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Archaeological excavation report, E3614 Ennisnag 1, County Kilkenny.

Jennings, RP and Coughlan, T (2011) Archaeological excavation report, E3614 Ennisnag 1, County Kilkenny. National Monuments Service, Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government.

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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 AR074, Ennisnag 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 E3614 issued by the DOEHLG in consultation with the National Museum of Ireland for IAC. The fieldwork took place between 20 August and 1 September 2007. The site was found off the brow of a hill, on a north-east facing slope that overlooked a small stream to the east. The most significant feature on the site was a linear slot- trench. Small freshly broken sherds of Neolithic carinated bowl were found within the brown sandy silt fill of the slot-trench. Four possible postholes were found close to the slot-trench. The slot-trench and the postholes possibly formed a temporary structure c. 3m by 4m in size, although radiocarbon dating evidence suggests that they may not be contemporary. Ten further pits / postholes were found within the 25m2 excavation area but none conformed to any obvious structural pattern. The site may represent a temporary camp site. The site produced eight sherds (plus five fragments, weight: 28g) representing two early Neolithic carinated bowls. The pottery is well-fired and little worn with mainly fresh surfaces and edge breaks. All of the material has quartzite inclusions. The fabric and inclusions indicate that the material represents the earliest type of Neolithic pottery in Ireland which is widely dated to c. 4000–3700 BC A sample of Ash charcoal from the slot-trench was sent for radiocarbon dating and returned a 2 sigma calibrated date of 3518–3368BC (UBA 15544). A sample of hazelnut shell from one of the postholes associated with the structure was sent for radiocarbon dating and returned a 2 sigma calibrated date of 3941–3696BC (UBA 15545) The site has produced evidence of a possible temporary shelter dated to the early Neolithic. Two possible phases, indicated by radiocarbon dating, and the presence of freshly broken sherds of carinated bowl within the slot-trench suggest that the site may have had a more ritual significance to the early Neolithic community. The site is of local importance as it represents the first evidence of early prehistory in the immediate area. The site is of regional importance as together with the results of other excavations along the N9/N10 Phase 4: Knocktopher to Powerstown it has widened our knowledge of the nature and distribution of early Neolithic settlement.

Item Type: Other
Subjects: C Auxiliary Sciences of History > CC Archaeology
Divisions: Biological & Environmental Sciences (new Sep 19)
Publisher: National Monuments Service, Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government
Date Deposited: 20 May 2021 11:32
Last Modified: 20 May 2021 11:32
DOI or Identification number: 10.7486/DRI.hd775j26b
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/14929

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