Eachtra Journal

ISSN 2009-2237

A burnt mound at Ballyglass West, Co. Galway (E3870)

October, 2010 · Written by: Eachtra Print This Page This entry is part 3 of 23 in the Issue 08

Archaeological Excavation Report

Burnt mound

This report constitutes the final excavation report of a large burnt mound and modern well in the townland of Ballyglass West, Co. Galway (Fig 1). The site was excavated as part of the archaeological excavation programme in advance of construction for the N18 Gort to Oranmore road scheme. The site was discovered during Phase 1 archaeological testing of the new route under Ministerial Directions A045 (E3723).

The excavation of a large burnt mound at Ballyglass West revealed a number of archaeological features. The mound itself contained up to 16 different deposits consisting of varying amounts of stone, burnt stone and charcoal-rich black silty clay. Eight potential troughs were identified below the burnt mound deposits one of which appeared to be stone lined, and others had internal and external stakeholes. Five pits of varying size and shape were also excavated. A natural spring towards the centre of the burnt mound material was used and adapted as a well in the modern period comprising an encircling drystone wall and entrance steps. A single chert flake from the early prehistoric period was recovered from a layer in the burnt mound. Other more recent finds, associated with the well, such as copper alloy pins and a button, clay pipes and ceramic pottery fragments were also uncovered. A small assemblage of animal bone was recovered during the excavation. The analysis of the plant remains revealed that Ballyglass West is among the few burnt mound sites that have yielded cereal remains, albeit in very small amounts. The four radiocarbon dates acquired for the site revealed dates ranging from the Early Bronze Age to the Middle Bronze Age.

Authors: Agnes Kerrigan & Finn Delaney

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