205840 127850; 205875 127961; 205959 128196
Three sites, Sites 125.4, 125.5 Site 127.1, located in the townland of Cloghabreedy, Co. Tipperary, were excavated along a section of the N8 Cashel to Mitchelstown road improvement scheme. Site 127.1 was first identified during testing carried out in August 2005 (Excavations 2005, No. 1412, 05E0877), while Sites 125.4 and 125.5 were uncovered during monitoring associated with the construction phase of the road scheme in April 2006 (A035/001, E2279, Carrigane/Owen’s & Bigg’s-Lot, Co. Cork).
Site 125.4 was located in a relatively flat field of pasture that had been subjected to intensive farming practices in the recent past. Following topsoil-stripping the site consisted of the truncated remains of four circular structures (Structures A–D), a number of fence lines and various other post-holes and pits The area investigated measured c. 50m (east–west) by 50m.
Structure A was located in the south-east corner of the site. It was subcircular in plan and had an internal diameter of 6.8m. It was defined by an incomplete curving slot-trench. This cut had a U-shaped profile and measured 0.2–0.3m in width and 0.1–0.3m in depth. The round house had a south-east-facing entrance that was defined by a pair of large double post-holes. A circular arrangement of post-holes, probably designed to support the roof, was identified in the interior of the structure. These post-holes measured 0.17–0.46m in diameter and 0.16–0.5m in depth. A number of pits probably related to domestic activity were also identified within the structure. A charcoal sample from one of the post-holes gave a radiocarbon date of 1666–1494 bc.
Structure B was identified c. 12m to the west of Structure A. The most definite part of this building was an east-facing entrance defined by a porch-like arrangement of post-holes. All that survived of the outer wall of the building were two short sections of slot-trench extending outwards from each of the large entrance post-holes. Numerous post- and stake-holes were located to the west of the entrance porch and these probably represent the remains of wall and roof supports associated with the building. Unfortunately, due to the truncated nature of the structure, these post- and stake-holes failed to form any coherent structural pattern. A charcoal sample from one of the post-holes gave a radiocarbon date of 1535–1414 BC.
Structure C was a small subcircular building that was located c. 5.5m to the north-east of Structure B. This structure, which measured 6m north–south by 4m, was defined by a subcircular arrangement of ten post-holes. These post-holes measured between 0.16–0.3m in diameter and between 0.2–0.3m in depth. All of the post-holes contained occasional flecks of charcoal, while one of them also contained a tiny fragment of cremated bone. The interior of the building was divided in two by a short north–south orientated line of five post-holes, 4m in length, which may have functioned as some form of internal division. These post-holes measured between 0.13–0.27m in diameter and between 0.16–0.25m in depth.
Structure D was located in the north-eastern part of the site. It was defined by a subcircular arrangement of substantial post-holes that had an internal diameter of c. 6.5m. These post-holes measured between 0.15–0. 47m in diameter and between 0.2–0.53m in depth. A circular arrangement of post-holes, probably designed to support the roof, was also identified in the interior of this structure, while a porch-like arrangement of post-holes formed a south-east facing entrance. A charcoal sample from one of the post-holes belonging to the structure gave a radiocarbon date of 1427–1268 bc. This site appears to represent the remains of large Middle Bronze Age settlement.
Site 125.5 was located in a large, relatively flat, field of pasture, c. 70m to the north of Site 125.4. Following topsoil-stripping the site consisted of an isolated cremation pit. The area investigated measured c. 20m (east–west) by 20m.The cremation burial was contained within a circular pit that measured 0.4m in diameter and 0.18m in depth. The sides and base of the pit were concave, with a gradual break of slope at the top and bottom of the cut. It was filled by blackish-brown silty clay that contained frequent flecks of charcoal and cremated bone.
Site 127.1 was located in a relatively flat field of pasture. Following topsoil-stripping the site consisted of an isolated cremation pit. The area investigated measured c. 15m (east–west) by 15m. The cremation was contained within a circular pit that measured 0.29m in diameter and 0.12m in depth. The sides and base of the pit were concave, with a gradual break of slope at the top and bottom of the cut. It was filled by mid-brown silty clay of friable compaction that contained occasional inclusions of cremated bone and hardly any charcoal. The cremation pit contained only a small amount of cremated bone, suggesting that it was a token burial.
Post-excavation work for these sites is ongoing.
Colm Moriarty, Margaret Gowen & Co. Ltd, 27 Merrion Square, Dublin 2.
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