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Archaeological excavation report, E3738 Shankill 2, County Kilkenny.

Jennings, RP and Coughlan, T (2013) Archaeological excavation report, E3738 Shankill 2, County Kilkenny. National Monuments Service. Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government, Dublin..

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Abstract

Irish Archaeological Consultancy Ltd (IAC), funded by the National Roads Authority (NRA) through Kilkenny County Council, undertook an excavation at the site of AR128, Shankill 2 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 E3738 issued by the DOEHLG in consultation with the National Museum of Ireland for IAC. The fieldwork took place between the 25 October and 5 December 2007. The main archaeological feature found at Shankill 2 was a keyhole shaped, stone lined medieval cereal-drying kiln set within an area that was possibly prone to flooding in the past. This was evident by the presence of silted-up stream channels and post-medieval field drains. Thirty-seven sherds of medieval pottery were retrieved from the site. A total of 13 sherds were identified as Leinster Cooking Ware, the most widespread medieval pottery type in Ireland and 21 sherds were identified as Kilkenny-type Ware. A number of lithic artefacts, typologically dated to the Neolithic, were recovered from the site. No Neolithic features were recorded on the site or in the immediate vicinity so these artefacts represent stray finds. Charcoal analysis of samples from the site recorded high oak concentrations from the kiln deposits that may represent the remains of the fuel chosen to be burnt as part of the kilning process. It is also possible that this oak charcoal reflects the remains of an internal structure or the superstructure of the kiln that had burnt down. Three samples of plant remains (charred seeds) were examined from the flue of the kiln. Seeds, mostly cereal grains, were found in all of the samples but they were generally recovered in small quantities, and in the most part were not identifiable to species. It was possible to identify a small number of cereals from the richest sample, and all the identifiable grains were wheat, most likely a free threshing wheat. This was probably bread wheat (Triticum aestivum) which historical records suggest was a crop in Ireland from at least the early medieval period. A single sample was sent for AMS radiocarbon dating. The results of the analysis dated holly charcoal from a deposit associated with the kiln. The 2 sigma calibrated date was AD1223–1274 (UBA 12237). The excavation at Shankill 2 has identified the remains of a medieval cereal-drying kiln. The site is isolated and no other similarly dated monuments are recorded in the vicinity. The site is of local importance as it represents the first excavated evidence of medieval activity in the immediate area. The site conforms typologically with our understanding of medieval cereal-drying kilns, and this has been confirmed through dating.

Item Type: Other
Subjects: C Auxiliary Sciences of History > CC Archaeology
Divisions: Biological & Environmental Sciences (new Sep 19)
Publisher: National Monuments Service. Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government, Dublin.
Date Deposited: 20 May 2021 11:11
Last Modified: 03 Sep 2021 23:16
DOI or Identification number: 10.7486/DRI.vm41b9784
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/14918

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