Pits and post-holes
173916 168683
A026/017, A026/018, A026/019; E2401
Possible archaeological features were identified as part of test-trenching the proposed N7 route in early 2006. A026/017, A026/018 and A026/019 were each opened as separate trenches. These were all situated on the top of a ridge immediately north-west of Ballinahinch village.
Trench A026/017 produced a single pit feature. This irregular pit cut (1.5m by 0.7m) contained two fills with sparse amounts of charcoal. The area opened was substantial (186m2), but nothing else of archaeological significance was found.
Trench A026/018 was larger in area (490m2) and here many features had been truncated by modern ploughing. The archaeological features comprised two post-holes and eight medium-sized pits, all containing relatively sterile fills. At the west of the trench two large but shallow pits were excavated. These contained fills of medium to large pebbles and had been interpreted as ‘rock dumps’ in previous test-trenching. The loose compaction of these fills also pointed to poor levels of preservation and therefore they remain enigmatic features. Ploughing had seemingly also been responsible for creating numerous stone sockets across the site.
Trench A026/019 contained many features but few were of archaeological significance. Two deep circular post-holes were excavated in the centre of the area, but these appear to have been isolated. A small-scale linear feature was found, orientated north–south. The trench was extended to follow this, but the feature was nothing more than a meandering field drain of indeterminate date. The majority of features identified during previous test-trenching were subsequently found to represent a grove of trees that had been burned.
Collectively, the trenches illustrate archaeological activity across the area, none of which seems intense. It may relate to off-site activity from the nearby enclosure E2400 (see No. 1802 above).
Aidan Harte, Aegis Archaeology Ltd, 32 Nicholas Street, King’s Island, Limerick.

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