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Archaeological excavation report, E3835 Moanmore 1, County Kilkenny.

Jennings, RP and Coughlan, T (2012) Archaeological excavation report, E3835 Moanmore 1, County Kilkenny. National Monument Service. Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, Dublin..

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Abstract

rish Archaeological Consultancy Ltd (IAC), funded by the National Roads Authority (NRA) through Kilkenny County Council, undertook an excavation at the site of AR133, Moanmore 1 along the proposed N9/N10 Kilcullen to Waterford Scheme, Phase 4 – Knocktopher to Powerstown (Figure 1). The following report describes the results of archaeological excavation at that site. The area was fully excavated by Richard Jennings under Ministerial Direction A032 and Excavation Registration Number E3835 issued by the DOEHLG in consultation with the National Museum of Ireland for IAC. The fieldwork took place between the 7 November and 12 December 2007. Excavation at Moanmore 1 produced evidence of burnt mound activity. The activity was located at the site of a former stream or paleo-channel. The stream may represent an earlier channel of a small tributary of the Barrow that flows to the south of the site. The burnt mound activity was located at the bend in this watercourse. The majority of the activity was focussed on the south-west side of the stream and two separate troughs and a pit were located here. Trough 1 was roughly oval in plan, although a shallow extension of the cut to the west may have created a step, possibly for accessing the trough. A small circular pit was located to the south of Trough 1. Its function is unclear. To the west of Trough 1 and the pit was Trough 2. This was slightly larger than Trough 1 and had a post/stakehole in each corner. This was evidence that the trough was probably originally lined, most likely by timber planks that were held in position by the corner posts. Radiocarbon dating of the pit and Trough 2 indicates that the activity on the southwest of the stream bend is contemporary and dated to the mid-late Bronze Age. Between Troughs 1 and 2 were four separate sets of post and stakeholes that appeared to make up the four corners of a roughly north south aligned square (Figure 5). The post/stakeholes in the two western groups were generally larger than those in the eastern groups. The concentration of postholes and stakeholes would suggest that one or more structures, associated with burnt mound activity, existed to the east of Trough 2. It seems likely that any erected structure was more directly associated with Trough 2 as the west posts/stakes appear to flank a possible entrance to the trough. The mirroring of the north-south clustering on the east side, despite the posts/stakes being smaller, would point towards a single structure that would have supported a canopy or light roof. This would have covered over the area in front of the entrance to Trough 2 and potentially covered a walkway between the two troughs. The quantity of post/stakeholes and the evidence of re-cutting of earlier posts/stakes would suggest that the structure or structures were temporary in nature and were rebuilt each time the trough was used. A third trough (Trough 3) was located on the north side of the former water channel. Trough 3 was sub-rectangular in plan. Post/stakeholes around the perimeter of part of the base suggest that it was originally timber lined. The trough is undated so it is unclear whether it is contemporary with the activity on the other side of the stream. The burnt mound deposits associated with the activity on both sides of the river had become merged although the deposit most likely associated with Trough 3 had a distinctly redder tone. The reason for this is unclear . In the north of the site there were three isolated pits which were filled with burnt mound material. Due to their distance from the main burnt mound activity it is unlikely that they are contemporary or related. They may represent a series of pit boilers or oven roasters, as no overlying mound deposit was recorded in the area. Overlying the burnt mound deposits by the stream was a deposit of silty clay. This appeared to have formed naturally but it is not known when. It sealed some of the perimeter of the burnt mound spreads and may be associated with silt developing due to the stream being blocked with burnt mound material. A total of two samples were sent for AMS radiocarbon dating. A sample of alder charcoal from pit fill C147 was radiocarbon dated. The 2 sigma calibrated result was 1258–1030BC (UBA 14052). A sample of ash charcoal from pit fill C37 was also radiocarbon dated. The 2 sigma calibrated result was 1256–937BC (UBA 14122). This site consisted of a burnt mound complex situated beside a bend in a silted-up stream. The site is important locally as there have been few archaeological monuments recorded in this area dating to the Bronze Age and it represents the first site in the area definitively dated to the late Bonze Age. The site is also of regional importance in terms of the research and study of burnt mound sites and the function and form. The potential for structural activity between the two troughs is significant and the identification of structures outside the troughs themselves is not commonplace on burnt mound excavations. The fact that these structures were repeatedly erected in the same location shows that the site had multiple phases/seasons of use. This suggests that the site was not the location of a transient activity but was repeatedly returned to which could imply it had a significance socially or culturally. It is interpreted that the site may have been a bathing place, possibly in addition to cooking or feasting although no definitive evidence was recovered to clearly indicate its function.

Item Type: Other
Subjects: C Auxiliary Sciences of History > CC Archaeology
Divisions: Biological & Environmental Sciences (new Sep 19)
Publisher: National Monument Service. Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, Dublin.
Date Deposited: 20 May 2021 11:08
Last Modified: 20 May 2021 11:08
DOI or Identification number: 10.7486/DRI.ws85q0866
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/14917

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