Eachtra Journal

ISSN 2009-2237

A burnt mound at Ballinillaun 1, Co. Galway (E3888)

October, 2010 · Written by: Eachtra Print This Page This entry is part 1 of 23 in the Issue 08

Archaeological Excavation Report

Burnt mound

This report constitutes the final excavation report for a group of pits and a small layer of burnt mound material in the townland of Ballinillaun, Co. Galway. The site was excavated as part of the archaeological excavation programme in advance of construction for N18 Gort to Oranmore Road scheme. The site was found within the Compulsory Purchase Order for the scheme during Phase 1 archaeological testing. The site consisted  of a burnt mound with associated troughs and pits.

This site consisted of a poorly preserved, Middle Bronze Age, burnt mound. A series of three interconnecting pits were filled with charcoal-rich fills. Two more pits and a possible post-hole were located just to the north of the central pits and were partly overlaid by a layer of small to medium sized angular limestone. Although all the fills of the pits contained large proportions of charcoal there was no indication of burning in situ in the form of underlying fire reddened clay or lumps of scorched clay.

The site excavated at Ballinillaun 1 was one of a pair of poorly preserved burnt mounds identified in Ballinillaun townland during the Phase 1 testing. Three smaller pit groups (chainage 6520, 6200 and 5650) were excavated and recorded during Phase 1 in this townland  while  Ballinillaun  1  and  2  were  excavated  during  the  Phase  2  excavations. Some of the pits contained heat shattered stone as well as charcoal-rich deposits. It is likely that the pits are associated with the functions undertaken at burnt mound sites and the proximity to the two burnt mound sites in Moyveela townland and their similar location on the western edge of a large turlough would seem to support this theory. The pits may be associated with unrecorded burnt mound sites located outside the extent of the road scheme or they could be the surviving remnants of truncated burnt mounds.

Authors: Tori McMorran & Finn Delaney

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