Tipperary
2006:1857
Site AR42, Fennor
Bronze Age house and pits
226714 162899
E2384
An excavation was carried out in August and September 2006 in advance of the construction of the M8/N8 Cullahill to Cashel road improvement scheme. Prior assessment and centreline test-trenching was carried out by Melanie McQuade in 2005 (Excavations 2005, No. 1388, A027/013). A circular Bronze Age house was excavated. The settlement activity was situated on gently sloping ground overlooking a large low-lying area of former wetland and reclaimed bog close to the county boundary. Two denuded burnt-mound/fulacht fiadh sites were located 200m north of the house on the margins of the reclaimed wetland (see No. 1858 below, E2385).
Site AR42 consisted of 33 post-holes, eight pits, the truncated remains of a shallow slot-trench, a spread of burning and a single stake-hole. The area of archaeological activity measured 30m north–south by 20m. Features were concentrated in the vicinity of the house with a small number of outlying pits and post-holes. This circular house had a diameter of c. 6m and consisted of sixteen post-holes and a shallow, 3m-long curvilinear slot-trench to the south. A post-hole pair to the east flanked a possible entrance. A pit located centrally to the house structure had been backfilled with red, probably oxidised, clay. This feature may represent a hearth. A Bronze Age date is suggested based on morphology and diagnostic pottery remains; 25 sherds of prehistoric pottery were retrieved, two decorated with incised ornament. A single post-hole, one of a pair flanking the probable entrance, contained fifteen potsherds, including one decorated example. Four lithic implements were retrieved in the vicinity of the house, including a flint scraper.
Later agricultural activity was also identified. Ditches and plough furrows were present. Two large enclosure ditches, which produced 19th-century pottery and several spreads of burning associated with field clearance, were investigated. It is thought that this later activity had truncated some archaeological features and furthermore deep ploughing had removed the upper levels of many features and any traces of floor surfaces/occupation deposits within the house.
Mick Ó Droma, for Valerie J. Keeley Ltd, Brehon House, Kilkenny Road, Castlecomer, Co. Kilkenny.


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