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Archaeological Report - Derrycarney, Co. Tipperary (Ireland)


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The excavation of the site at Derrycarney comprised a single pit and four irregular features. The irregular features are likely to have been natural in origin. No artefacts were recovered from the site. No radiocarbon dates were obtained.

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Archaeological Report - Derrycarney, Co. Tipperary (Ireland)

  1. 1. Eachtra JournalIssue 11 [ISSN 2009-2237] Archaeological Excavation Report E3740 - Derrycarney, Co. Tipperary Single Pit
  2. 2. EACHTRAArchaeological Projects Archaeological Excavation Report Derrycarney Co Tipperary Single Pit July 2011 Client: Laois County Council and National Roads Authority Project: N7 Castletown to Nenagh (Contract 1) E No: E3740Excavation Director: Jacinta Kiely Written by: Jacinta Kiely
  3. 3. Archaeological Excavation Report Derrycarney 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: | email: tel: 091 763673 | web: | email:
  4. 4. © 2011The Forge, Innishannon, Co Cork Set in 12pt Garamond Printed in Ireland
  5. 5. Table of Contents Summary���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������iii Acknowledgements�������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� iv1 Scope of the project �������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 12 Route location��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 13 Receiving environment ��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 34 Archaeological and historical background ��������������������������������������������������������������������� 4 Mesolithic(c�8000to4000BC)���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 4 Neolithic(c�4000to2000BC)������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������ 4 � BronzeAge(c�2000to600BC)����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 4 IronAge(c�500BCtoAD500)����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 6 Earlymedievalperiod(c�AD400to1100)����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 6 Highandlatermedievalperiods(c�AD1100to1650)���������������������������������������������������������������� 6 Post-medievalperiod(c�1650tothepresent)��������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 75 Site Location and Topography �������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 76 Excavation methodology ������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������ 77 Excavation results ������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������ 108 Summary ���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 119 References �������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 15Appendix 1 Site matrix ������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 16Appendix 2 Groups and subgroups ������������������������������������������������������������������������������������ 17 �Appendix 3 Plant Remains ������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������ 19 i
  6. 6. List of Figures Figure 1: The route of the N7 Castletown to Nenagh overlain on the Ordnance Survey Discovery Series map� �������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 2 Figure 2: The route of the N7 Castletown to Nenagh overlain on the Ordnance Survey Discovery Series map with all the excavation sites marked� �������������������������������������������������������������������������� 5 Figure 3: Portion of the Ist edition Ordnance Survey Map TN21 showing the location of Derry- carney� ������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������ 8 Figure 4: Location and extent of Derrycarney E3740 on the route of the N7 Castletown to Nenagh� ��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 9 Figure 5: Post-excavation plan of Derrycarney� ����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 12 Figure 6: Section of pit C�3� ������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 13 List of Plates Plate 1: Aerial view of Derrycarney from south� ��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 7 Plate 2: Mid-excavation of pit C�3 from north� ����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������10 Plate 3: Mid-excavation of irregular feature C�10 from north� ����������������������������������������������������������������� 11 Plate 4: Pre-excavation of irregular feature C�9 from north� �������������������������������������������������������������������� 14 Plate 5: Post-excavation of irregular feature C�14 from north� ���������������������������������������������������������������� 14ii
  7. 7. Derrycarney-e3740 excavation of the site at Derrycarney comprised a single pit and four irregular fea-tures. The irregular features are likely to have been natural in origin. No artefacts wererecovered from the site. No radiocarbon dates were obtained.Road project name N7 Castletown to NenaghSite name DerrycarneyE no. E3740Site director Jacinta KielyTownland DerrycarneyParish BallymackeyCounty TipperaryBarony Upper OrmondOS Map Sheet No. TN21National Grid Reference 195492 179640 iii
  8. 8. 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 and Penny Johnston and the 14 Chrono Centre at Queen’s University Belfast.iv
  9. 9. Derrycarney-e3740 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 (Figure 1). 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, 1
  10. 10. 2 182550 198900 215250 193300 193300 ! ( Nenagh iSSUe 11: eachtra JoUrnal - iSSn 2009-2237 Derg (Lough) 182950 182950 172600 172600 0 5 10 182550 198900 Kilometres 215250 ± Figure 1: The route of the N7 Castletown to Nenagh overlain on the Ordnance Survey Discovery Series map� archaeological excavation report
  11. 11. Derrycarney-e3740, Busherstown (OF), Drumroe (OF), Moatquarter, Loughan (OF) and Cas-tleroan (OF). The townlands are located in the parishes of Ballymackey, Cullenwaine,Castletownely, Rathnaveoge, Finglas and Dunkerrin and the baronies of Upper Ormond,Ikerrin and Clonisk, The route begins at the eastern end of the Nenagh bypass at Clashnevin c. 5 km eastof Nenagh and continues eastward on the northern side of the existing N7 in Co. Tip-perary. It crosses a number of third class roads to the north of Toomyvara and 0.7 kmeast of Clash crossroads crosses the Ollatrim River. It extends into County Offaly directlyeast of Park. From here it crosses the R490 0.6 km north of Moneygall. It extends backin County Tipperary and through the demesne of Greenhills before crossing the existingN7 at the junction of Greenhills and Drumbaun townlands. It crosses back into CountyOffaly and climbs east into Busherstown and Drumroe. It crosses the Keeloge Streaminto Moatquarter in County Tipperary and extends northeast back into County Offalythrough the townlands of Loughan and Castleroan 1.4 km southwest of Dunkerrin.3 Receiving environmentNorth Tipperary is bounded on the west by the River Shannon and Lough Derg withthe Silvermines, to the south, and small hills extending towards Devilsbit and BorrisnoeMountains to the east. The mountains are composed largely of Silurian strata and OldRed Sandstone. Copper, silver and lead deposits have been mined in the Silvermines. Thegeology of the lowlands consists of Carboniferous limestone covered by glacial drift inaddition to tracts of raised bog. The western portion of the study area is drained by the Ollatrim River which flowswestwards into the River Ballintotty which in turns drains into the River Nenagh. Theeastern portion is drained by the Keeloge Stream and other small water sources. These risein the foothills of the Silvermine Mountains and flow north. The Keeloge drains into theLittle Brosna River c. 1 km south of Shinrone, Co Offaly. The Brosna turns north anddrains into the Shannon south of Banagher. The largest population centre in the area is Nenagh. The smaller population centres,are Toomyvara, Moneygall and Dunkerrin. The soils on the route are characterised by 80% grey brown podzolics, 10% gleys, 5%brown earths and 5% basis peat. They are derived from glacial till of predominantly Car-boniferous limestone composition. These soils occur in Tipperary and Offaly and have awide use range being suitable for both tillage and pasture (Gardiner and Radford 1980,97-99). Land use along the route was a mix of grassland devoted to intensive dairying andcattle-rearing and tillage. 3
  12. 12. 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 Bronze Age (c. 2000 to 600BC) The Bronze Age is characterised by the introduction of metallurgy and an increase in settlement and burial sites. Copper ores were mined and copper, bronze and gold items manufactured. The range of burial site types includes cist graves, pit and urn burials, cremation cemeteries, barrows, ring-ditches and wedge tombs. Stone circles and stand- ing stones also date to the Bronze Age. Both enclosed and unenclosed settlement sites are known. The most prolific Bronze Age site type is the fulacht fiadh. These monuments survive as low mounds of charcoal rich black silt, packed with heat-shattered stones, and generally situated close to a water source. Fulachta fiadh are generally classified as ‘cook- ing places’, whereby stones were heated in a hearth and subsequently placed in a trough of water, the water continued to boil with the addition of hot stones and wrapped food was cooked within the hot water. The trough eventually filled with small stones, ash and charcoal that were removed, forming the basis of the familiar mound.4
  13. 13. 190400 196200 202000 207800 Derrycarney-e3740 186400 186400 Castleroan 1 Derrycarney 1 E 3909 Busherstown 1 E 3661 Loughan 1 Greenhills 3 E 4000 E 3658 Moneygall 2 Culleenwaine 1 E 3635 E 3741 Moatquarter 1 Clynoe 2 E 3910 E 3774 181800 181800 Park 1 Drumroe 1 Garravally Kilgorteen 1 E 3659 E 3773 E 3589 E 3739 Drumbaun 2 Derrybane 2 E 3912 E 3591 Greenhills 1 Greenhills 2 E 3638 E 3637 Clashnevin 2 E 3590 Clash 1 Park 2 E 3660 E 3772 Derrycarney 1 E 3740 Clashnevin 1 Derrybane 1 Killeisk 1 E 3586 E 3585 E 3587 177200 177200 0 3 6 Kilometres ± 190400 196200 202000 207800 Figure 2: The route of the N7 Castletown to Nenagh overlain on the Ordnance Survey Discovery Series map with all the excavation sites marked�
  14. 14. iSSUe 11: eachtra JoUrnal - iSSn 2009-2237 archaeological excavation report Two new fulachta fiadh or burnt mounds were recorded at Clashnevin 1 E3586, Cullenwaine 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 Castleroan 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). Early medieval period (c. AD 400 to 1100) The early medieval period is characterised by the arrival of Christianity to Ireland. The characteristic monument type of the period is the ringfort. Ringforts are the most nu- merous archaeological monument found in Ireland, with estimates of between 30,000 and 50,000 illustrated on the first edition of the Ordnance Survey 6” maps of the 1840’s (Barry 1987). As a result of continued research, the construction of these monuments has a narrow date range during the early medieval period between the 7th and 9th centuries AD. Although there are some very elaborate examples of ringforts, they often take the form of a simple earth or stone enclosure functioning as settlements for all classes of secu- lar society (Stout 1997). North Tipperary is rich in early ecclesiastical sites and the remains of these religious centres are at the core of some of the towns and villages. Roscrea, for example, was chosen by St Cronan as a location for his monastery in the seventh century as it was located at the crossroads on the Slighe Dála, an important roadway in early medieval times (NIAH 2006, 4-8). A possible early medieval enclosure and associated road way was recorded at Killeisk E3587. 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 towns of Nenagh, Roscrea, Thurles and Templemore and established markets. Nenagh grew rapidly in the aftermath of the granting of the lands of Munster to Theobald fitzWalter in6
  15. 15. Derrycarney-e3740 1: Aerial view of Derrycarney from south�1185 (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 at Greenhills.5 Site Location and TopographyThe site at Derrycarney was located on level ground at 100 m OD equidistant from Kilgo-rteen E3372 and Killeisk E3371 (Plate 1). The ground was used for tillage.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 until 7
  16. 16. 8 194916 195916 UMMERA GORTNADRUMMAN BALLYMACKEY FALLEEN DERRYCARNEY KILGORTEEN 180065 180065 GARRAVALLY iSSUe 11: eachtra JoUrnal - iSSn 2009-2237 Kilgorteen 1 ibutary Derrycarney 1 Garravally River Tr Ollatrim LISSANISKY KIlleisk 1 179415 179415 KILLEISK GARRYNAFANA 0 300 PALLAS WEST 600 CLONTEIGE Meters 194916 195916 ¥ Figure 3: Portion of the Ist edition Ordnance Survey Map TN21 showing the location of Derrycarney� archaeological excavation report
  17. 17. 195125 195495 195865 Derrycarney-e3740 179919 179919 GORTNADRUMMAN DERRYCARNEY 440 0 G A R R AVA L LY 430 0 179689 179689 340 0 350 0 420 0 3600 410 0 370 0 4000 3800 3900 KILLEISK GAR RY N AFA N A 179459 179459 Derrycarney 1 (E3740) 0 100 200 Metres ± 195125 195495 195865 Figure 4: Location and extent of Derrycarney E3740 on the route of the N7 Castletown to Nenagh�
  18. 18. iSSUe 11: eachtra JoUrnal - iSSn 2009-2237 archaeological excavation report Plate 2: Mid-excavation of pit C�3 from north� 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 in the week of the 9th September 2008. Only areas within the LMA were resolved. Four cuttings were opened and stripped of topsoil. The full extent of the area of excavation measured 5298 m sq (Figure 4). The full record of excavated contexts is recorded in the context register and the strati- graphic matrix (Appendix 1). Detailed stratigraphic descriptions are found in the groups and sub-groups text (Appendix 2). The context register maybe viewed in the EAPOD (Eachtra Archaeological Projects office database) in the accompanying CD. 7 Excavation results Four cuttings were stripped of topsoil. One feature was recorded in the north-eastern cut- ting and four in the north-western cutting (Figure 5). A single pit C.3 was recorded in the eastern cutting. It measured 1.6 m by 0.86 m by 0.15 m in depth (Figure 6, Plate 2). A single fill was recorded in the pit. Four irregular features (C.9, C.10, C.11 and C.14) were recorded in the western cut- ting. They were very irregular in plan and shallow in nature and a single fill was recorded10
  19. 19. Derrycarney-e3740 3: Mid-excavation of irregular feature C�10 from north�in each (Plates 3-5). A layer C.16 was recorded 0.9 m to the south-west of C.14. A poorlypreserved single charred seed, was recovered from the fill of C.9 No artefacts were recovered from the fill of any of the features. With the exception ofa poorly preserved charred seed no ecofacts were recovered from any of the fills (Appendix3). No radiocarbon dates were obtained for any of the features.8 SummaryThe small scatter of ephemeral features is more likely to be natural in origin than archaeo-logical, with the possible exception of the pit C.3. A large area in proximity to the featureswas stripped of topsoil and no other features, stratigraphy or artefacts were recorded.Small clusters of ephemeral features were also recorded at other sites along the route e.g.Clashnevin 2 E3590 and Derrybane 1 E3585 further to the west but they consisted of amixture of feature types e.g. small pits, post-holes and stake-holes and could be definitelyclassified as archaeological in nature. 11
  20. 20. iSSUe 11: eachtra JoUrnal - iSSn 2009-2237 archaeological excavation report Figure 5: Post-excavation plan of Derrycarney�12
  21. 21. Derrycarney-e3740 1E3740South facing section of C.3 C.7 C.3 0 500 mmFigure 6: Section of pit C�3� 13
  22. 22. iSSUe 11: eachtra JoUrnal - iSSn 2009-2237 archaeological excavation report Plate 4: Pre-excavation of irregular feature C�9 from north� Plate 5: Post-excavation of irregular feature C�14 from north�14
  23. 23. Derrycarney-e3740 ReferencesFarrelly, J., and O’Brien, C. (2002) Archaeological Inventory of County Tipperary Vol. 1 - North Tipperary, The Stationery Office Dublin.Gardiner, M.J. and Radford,T. (1980) Soil 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’Conor, K.D. (1998) The Archaeology of Medieval Rural Settlement in Ireland, Discovery Programme Monographs No 3, Discovery Programme/Royal Irish Academy Dublin.Reimer, P.J., Baillie, M.G.L., Bard, E., Bayliss, A., Beck, J.W., Bertrand, C., Blackwell, P.G., Buck, C.E., Burr, G., Cutler, K.B., Damon, P.E., Edwards, R.L., Fairbanks, R.G., Friedrich, M., Guilderson, T.P., Hughen, K.A., Kromer, B., McCormac, F.G., Manning, S., Bronk Ramsey, C., Reimer, R.W., Remmele, S., Southon, J.R., Stuiver, M., Talamo, S., Taylor, F.W., van der Plicht, J. and Weyhenmeyer, C.E. (2004) ‘IntCal04 Terrestrial Radiocarbon Age Calibration, 0–26 Cal Kyr BP’, Radiocarbon 46, 1029-1058.Stuiver, M., and Reimer, P.J. (1993) ‘Extended (super 14) C data base and revised CALIB 3.0 (super 14) C age calibration program’, Radiocarbon 35, 215-230.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.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. 15
  24. 24. iSSUe 11: eachtra JoUrnal - iSSn 2009-2237 archaeological excavation report Appendix 1 Site matrix16
  25. 25. Derrycarney-e3740 2 Groups and subgroups Group 1 Natural deposits This group describes the natural geological deposits identified across the four areas ofexcavation. Subgroup 1 Topsoil List of Contexts; C.1 Description This subgroup describes the topsoil covering the archaeological features. It was a softmid greyish brown clayey silt. Subgroup 2 Subsoil List of Contexts; C.2 Description This subgroup describes the natural subsoil that formed across the areas of excavation.It was a stiff light yellowish orange clayey silt. Group 2 Pit This group describes a single pit located in the north-eastern area of the site. List of Contexts; C. [3], 7 Description A single pit [3] was located approximately in the centre of the north-eastern area ofthe site. It measured 1.59 m in length, 0.86 m in width and 0.15 m in depth. It was sub-rectangular in shape with a concave profile and gentle to moderately steep sloping sides. Itwas filled by a single deposit. The fill was a soft dark greyish brown silty clay (7) includingmoderate amounts of root material Interpretation This feature may represent a humanly excavated pit, due to its regular size and shape,however, with no archaeological finds within the fill and no further features in closeproximity, its function and date are difficult to determine. The organic nature of the fill(including the root material noted within it) may suggest that this feature was a tree bole. Group 3 Natural features This group describes four features and a spread which were located in the north-western area of the site. 17
  26. 26. iSSUe 11: eachtra JoUrnal - iSSn 2009-2237 archaeological excavation report Subgroup 1 Natural Features List of Contexts; C. [9], 12, [10], 13, [11], 15, [14], 17 Description Four features were located within the north-western area. These features varied in length from 0.95 m to 3.4m, varied in width from 0.45 m to 2.5 and varied in depth from 0.16m to 0.26m. They were in general irregular in shape with gentle to vertical sloping sides and a concave profile. The fills vary in colour from mid red- dish brown to dark greyish brown in colour and are in general clayey silt in compaction. Inclusions of charcoal flecks were present in the fills of two of these features Interpretation These features represent the remains of naturally occurring vegetation boles. Their ir- regular sizes and shapes and the lack of archaeological remains within their fills supports this theory. The charcoal inclusions within the fills of two features most likely occurred due to natural decomposition of organic material. Subgroup 2 Layer List of Contexts; C.16. Description A layer of material was located 0.9 m south-west of feature [14]. It measured 0.97 m in length, 0.6 m in width and 0.06 m in depth. It was a soft dark greyish brown clayey silt and had moderate small and medium pieces of charcoal inclusions. Interpretation This layer is closely connected to the four natural features above. It may represent the remains of organic material, possibly associated with the feature [14]. The charcoal inclu- sions most likely occurred due to natural decomposition of material.18
  27. 27. Derrycarney-e3740 3 Plant Remains By Penny Johnston Introduction This report details the results of preliminary assessment work carried out on sievedsamples from Derrycarney 1, Co. Tipperary. The site comprised a scatter of ephemeralarchaeological features, possibly associated with prehistoric occupation. Methodology The samples were collected on site as bulk soil and were processed using machine-assisted 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 2samples were scanned. Recommendations for further analysis of charcoal Charcoal was present in small amounts in both samples from Derrycarney 1; it wasfound in low frequencies in both samples. The small number of samples and the low fre-quency of charcoal from this site suggests that these samples are not good candidates forfull charcoal analysis, although some of the charcoal from these samples could be identi-fied in advance of radiocarbon dating. Recommendations for further analysis of plant remains Charred seeds were present in one samples (C.12, S.2) but it was not identifiable dueto poor preservation quality. No other charred seed material was found in the samplesfrom this site and no further analytical work on the seeds is required. References Pearsall, D. 2000 Paleoethnobotany: a Handbook of Procedures. New York, AcademicPress.Table 1Sample Context Charcoal Seeds Percentage2 12 Low Low 1003 13 Low Low 100Table 1: Scanned samples from Derrycarney 1, Co� Tipperary (E3740) 19