Site AR40, Inchirourke
Burnt mounds, pits and troughs
An excavation was carried out in October and November 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 in 2005 (Excavations 2005, No. 1388, A027/013). The site was adjacent to earthworks and Cloghnacorrath Castle in Graiguepadeen townland (a ruined tower-house). Site AR40 was discovered during testing of the route. Numerous potential archaeological features were identified including two burnt mounds, pits and linear features. Both the mounds had been disturbed and truncated by modern agricultural activity and modern field drains.
Mound A was located close to the central part of the site, measured 12m by 9m and was 0.35m in depth. Below this were two troughs, the first oval in shape and measuring 2.2m by 2m and 0.4m in depth. A portion of a quernstone was excavated from the lower deposits along with some animal bone. The second trough was subrectangular in shape, measuring 3.2m by 2m and 0.42m in depth.
Mound B was located on the eastern edge of the site. It measured 12m by 5.5m and was 0.4m in depth. It was disturbed by two modern field drains. When the mound was removed, a number of possible archaeological features were identified, but these proved to be natural depressions which contained material from the mound.
To the west of the site a small pit measuring 0.5m by 0.5m and 0.13m in depth was excavated. The upper deposit consisted of charcoal-rich soil and a few small fragments of burnt bone. This was the possible cremation pit identified during testing. The remaining deposits contained very little charcoal and no burnt bone. All the linear features on the site proved to be modern field boundary ditches/drains and agricultural furrows.
Gary Conboy, for Valerie J. Keeley Ltd, Brehon House, Kilkenny Road, Castlecomer, Co. Kilkenny.
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