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Neolithic house at Gortore, Co. Cork (E2119)

This entry is part 19 of 21 in the Issue [1] 06

Archaeological Excavation Report

Neolithic house and an Early Bronze Age pit

Three phases of archaeological activity were recorded on the site. The earliest phase is a Neolithic house and associated features within Area ІІ. An Early Bronze Age pit was located in Area І some 70m south of the house site. The final phase of activity related to Post-Medieval agricultural practices and included a back-filled ditch within Area ІІ.

Recent infrastructural development has increased the amount and geographic distribution of Neolithic house sites in Ireland but this site is important on a regional level given that the only other excavated example of this site type in County Cork was at Barnagore, along the route of the Ballincollig Bypass.

Both of these Cork examples produced essentially the same radiocarbon results (cal BC 3940-3620 at Barnagore and cal BC 3928-3655 from Gortore) and they represent the oldest known houses in the county. In the north Cork area there is quite widespread evidence for Neolithic activity; a single pit at Fermoy (05E0078), located c. 3km to the south of Gortore along the route of the main road, produced twelve sherds of a Middle Neolithic Globular bowl, and another site at Curraghprevin (c.12 km south of Gortore) produced Western Neolithic (Early Neolithic) pottery and a radiocarbon date of 3090-2580 BC (Late Neolithic). This evidence, combined with the Early Bronze Age date and the Beaker pottery from Area I at Gortore, demonstrate an element of continuity in the vicinity over an extended period of time.

Author: Julianna O’Donoghue

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[1] 06: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/issues/6/
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[3] Archaeological Excavation Report E2119 Gortore, N8 RF: http://www.slideshare.net/eachtra/ex-a014-003-gortore-twd-n8-rf-journal
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