Fulachta fiadh
174345 169323
A026/011, A026/296–299;
This was located to the north of the village of Ballinahinch, Co. Tipperary. Possible archaeological features were recorded here during the centreline and offset test-trenching at the beginning of 2006.
A026/011 comprised two spreads of burnt material. The northern spread measured c. 10.05m east–west by 7.73m. Two possible troughs underlay this fulacht. The first trough had two fills and was oval in shape with vertical sides and a flat base. It measured 1.86m north–south by 1.5m. The second possible trough also had two fills. It was circular in shape with a flat base and measured 1.44m north–south by 1.58m. A linear feature also underlay this burnt material, as did two stake-holes, but their function has not been determined. The southern spread of burnt material measured 12.64m east–west by 10.85m. It overlay a trough, which had two fills. The trough was again oval in shape, with quite vertical sides and a flat base. It measured 1.92m north–south by 1.45m and was 0.82m deep. A piece of possibly worked chert was recovered from a grey clayey layer underlying the northern burnt spread.
No archaeological features or artefacts were recovered at sites A026/296 and A026/297. The test-trenching recorded a non-archaeological linear feature, a probable field drain.
A026/298 was located in the same trench as A026/299. A026/299 comprised a series of patchy deposits of fulacht fiadh material. A number of features were identified underneath the fulacht spreads. Two post-holes underlay a small spread of burnt material, while a stone-lined pit underlay a separate fulacht spread and this contained a stone setting. A number of other features were encountered which proved to be non-archaeological in nature. Clay underlying the fulacht fiadh material was initially thought to be in situ natural. However, possible features were noted underlying the clay. Analysis by Dr Stephen Carter revealed that flooding and water in the area had deposited clays at various times and that, in general, the stratigraphy of any archaeological features in this area was unreliable.
A026/299 was located in the same trench as A026/298. The feature uncovered there proved to be non-archaeological in nature.
A large number of samples were recovered during the excavations that will be subject to processing in the post-excavation phase.
Aidan Harte, Aegis Archaeology Ltd, 32 Nicholas Street, King’s Island, Limerick.

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