpreted as water troughs. Other than the stakeholes referred to, there are two other features which could haveserved a structural purpose; cuts C499 and C512. Both of these were sub-oval with round,flat bases tilted at a slight angle, and of similar dimensions. They are considered possiblepost-holes and lie 3.6m from each other. The possibility that they were both part of thesupport for the same structure is noted, although in the absence of further post-holes asuggestion of what this might have been would be highly speculative. The fills of boththese cuts are completely free of any charcoal content, which would suggest they werenot contemporary with the phase of pyrotechnical activity which is noted in the ‘burntmound’ type fills of six cuts. The absence of any form of post-pipe suggests that if C499and C512 held post-holes that they were withdrawn at some stage and allowed to silt upnaturally. A shared angular but irregular morphology is noted in the plans of two adjacent fea-tures, cuts C472 and C474, but no plausible functional explanation can be advanced atpresent. Overall, then, it is only possible at present to say that some process involving ‘hotstone’ technology was taking place in the immediate environs of Group 4, but that thiswas not central to the reason for which these cuts were originally excavated. In terms ofdating, a single radiocarbon sample of Pomoidae charcoal from the ‘burnt mound’ typefill of pit C464 gave a dating range of cal BC 2286–2140 (UB–15092). This range is simi-lar to the Early Bronze Age date from Pit Group 1 and suggests the two pit groups mayhave been contemporary.Description of Enclosure and Associated Field systemDuring excavation each linear feature on site was allocated a Linear Number for ease ofdiscussion [see Table 1 and Figure 5]. The majority of these [L1, L2, L4, L5, L8, L9 andL10] form part of a field system associated with an enclosure while two [L3 and L6] weremodern field boundaries. The majority of the ditches on the site were excavated as a series of substantial sectionsrather than in a single-context manner. As a result of this, and adhering to correct archae-ological recording methodology, within each linear feature several widespread contextsreceived several context numbers which were subsequently conflated under the lowest ofthe context numbers given; e.g. the main cut in enclosure ditch L1 was given, in differentsections, the numbers C4, C5, C32, C38, C43, C59, C97, C106, C122, C143, C153 andC160, but for purposes of post-excavation analysis they are all called C4. 23
  32. 32. issUe 11: eachtra JoUrnal - issn 2009-2237 archaeological excavation report Plate 6: View of enclosure L1 at Killeisk from north-west� Plate 7: View of main cut of enclosure ditch C4 bottomed out and in section rectut C7 at Killeisk� 24
  33. 33. KilleisK-e3587 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3587-killeisk-co-tipperary/ Linear Type Main cut nos. 1 Enclosure ditch C4 2 Sub-enclosure ditch C9, C,39 and C90 3 Modern field boundary 4 N droveway ditch C11 5 S droveway ditch C13 6 Modern field boundary 7 Kiln windbreak C100 8 Field boundary C24 and C92 9 Field boundary C102 and C522 10 Field boundary C111Table 1 Linear Numbers and corresponding cut numbers used in the text�Main enclosure ditch [L1] and internal featuresThis formed an ellipse in plan, aligned with its long axis running NW-SE (Figure 10,Plate 6). Only approximately two fifths of its area was exposed within the road-take, therest of its extent being traced in the adjacent field to SE. The enclosure was associated witha number of linear cuts which are considered on the basis of horizontal stratigraphy andfinds to be coeval and which form part of a system of enclosures, sub-enclosures, drove-ways and field-boundaries. The excavated portion of the main cut of the enclosure ditch,Linear 1 (C4), had an overall circumference of c.120m, with a width varying from 1.4mup to 2.5m and a depth between 0.16m and 0.72m (Plate 7). In general, it was wider andshallower on its SW side and narrower and deeper on its NE side. The base varied fromflat to flattish irregular and the sides were mostly slightly concave. Some 33 different layers/deposits were excavated within the cut. Of these, 11 showedclear signs of human activity, mainly through the presence of animal bone and/or a gooddegree of charcoal flecking. Analysis of the bone recovered from the various fills of theenclosure ditch has identified those of cattle, horse, sheep/goat, pig, cat, dog, deer, rab-bit and some type of bird. Bone was recovered from the uppermost context [C1] downto some of the lowermost [C104, C81, C36], indicating that whatever was producing thebone waste – probably domestic food preparation – was practised for the duration of theenclosure’s use period. Of particular note in this regard was C6, a widespread and thickfill which was heavily charcoal flecked and contained a significant number of animalbone fragments. This fill is probably a habitation layer washed into the cut. Some ironartefacts were recovered from the enclosure cut, including a horse-shoe and several nails.These were confined to three of the uppermost fills of the enclosure cut [C1, C155 andC149]. Also near the surface, on the S side of the enclosure cut where it borders the sub-enclosure between L1 and L2 [see below], was a deposit of large stones and rocks, C88,which included part of a rotary quern fragment (E3587:88:1) (Plate 8). C3 was a layer ofsilty clay which occurred along the inner edge of the cut of the ditch throughout the ma-jority of its exposed length and which is thought to be material slumped from an internalbank associated with the ditch (see Figure 14). 25
  34. 34. issUe 11: eachtra JoUrnal - issn 2009-2237 archaeological excavation report L8 92 ± 24 L8 448 135 Well 134 Enclosure 196 183 270 187 185 175 193 442 188 456 191 177 294 179 289 4 80 171 L1 273 173 76 261 437 204 39 280 90 434 431 229 251 19 417 213 L2 282 412 415 435 401 Sub 419 enclosure 397 9 54 307 225 313 L4 11 230 263 311 296 240 205 285 291 234 237 242 207 201 13 L5 232 210 181 0 10 mFigure 10: Post-excavation plan of enclosure and associated field systems at Killeisk� 26
  35. 35. KilleisK-e3587 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3587-killeisk-co-tipperary/Plate 8: View of stone layer C88 in enclosure ditch C4 at Killeisk� Note quernstone E3587:88:1 above whiteboard�Plate 9: View of main cut of enclosure ditch C4 and the narrower recut C7 inscised through its base� 27

×