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

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The excavation of the site at Park revealed a multiperiod site, the site extended over a distance of c.450m. The earliest phase of activity, dated to the Bronze Age, was represented by a concentration of pits, postholes and stake-holes in the western area of the site. A cluster of nine stake-holes represented the remnants of a small structure, c. 5m in diameter.
In the far western extent of the site four oval cremation pits were recorded.
A concentration of 77 pits and six hearths, dated to the medieval period, was located across the area of the excavation. A later phase of medieval activity at the site was associated with four kilns. A keyhole-shaped kiln was excavated in the western part of the site.
This comprised a flue and two chambers. Another kiln was located c. 95m west of the eastern limit of excavation. It was dumb-bell shaped and fragments of rotary querns were used as part of the stone lining. A third kiln was recorded just 90m further west. It was a stone-lined keyhole-shaped kiln and comprised two chambers and a flue. The fourth kiln was partly destroyed by a later ditch. Quern stone fragments were recovered from the fills of three pits, two kilns and two ditches. Limited evidence for metalworking was recorded at the site, slag was found in two of the ditches, four pits and a hearth.
Several ditches extended across the site. Eight of the ditches may be medieval in origin and these were possibly associated with medieval enclosures and were probably contemporary with activity at the kilns. A small portion of an enclosure, c. 10m by 18m internally, was recorded at the western end of the site. It extended beyond the LMA to the south. No features were excavated in the interior. Fifteen of the ditches were interpreted as modern field boundaries.

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

  1. 1. Eachtra JournalIssue 11 [ISSN 2009-2237] Archaeological Excavation Report E3659 - Park 1, Co. Tipperary Prehistoric activity and Medieval settlement site
  2. 2. EACHTRAArchaeological Projects Archaeological Excavation Report Park 1 Co. Tipperary Prehistoric activity and Medieval settlement site Date: July 2011 Client: Laois County Council and National Roads Authority Project: N7 Castletown to Nenagh (Contract 1) E No: E3659Excavation Director: Gerry Mullins Written by: Gerry Mullins
  3. 3. Archaeological Excavation Report Park 1 Co. Tipperary Excavation Director Gerry Mullins Written By Gerry Mullins EACHTRA Archaeological Projects CORK GALWAY The Forge, Innishannon, Co. Cork Unit 10, Kilkerrin Park, Liosbain Industrial Estate, Galwaytel: 021 4701616 | web: www.eachtra.ie | email: info@eachtra.ie tel: 091 763673 | web: www.eachtra.ie | email: galway@eachtra.ie
  4. 4. © Eachtra Archaeological Projects 2011 The Forge, Innishannon, Co Cork Set in 12pt Garamond Printed in Ireland
  5. 5. Table of Contents Summary��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� v Acknowledgements�������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� viScope of the project ����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 1Route location������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������ 1Receiving environment������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 3Archaeological 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)���������������������������������������������������������������� 7 Post-medievalperiod(c�1650tothepresent)��������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 7Site Location and Topography ����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 7Excavation methodology ��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 7Excavation results ��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 10 EarlyBronzeAgeartefacts������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������10 MiddleBronzeAgefeatures���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������12 LateBronzeAgefeatures���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������12 Earlymedievalactivity�������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������13 Latermedievalfeatures�����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������22 Post-medieval/earlymodern�������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������30 Modern����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������39 � Undatedfeaturesandstructures��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 40 � Specialistanalysis��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������41Discussion������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������ 47References �����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������50Appendix 1 Stratigraphic Index �������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 53Appendix 2 Site Matrix �������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������54Appendix 3: Groups and Subgroups ������������������������������������������������������������������������������������ 65 Group1:NaturalDeposits������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������65 Group2:CultivationFurrows������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������65 Group3:ModernFieldBoundaryDitches��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������70 Group4:Earlymodernfieldboundaryditches���������������������������������������������������������������������������71 i
  6. 6. Group5:MedievalDitches����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������75 � Group6:TwoPotentialDryingKilns�������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 80 Group7:ThreeDryingKilns��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������81 Group8:Postholesandpotentialstructures��������������������������������������������������������������������������������85 � Group9:Stakeholes�������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������92 Group10:Pits������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 94 � Group11:Hearths��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 105 Group12:ModernAgriculturalFeatures��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 107 Group13:LinearFeature������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������ 107 Group14:CremationPit�������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������108 Group15:TreeBowl/RootandAnimalBurrows��������������������������������������������������������������������108 Group16:NaturalHollows,NonArchaeologicalandVoidNumbers���������������������������110 Appendix 4: Stone Tools ����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������111 Appendix 5: Lithics report ������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������ 117 Appendix 6: Pottery report ����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������122 Appendix 7: Animal bones�����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������125 Appendix 8: Archaeometallurgy Report ���������������������������������������������������������������������������126 Appendix 9: Plant remains �����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������136 Appendix 10: Osteoarchaeological Report�������������������������������������������������������������������������148 Appendix 11: Geophysical Report �����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������155ii
  7. 7. List of FiguresFigure 1: The route of the N7 Castletown to Nenagh overlain on the Ordnance Survey Discovery Series map� ������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������ 2Figure 2: The route of the N7 Castletown to Nenagh overlain on the Ordnance Survey Discovery Series map with all the excavation sites marked� ����������������������������������������������������� 5Figure 3: Portion of the Ist edition Ordnance Survey Map TN21 showing the location of Park 1� � 8Figure 4: Location and extent of Park 1 E3659 on the N7 Castletown to Nenagh� ����������������������������� 11Figure 5: Post-excavation plan of Park 1� ���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 16Figure 6: West facing section of pit C�341 showing fills C�478, C�371, C�575, C�370, C�369, C�560, later cut C�2184, fills C�366, C�352, C�419 and C�330� C�467 is not visible in this section� ������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������ 19Figure 7: East-facing section of kiln C�291 showing hearths C�448, C�368 and C�380 and kiln fills �����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������20Figure 8: Medieval enclosing ditch C�297� ���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������26Figure 9: Medieval ditch C�157 is truncated by ditch C�151, southeast facing section�����������������������29Figure 10: Southeast facing section of early modern ditch C�534 showing C�544 from which a cereal sample was recovered� ����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������33Figure 11: Northwest facing section of kiln C�514 showing fills C�515, C�538, C�537, C�536, C�559 and C�570� ���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������35Figure 12: Post-excavation plan of Kiln cut C�2180 and associated fills C�2198, C�2183, C�2205, C�2204, C� 2207, C�2206, C�2200, C�2181 and C�2199� �������������������������������������������������������������������36Figure 13: Stone lining C�2198 on northern and southern side of kiln C�2180 ���������������������������������������37Figure 14: Medieval ditch C�2112 was truncated by modern feature C�2114�������������������������������������������38Figure 15: Post-excavation plan of modern ditches and agricultural furrows of Park 1� ��������������������42Figure 16: Interpretative geophysical plan of Park 1 overlain on the Ordnance Survey Discovery Series map� ����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������44 iii
  8. 8. List of Plates Plate 1: Aerial view of Park 1 looking east� ������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 9 Plate 2: View of Park 1 mid-excavation looking east� ���������������������������������������������������������������������������������10 Plate 3: Pre excavation view of cremation pit C�272� ���������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 13 Plate 4: Mid-excavation of kiln C�291 at Park 1 (Photo: John Sunderland)������������������������������������������ 14 Plate 5: South facing section of kiln C�291 showing hearth C�380 truncating C�294���������������������� 15 Plate 6: Aerial view of enclosing ditch C�297 looking south� ������������������������������������������������������������������� 15 Plate 7: View of Medieval ditch C�1007 looking south� ������������������������������������������������������������������������������21 Plate 8: Pre excavation view of pit C�39� ����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������28 Plate 9: Burnt soil C�2146 truncated by early modern ditch C�2114� ������������������������������������������������������28 Plate 10: View of ditches C�157, C�43 and C�47 in the centre and ditch C�1007 in foreground at Park 1 from east� ����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������30 Plate 11: View of Early Modern Ditch C�43 and pit C�1039 looking southeast� ������������������������������������ 31 Plate 12: Kiln C�514 looking southeast showing primary fill C�538� ��������������������������������������������������������� 31 Plate 13: View of kiln C�2180 looking east showing C�2198� �����������������������������������������������������������������������33 Plate 14: View of the eastern chamber kiln C�2180 looking northeast� ��������������������������������������������������34 Plate 15: C�2146 truncated by early modern ditch C�2114� ��������������������������������������������������������������������������34 Plate 16: Mid-excavation of post-hole C�241� ��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 41 Plate 17: Collection of stone artefacts from Park 1 (Photo: John Sunderland)� �����������������������������������45 List of Tables Table 1: Radiocarbon dates����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 41 Table 2: Radiocarbon dates for Bronze Age structures on the route of the N7 (C1)� ������������������������46iv
  9. 9. Park 1-E3659 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3659-park1-co-tipperary/SummaryThe excavation of the site at Park revealed a multiperiod site, the site extended over a dis-tance of c.450m. The earliest phase of activity, dated to the Bronze Age, was representedby a concentration of pits, postholes and stake-holes in the western area of the site. A clus-ter of nine stake-holes represented the remnants of a small structure, c. 5m in diameter.In the far western extent of the site four oval cremation pits were recorded. A concentration of 77 pits and six hearths, dated to the medieval period, was locatedacross the area of the excavation. A later phase of medieval activity at the site was associ-ated with four kilns. A keyhole-shaped kiln was excavated in the western part of the site.This comprised a flue and two chambers. Another kiln was located c. 95m west of theeastern limit of excavation. It was dumb-bell shaped and fragments of rotary querns wereused as part of the stone lining. A third kiln was recorded just 90m further west. It was astone-lined keyhole-shaped kiln and comprised two chambers and a flue. The fourth kilnwas partly destroyed by a later ditch. Quern stone fragments were recovered from the fillsof three pits, two kilns and two ditches. Limited evidence for metalworking was recordedat the site, slag was found in two of the ditches, four pits and a hearth. Several ditches extended across the site. Eight of the ditches may be medieval in originand these were possibly associated with medieval enclosures and were probably contem-porary with activity at the kilns. A small portion of an enclosure, c. 10m by 18m inter-nally, was recorded at the western end of the site. It extended beyond the LMA to thesouth. No features were excavated in the interior. Fifteen of the ditches were interpretedas modern field boundaries.Road project name N7 Castletown to NenaghSite name Park 1E no. E3772Site director Gerry MullinsTownland ParkParish Aghnameadle and BallymackeyCounty TipperaryBarony Upper OrmondOS Map Sheet No. TN22National Grid Reference 199643 180953 v
  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 are by Maurizio Toscano, photographs by John Sunderland and Eagle Photography and aerial photography by StudioLab. Specialist anal- ysis was carried out by Mary Dillon, Penny Johnston, Linda Lynch, Margaret McCarthy, Helen Roche and Eoin Grogan, Tim Young, and the 14 Chrono Centre at Queen’s Uni- versity Belfast.vi
  11. 11. Park 1-E3659 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3659-park1-co-tipperary/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.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 southeast 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
  12. 12. 182550 198900 2152502 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
  13. 13. Park 1-E3659 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3659-park1-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.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. 3
  14. 14. iSSUE 11: Eachtra JoUrnal - iSSn 2009-2237 archaEological Excavation rEPort 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. A group of pits, dated to the Middle Neolithic was excavated at Culleenwaine E3741 and a hearth-side group of pits at Drumbaun E3912. A few sherds of Early Neolithic pottery was recorded at both sites. Stone tools dating to the Neolithic were recorded at Busherstown E3661, Clash E3660 and Greenhills 2 and 3 E3637 and E3658. Stone tools dating to the late Neolithic/Early Bronze Age were recorded at Busherstown E3661, Cas- tleroan E3909, Culleenwaine 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 food4
  15. 15. 190400 196200 202000 207800 Park 1-E3659 Park 1 186400 186400 Castleroan 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� http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3659-park1-co-tipperary/5
  16. 16. iSSUE 11: Eachtra JoUrnal - iSSn 2009-2237 archaEological Excavation rEPort was cooked within the hot water. The trough eventually filled with small stones, ash and charcoal that were removed, forming the basis of the familiar mound. Two new fulachta fiadh 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) 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, 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 and Conran 2008, 51). These include a ditched enclosure in Ballywilliam and a wooden trackway in Annaholty Bog excavated on the route of the N7 Nenagh-Limerick (Taylor 2008, 54). Evidence of domestic activity dating to the Late Bronze Age / Early Iron Age was recorded at Clashnevin 2. 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 E3774.6
  17. 17. Park 1-E3659 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3659-park1-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 oftower houses. The Anglo-Normans obtained charters in the thirteenth century for thetowns of Nenagh, Roscrea, Thurles and Templemore and established markets. Nenaghgrew rapidly in the aftermath of the granting of the lands of Munster to Theobald fit-zWalter in 1185 (NIAH 2006, 8). Moated sites represent the remains of isolated, semi-de-fended homesteads in rural areas. They were build mainly in the late thirteenth and earlyfourteenth centuries in counties, such as Wexford, Kilkenny, Tipperary, mid-Cork andLimerick, that were colonised by English settlers (O’Conor 1998, 58). The ArchaeologicalInventory for North Tipperary lists 39 moated sites (Farrelly and O’Brien 2002, 298). A newly recorded moated site was excavated at Busherstown E3661.Post-medieval period (c. 1650 to the present).The post-medieval period is characterised by mills, limekilns, workhouses, country hous-es and associated demesnes, vernacular buildings and field systems (Figure 3). A smalldemesne associated with a county house was recorded in the townland of Greenhills.Site Location and TopographyThe site at Park (Plates 1 and 2) was located on a level ground at c. 110m OD overlookingthe River Ollatrim to the west. The site was well drained with a very slight slope to theeast and south. The subsoil was a mix of clay and gravel that accumulated from glacialoutwash. The fulacht fiadh at Park 2 E3772 was located c. 100m to the east of the site onlower wetter ground. Park townland is enclosed to the north, east and west by the River Ollatrim and smallwatercourses. The eastern boundary of Park is also the county bounds between Offalyand Tipperary. The southern boundary is a field boundary comprising of a bank and sea-sonal field drain. There are 173 acres in Park.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 was 7
  18. 18. 198157 199157 2001578 ROSDREHID Clynoe 2 CLYNOE CARROWEA 181333 181333 BALLYKNOCKANE Ollatrim (River) Park 2 Park 1 iSSUE 11: Eachtra JoUrnal - iSSn 2009-2237 PARK Clash 1 180683 180683 CLASH 0 300 600 ¥ Meters 198157 199157 200157 180033 Figure 3: Portion of the Ist edition Ordnance Survey Map TN21 showing the location of Park 1� archaEological Excavation rEPort
  19. 19. Park 1-E3659 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3659-park1-co-tipperary/Plate 1: Aerial view of Park 1 looking east�as per the Procedures for Archaeological works as attached to the licence method state-ments for excavation licences. The site was excavated from 29 September 2007 to the 17 November 2007. Only areaswithin the LMA (lands made available) were resolved. The full extent of the area of exca-vation measured 13900msq (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). Some of the context numbers in Area 1and in Area 2 at Park 1 were duplicated during the course of the excavation. It was de-cided in post-excavation to re-number the context numbers in Area 2 to avoid repetitionof numbers. The context numbers from 3 to 209 in Area 2 were re-numbered 2003 to2209. The associated drawing numbers from 1 to 133 were re-numbered 301 to 433 andthe bone sample numbers from 1 to 6 were re-numbered 301 to 306. It was not possible tochange the context numbers on the photographic board included in the site photographs.The relevant area number (Area 1 or Area 2) prefaces the context number illustrated onthe board. 9
  20. 20. iSSUE 11: Eachtra JoUrnal - iSSn 2009-2237 archaEological Excavation rEPort Plate 2: View of Park 1 mid-excavation looking east� Excavation results Park 1 was divided into two areas, Area 1 and Area 2, Area 1 measured 6900msq while Area 2 measured 7000msq (Figure 5). The prehistoric archaeological remains from Park 1 included Early Bronze Age finds, a Middle Bronze Age cremation pit and possibly associ- ated features, Late Bronze Age pottery from a pit and a possible building (Structure 1) and another possible prehistoric building (Structure 3). Material from the historic period included early medieval pits corn drying kilns, a building (Structure 4), an enclosing ditch and iron smelting features, as well as some iron finds. Later medieval archaeological remains included filed boundary ditches and pits. Human activities continued at Park into the modern era, represented by field boundaries, stakeholes and evidence of modern farming practices. Early Bronze Age artefacts During the course of soil stripping at Park 1 three flint flakes were recovered (1:1–3). All of these refitted together, suggesting flint knapping at the site. These artefacts have been dated to the Early Bronze Age (Appendix 5). Three quartzite rubbing stones recovered from the topsoil (1:5–7) have also, following specialist analysis, been attributed a Bronze Age date (Appendix 5). However, all these finds were recovered from the topsoil, not from sealed contexts.10
  21. 21. 199260 199630 200000 ROSDREHID Park 1-E3659 890 0 181176 181176 880 0 870 0 PA R K 86 00 85 00 84 00 180946 180946 83 00 82 00 81 00 80 00 180716 180716 CLASH Olla trim 79 Park 1 (E3659) 00 ( Ri ver ) 0 100 200 Metres ± 78 00 199260 199630 200000 Figure 4: Location and extent of Park 1 E3659 on the N7 Castletown to Nenagh� http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3659-park1-co-tipperary/11
  22. 22. iSSUE 11: Eachtra JoUrnal - iSSn 2009-2237 archaEological Excavation rEPort Middle Bronze Age features Cremation pit (Group 14) The earliest clearly dateable feature excavated at Park was a token cremation pit burial (C.272, Plate 3). Radiocarbon analysis of the bone confirmed that it dated from 1300– 1118 cal BC (UBA-15451), placing it firmly in the Middle Bronze Age. This was not a complete human cremation burial, as the required weight of bone did not occur in the pit. According to McCormick et al. (1995, 93), a full human adult cremated skeleton weighs between 2500 and 3000 grams. McKinley (1989) states that a cremated human adult skeleton can weight between 1600 grams and 3500 grams, obviously depending on the sex and age of the individual. The excavated cremated human bone at Park weighed 49 grams. A fragment of worked bone was recovered from the fill, perhaps representing a grave good. It is therefore probable that the feature was a token burial rather than the complete cremated human remains. Features possibly associated with burials (Group 10A, 10B, 10W and 10X) The area in which pit C.272 occurred was severely truncated in all directions by later cul- tivation furrows. Perhaps other examples of token cremation pits, or indeed shallow cist burials, were destroyed during the process of later cultivation. It is possible that pits C.316, C.318 and C.325 could have originally been associated with the cremation pit, although no cremated bone was recovered. There was no evidence for an accompanying pyre. The closest burnt pit (C.293) at Park was found 20 m east of token cremation pit C.272. But there was no evidence re- covered from its excavation to confirm that it had been used in association with funerary ritual. Perhaps funeral pyres occur elsewhere in unexcavated and untested areas. The identification by Frazer (2009, 37: Location 11) of a ring-ditch some short dis- tance (c. 100 m) north of the excavated area, together with the other pit and cist burial evidence, confirms the area to have been widely used as a cemetery. Ring ditches have been associated with both cremation and inhumation burials and the majority date from the Bronze Age (Newman 1997, 160). Based of previously recorded evidence, particularly that at Belfast Road, Downpatrick, Co. Down (Cleary 2005, 27) there is no reason to sug- gest that the site at Park did not serve both a settlement and cemetery function. Late Bronze Age features Pit (Group 10I) Approximately 75 m to the east of cremation pit C.272, 28 pieces of Late Bronze Age pot- tery (Appendix 6), both body and rim sherds, were recovered from a pit (C.24). This was located near Structure 1 (see below for description) and may have been associated with it.12
  23. 23. Park 1-E3659 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3659-park1-co-tipperary/Plate 3: Pre excavation view of cremation pit C�272�Structure 1 (Group 8A and 9A)A small structure (see Figure 5A) was located close to the Late Bronze Age pit. It com-prised a post-hole (C.90) and ten stake-holes (C.22, C.53, C.129, C.145, C.152, C.159,C.161, C.164, C.165 and C.174). It was roughly U-shaped or oval in plan and was c. 5m in diameter. There was just a single setting of posts/stakes. There was no hearth foundand the structural evidence, although reasonably sturdy, may not have served to supporta permanent dwelling. It is even possible that the structure served a non-domestic func-tion, although there is no indication of what this was. Of the seven proposed ‘structures’identified at Park, Structure 1 was the most clearly defined. The other light structureslocated at the site are difficult to date; they might be associated with Bronze Age activitiesor with the early medieval period.Early medieval activityRadiocarbon analysis has placed three features on the Park site in the early medievalperiod, a pit, a kiln and an enclosing ditch. Other material probably dating to the earlymedieval period included a structure (Structure 4), iron working features and finds suchas an iron ring and a knife blade. 13
  24. 24. iSSUE 11: Eachtra JoUrnal - iSSn 2009-2237 archaEological Excavation rEPort Plate 4: Mid-excavation of kiln C�291 at Park 1 (Photo: John Sunderland)� Pit C.341 (Group 10A) The first and most westerly of the early medieval activity was represented by a pit (C.341) (Figures 5A 6). The pit was recut (C.2184) and charcoal recovered from a secondary fill (C.352) returned a radiocarbon date of cal AD 694–876 (UBA-15099). Slag was found in the pit and this indicated that metalworking was being practiced in the vicinity during the 8th/9th century. Pit C.341 also produced the largest identifiable collection of animal bone from the Park 1 site, including some burnt and unburnt bones. These have been identified as cattle, sheep and a possible horse (Appendix 7). These animal species roughly conform to the early medieval Irish economy described by Stout (1997, 35–8). But it is perhaps surprising that more pig bone was not present. The bone assemblage was recov- ered from contexts both pre-dating and post-dating the recut and it is considered that the time lapse involved between cuts was minimal, as the sandy nature of the soil in the area is very prone to collapse, especially in the rain. Kiln (Group 7A) and possible kiln (Group 6A) A corn drying kiln (C.291, Group 7A), (Figures 5A 7, plates 4 5) roughly contem- porary with pit C.341, was found approximately 50 m to the southeast. Cereal recovered from a kiln basal fill (C.314) returned a radiocarbon date of cal AD 685–862 (UBA- 15045). Monk and Kelleher (2005, 105) have referred to problems with kiln dating and it is important that in this case cereal was recovered from a secure basal fill. It is noteworthy that kiln C.291 appears to be set in a corner protected on the east by proposed medieval ditch C.452. The occurrence of the kiln, in association with the evi- dence of domestic animal keeping, allows an insight into the economy of early medieval Ireland. Again, this is in broad agreement with the evidence identified by Stout (1997) for this period.14
  25. 25. Park 1-E3659 http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3659-park1-co-tipperary/Plate 5: South facing section of kiln C�291 showing hearth C�380 truncating C�294�Plate 6: Aerial view of enclosing ditch C�297 looking south� A possible kiln (C.1002) was truncated by post-medieval/early modern ditch C.47.The preserved remains of one chamber (the western) measured 0.4 m by 0.3 m by 0.38 min depth. There was no stone lining or burnt soil present and a small amount of grain wasnoted in the chamber fill. It is therefore evident that the fire occurred in the destroyedchamber. It seems that the kiln belonged either to the figure of eight or to the dumb-bellcategory. According to Monk and Kelleher (2005, 105–6) this type of kiln pre-dates the 15
  26. 26. Figure 5: Post-excavation plan of Park 1.16 318 452 389 250 97 205 ± 390 341 Cremation pits Structure 5 410 239 316 189 228 400 397 143 210 468 55 24 Structure 3 184 90 with associated pits Structure 1 174 164 282 422 165 145 141 22 53 62 152 241 Structure 2 373 305 18 297 481 42 379 293 272 267 269 433 452 Enclosure iSSUE 11: Eachtra JoUrnal - iSSn 2009-2237 Structure 4 431 Kiln 435 404 438 Structure 7 385 440 393 411 291 442 447 1/4 149 2/4 86 127 1001 155 180 45 125 124 ± 119 39 214 73 Ditch 112 1002 1048 182 1007 33 48 192 36 4 1018 199 1009 Metal 57 59 109 198 1013 83 working 68 1079 28 26 1039 1113 1050 1063 1101 1059 14 1075 8 1091 6 12 1067 1089 1041 1105 168 1056 157 Kiln Hearth 0 25 m Figure 5a: Post-excavation plan of western area of Park 1� archaEological Excavation rEPort
  27. 27. 3/4 ± 2208 2030 585 2060 2180 Park 1-E3659 517 2097 2085 545 2006 2136 2174 2191 519 2013 2083 2134 2167 2196 611 2169 2142 Structure 6 2003 2190 563 2107 2124 2138 2027 2048 2175 2041 2022 2011 2044 2094 2203 2017 2102 2100 2033 2187 2104 2112 2074 609 2071 561 4/4 ± 546 567 513 530 542 540 514 532 550 505 501 Kiln Hearth 0 25 m Figure 5b: Post-excavation plan of eastern area of Park 1� http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e3659-park1-co-tipperary/17

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