Eachtra Journal

ISSN 2009-2237

A field system at Drumharsna North, Co. Galway (E3868)

October, 2010 · Written by: Eachtra Print This Page This entry is part 14 of 23 in the Issue 08

Archaeological Excavation Report

Lime kiln

This report constitutes the final excavation report for a relict field system that occupied the location of a recorded ringfort and cillín (GA 113:109) for which no trace was found. The site was located in Drumharsna North townland in Co. Galway. The site was excavated as part of the archaeological excavation programme in advance of construction for the N18 Oranmore to Gort road scheme. The site was located within the lands acquired for the new road. The excavation revealed the subsurface remains of the footings for a large field boundary which formed part of an old field system which was destroyed in the late 19th century.

The site was identified by McCaffrey in 1952 during the course of fieldwork for an MA thesis and was subsequently added to the Record of Monuments and Places as a ringfort and cillín (GA113:109). The site was not marked on any of the Ordnance Survey map editions and no trace of an early medieval enclosure or any human skeletal remains were identified during the excavation. It was established that the footings for a large field boundary wall which formed part of a field system marked on the first edition Ordnance survey maps was located below the present sod and topsoil. The field system had been removed by the time of the survey for the 25-inch Ordnance Survey map in 1897. Three fragments from the upper stone of a rotary quern were recovered, which appeared to have a cross-shaped decoration on its upper surface. An iron socketed arrowhead was also recovered. Post-medieval finds included clay pipe stems, 19th and 20th-century pottery, an Irish halfpenny and some iron nails. A residual assemblage of eight lithic artefacts including a possible retouched chert knife was also recovered. The lithic assemblage is technologically and typologically diagnostic and most likely dates to the first half of the Neolithic period.

Authors: Gerry Mullins & Finn Delaney

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